With an estimated 225 billion dollars in 2026, the connected building market, or smart building, is booming. The construction sector has not escaped the upheavals caused by the Internet of Things. Smart buildings, home automation and artificial intelligence, are gradually revolutionizing the construction industry. Buildings become service platforms for the benefit of both users and operators.
What is the definition of a smart building? What is it for, and how does it work? What are the advantages of connected buildings? We tell you everything in this article!
What is a connected building?
Also called a smart building, a connected building comprises multiple integrated sensors to collect and analyze data to improve residents’ comfort. Maintenance operations are also facilitated.
This architecture connected thanks to artificial intelligence is more advanced than GTB ( Technical Building Management ) systems. It allows data to be communicated within the building and facilitates communication with external applications.
We distinguish the smart building (positive energy building) from the smart home (connected individual house). An intelligent building makes it possible to monitor, control and modify technical equipment in real time. For example, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water for automatic sprinklers, lighting, opening doors and shutters, security, etc.
Therefore, it takes care of optimizing the use of resources to reduce pollution and guarantee the safety of users.
How does smart construction work?
The smart building begins with BIM (Building Information Modeling), a digital model that allows the building and its functioning to be modeled. More than a simple construction, this simple building is transformed into a set of services intended to evolve and be enriched over time.
Thanks to this virtual modeling, the connected building is designed and optimized upstream, with gains in construction times and materials consumed. The intelligent design needs to collect real data, which requires the installation of sensors to monitor everything.
This is why a simple home automation presence is not enough. It is a matter of remote control and supervising the management of the building in real-time. We then use the IoT ( Internet of Things ) supported by artificial intelligence. Thus, the AI learns as it goes to base its decisions on the data without the human intervention’s intervention!
The use of IoT also makes it possible to take advantage of services such as predictive maintenance. Thanks to new technologies, many actions are automated to make the connected building as autonomous as possible.
The advantages of the connected building or smart building
It allows you to control your energy consumption
Did you know that buildings account for 44% of energy consumption in France? As part of the energy transition, connected buildings are part of a desire for green growth.
The smart building makes it possible to comply with energy standards and create constructions capable of controlling their consumption as for a passive building. Aware of this buoyant market, developers are increasingly promoting connected positive energy buildings. They often cover the additional cost of promoting this new form of clean housing.
The energy performance of smart buildings is better, and gas or electricity suppliers offer personalized offers for this type of construction to meet their specific needs. Among the main features, we can find:
- Insulation of structures;
- Management of ventilation systems;
- Centralization of smartphone orders;
- Control of thermostats and air conditioning;
- Switching on and off the television; etc.
The smart building meets the needs of each type of building
The smart building considers the vocation of the building when drawing up plans. Indeed, a gymnasium, office or school will not have the exact energy needs as a connected home or an industrial factory. The lines of control, monitoring and data collected vary to analyze the right factors.
For example, the IoT will measure technical faults related to production to ensure continuity of service in a factory. It can also focus on access control and housing comfort temperature for an apartment building. And these are just two examples among dozens of others!
The connected building increases user comfort
The connected building takes into account the human being at the heart of the buildings. Thanks to sensors, interfacing and data analysis, the smart building improves occupant comfort. Each data collected is analyzed and used by a manager to follow up on adaptations or modifications.
The user then receives this data to educate him and encourage him to become more eco-responsible, thanks to generally playful forms of display. An intelligent building could also improve the working conditions of employees in offices: analysis of the use of workspaces, temperature optimization algorithm, improvement of the management conditions of shared spaces, etc.
Another example is that a connected building can detect whether or not there is someone in the home and adapt the temperature to avoid unnecessary overheating.
The smart building improves accessibility
The connected buildings facilitate PRM facilities. These smart technologies and systems are at the service of people with reduced mobility to simplify their daily lives. Everything becomes more practical, comfortable and reassuring.
Among other solutions, the disabled or wheelchair users no longer need to reach the switch to turn on or off a light. Shutters, shower, television, cupboards, bathroom, stairlifts, mirrors, urinals, toothbrushes, bathroom scales: everything is automated, remote-controlled and connected.
The sensors also increase the safety of PRMs by making it possible to determine an abnormal absence of activity and quickly identify a problem. These connected objects can give the right to financial aid to facilitate their access to people with reduced mobility. To check your eligibility, check with the Departmental House of Autonomy in your region.
The connected building secures the home or building
The advantage of connected housing is that everything is accessible remotely from a smartphone or tablet. Home automation and artificial intelligence, therefore, represent reassuring solutions, especially when going on vacation.
A smart building is often equipped with an indoor and outdoor video surveillance system (with sensors and alarms) to efficiently monitor comings and goings.
It is possible to control the doors, shutters, and lights to deter burglars and prepare your return by putting on a little heating! You can also easily activate the garden’s watering and control the temperature of the swimming pool in summer.
More than just a technological whim, the connected building is a way to use artificial intelligence and IoT to serve the planet: it is possible to design positive energy buildings, like passive constructions, to reduce the energy consumption of homes and offices, for example.
But that’s not their only advantage! The smart building promotes accessibility to PRMs, increases the comfort of occupants and better secures buildings. The processed data makes it possible to personalize each action to meet the needs of each building specifically and to use resources intelligently!