Smart Building

At a glance

The term smart building refers to buildings that are technically equipped in such a way that selected aspects can be centrally controlled or completely automated. These aspects can include a wide variety of things, such as optimizing energy consumption depending on use, automated lighting control depending on daylight and presence, automatic opening of windows using networked actuators or the evaluation of sensors such as fire or motion detectors. Smart Buildings usually refer to larger functional buildings such as offices, airports or shopping centres, which justify the expense of networking.

Technical principles for networked buildings

The Internet of Things provides the necessary technical basis to realize a fully networked building. It enables the networking of devices, systems or sensors and also provides interfaces to the Internet or to surfaces that people can use for the maintenance, monitoring or control of building services engineering.

Smart Sensors
Automation in intelligent buildings works better the more data is available for control. For this purpose, the building requires a large number of sensors that measure a wide variety of values (e.g. brightness, movement, temperature, humidity, etc.) and transmit them to the control center. Smart sensors offer the advantage here that they can interpret the measured values on site before they transmit their pre-processed signals. This means that decisions can be made even faster and the building services can be controlled with less delay.

Wireless communication
NarrowBand IoT is a technology that makes the communication of various networked devices more energy-efficient and thus cheaper. This radio standard was specifically developed for applications from the Internet of Things and offers particularly good network coverage with narrowband data transmission compared to other standards. In addition, the radio technology also works reliably in problematic places such as basement rooms. NarrowBand IoT thus enables reliable wireless networking throughout the building.

Other technical components

  • Actuators for mechanical control (e.g. automatically opening and closing windows)
  • Control units (e.g. for lighting, ventilation, air conditioning)
  • digital meters (e.g. for energy or water consumption)
  • Software and network technology for central control and automation
  • Measured values from the Internet or from the environment (e.g. weather data)

Advantages of smart buildings

The basic idea behind the Smart Building is to automate as many simple tasks as possible to make the user's stay more comfortable. For example, windows, thermostats and ventilation systems that automatically provide an optimal indoor climate based on measured values in the building and the current weather create a more pleasant working environment. Automation also has a positive effect on the efficient use of resources in many areas, e.g. energy consumption. Example: The heating can be switched off dynamically earlier than planned, if no one is in the office anymore.