Building efficiency is one of the most effective and affordable solutions for addressing climate change and capping carbon emissions. Yet it is so often drowned by discussions of electric vehicles and solar panels. Given that better buildings are a great economic investment and provide a host of benefits for more liveable cities, they deserve our attention.
Buildings in the UK produce 30% of the country’s emissions. Building companies and professionals play a major role in the design and therefore the sustainability of the buildings they erect. As a result, there is a great deal of pressure on them to design and deliver buildings that enable fast and effective carbon reduction at an efficient cost. This is only possible by building a new generation of smart buildings that place digital technologies and data at their foundation.
Putting the system in place
First and foremost, these smart buildings require a layer of network connected devices and sensors embedded at key points of the energy infrastructure. This could include smart circuit-breakers or energy sensors keeping track of energy usage in the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.
A smart building then needs an open and interoperable operations backbone that connects these devices to the central building-management system. This IP and data backbone is crucial for providing continuous, real-time insight into energy usage. It allows them to monitor, measure and control all data from building and IT systems to ensure energy responsibility and efficiency.
Happy globe, happy home
However, these digitised buildings are not just attractive from an environmental perspective. Energy and utility costs in buildings are a major cost centre for their owners. Construction companies can make the case to customers that smart buildings do not just save the planet, they can save them considerable costs through greater energy efficiency.
To remain competitive and keep fulfilling customer needs, construction firms must realise the smart advantage. They need to consider carbon reduction throughout the building cycle and build their structures from the ground up with a digital-first mindset, ensuring their customers can achieve their carbon ambitions with ease.