Energy efficiency is an increasingly critical issue for developers and designers as they seek to create sustainable urban developments. Intelligent building technology has proven to be an effective way to lower energy usage and costs while enhancing the building environment for occupants. While use of intelligent building systems has become more prevalent, consumers new to energy concerns may be wondering, “What is intelligent building technology?”
Intelligent building technology is defined as integrated communication and control systems that provide a flexible, effective, comfortable, and secure building environment for operators and occupants. Integrated communication increases building functionality by allowing operators to use a single interface to control an entire network of building automation systems. Intelligent building technology utilizes building automation systems to improve and control many operations:
- Heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems management
- Air quality control
- Lighting control
- Energy management
- Elevators and escalators
- Access control/security systems
- Fire and life safety systems/ smoke evacuation
- Critical environments
- Power monitoring
- Building condition monitoring
There are financial advantages for building owners who use intelligent building technology: higher value building and leasing potential from increased individual environmental control, lower consumption costs from using time-of-day lighting and HVAC control, and the ability to track tenant after-hours system use for charge back purposes. Other benefits include reliable reaction to component and system failures, and maintenance of service/replacement histories of individual relay and zone use. Tenants reap the benefits as well, gaining after-hours building systems control via computer or telephone, the ability to modify all relevant systems (security, telephone, parking, directories, etc.) from a single interface in hiring/firing situations, and the peace of mind that increased security brings.
The goal of intelligent building technology is to improve building functionality and environment while simultaneously lowering costs. HVAC systems alone account for 50% of an average building’s energy consumption. By integrating access control information with HVAC and lighting control, an energy management system can reduce energy consumption 20% to 30% through managing occupied space with time-of-day zone control. While automated control of the HVAC system saves money, it also enriches the building environment through improved air quality and self-managed temperature.
The enhanced security and access control intelligent building technology systems deliver have the effect of increasing worker productivity and user comfort levels. The functionality of fully integrated systems makes it possible to open doors, notify responsible staff of unwanted intrusions, and ensure that lighting, fire, and other building-management systems respond as personnel enter and leave the building. In case of an emergency, fire, safety, security, surveillance and other integrated building systems turn on lighting throughout the building and take control of elevator functions, while networks enhance information provided to individuals, and paging systems broadcast pre-recorded instructions and messages. The fire alarm system can take control of the HVAC system for fan shutdown, smoke exhaust, purge and pressurization for smoke evacuation, and access control keeps track of the number of people in the building so no one is left behind. These enhanced security and safety measures prove a boon to owners as well as tenants by reducing tenant turnover.
An increasingly desirable ability of intelligent building technologies are their capacity to carry a tenant’s voice and data communications concurrently over the same wiring infrastructure that carries building control data. As more companies utilize “big data” in their everyday operations, intelligent buildings’ high-speed wiring, real-time communications, information, services, and integration become definite selling points.
Now that you know the answer to the question “What is intelligent building technology,” are you ready for your own innovative building system? Whether you are building a new structure or performing a retrofit on an existing building, Advanced Control Corporation will incorporate the latest intelligent building technology to design a building automation solution that exceeds your expectations. Contact Advanced Control Corporation today at 954.491.6660 and let us put our experience and knowledge to work for you.