(3.5-min read)

With the proliferation of wireless internet capabilities into every facet of our daily lives, the idea of something not having “wireless capability” may seem silly to many of us — especially those of younger generations. IoT has inundated the home like never before. What started as the marvel of the cordless phone has grown into everything from smart washers that notify your mobile device when a load of laundry is ready for the drier, your doorbell broadcasting a live video feed of your front porch to your pocket, to the ability to peer inside of your refrigerator from your watch. Where can we go from here? Answer? Smart buildings.

What the heck is a smart building?

You’ve likely heard of the smart phone, a smart car, or smart watch. A smart building is a commercial or residential structure that is a primarily managed by automatic processes and IoT (Internet of Things) enabled technology. Most every aspect of building monitoring that is usually performed manually is, instead, either monitored remotely or even automatically by integrated software systems.

Smart Building Features

Just like your home thermostat detects the temperature of a space and automatically adjusts the level of heating or air conditioning, so too can a smart building monitor and regulate its environments. As mentioned, some of these features are already present in IoT-enabled thermostats, resulting in significant efficiency increases in utilities. Other smart building features include security monitoring, air quality regulation, automated control of lighting systems, and appliance communication. The possibilities are virtually limitless.

Increased Energy Efficiency

One of the most lucrative forces driving the development of smart building technology is energy efficiency. As far as electricity costs are concerned, automated lighting and HVAC systems can predict the appropriate lighting conditions and temperature depending on a building’s average occupancy and space usage. Just like a thermostat can adequately adjust the temperature of a room, so too can an automated lighting system adjust the color temperature or brightness to appeal to the occupant. Not only is this a useful feature to building occupants, but a system’s predictive analytics can dramatically increase energy efficiency.  

Smart Windows

Other elements include the use of auto-tinting windows — regulating the amount of light and heat into a particular structure. One Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study claimed an estimated 19-26% savings on cooling costs and 48-67% savings on lighting when properly implemented.

Smart Outlets

Various electronic devices have different power demands. To make the average wall outlet more efficient, smart building power systems can detect required power loads and adjust accordingly to reduce waste. This may also increase the charging speeds of battery-powered devices versus devices without batteries.

Are you considering a smarter, more efficient building? Talk to the construction professionals from Cowen Construction.

Whether you’re interested in the latest efficient lighting system or IoT-enabled HVAC systems, the commercial construction professionals from Cowen Construction in Tulsa, Oklahoma can help.

Learn more about Cowen Construction in Tulsa, OK today.