The world is moving towards adopting intelligent building technology, especially in commercial buildings. The goal of these technologies is to promote efficiency in energy consumption. As a result, smart applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT), BAS, and EMS are redefining energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Below are some of the newest tech and advancements in commercial buildings prevailing in the real estate and construction sectors.
Internet of Things (IoT)
One can use IoTs to generate actionable data that commercial buildings can use to make decisions. But why should one be concerned about data? Data ensures that a commercial building is energy efficient, safe, and healthy. It helps optimize the performance of your commercial building.
You can use IoT for energy utilization, and considering this is one of the most expensive factors in a commercial construction service, since most of the energy wastes away, you can use IoT to enhance energy efficiency. This is possible because several pieces of equipment are constantly being monitored via sensors. As a result, you’ll know which equipment is using energy efficiently and which one requires tweaking to perform optimally.
You can use the Internet of Things to evaluate IAQ, also known as indoor air quality. The last thing you want in your home is compromised or polluted air, which is unhealthy and, at times, dangerous when inhaled. Therefore, knowing the IAQ of your commercial building is critical in keeping your facility safe and comfortable to live and work in. The IAQ sensors track and report data, all in real-time. The sensors can collect all manner of data, from carbon dioxide levels, allergens, volatile organic compounds concentration, ground-level ozone, and air particulates, among other contaminants.
Security is another critical function of IoT. Commercial buildings are sitting ducks in terms of vulnerability to attacks and crime. Luckily, IoT-enabled sensors, floors, and beacons provide constant updates on activities in the main entries of your commercial building. The technology can provide data on your assets’ locations, identify and monitor people, and track the security guards to provide your building with a comprehensive commercial construction service. You may also have to hire fence companies to secure the perimeters of your commercial building.
One can also use IoT to track utilities: gas, electricity, steam, and water. This data is vital in ensuring the efficient use of your utilities and aids in future decisions. Lastly, IoT uses smart technology to alert the building’s manager. By receiving timely alerts, the commercial construction service can intervene and correct problems as they arise.
Building Automation Systems (BAS)
Any commercial construction service will tell you that BAS (building automation system) is designed to automate and integrate several functions in a commercial building. It involves using one set of controls to wire all the building control systems, such as HVAC, security, fire, and lighting.
For a commercial property to be green, it must qualify as a smart building, also known as an intelligent building. A commercial building qualifies as smart because it has a BAS in place.
BAS helps in energy efficiency and indoor air quality. It does this by tracking the status of integrated systems. The beauty of BAS is that you can manage several buildings via a single interface, which will require hiring a commercial construction service under normal circumstances. By using BAS, your commercial facility management team can work smarter.
The five main components of a BAS are controllers, UI (user interface), input devices, also known as sensors, communication protocols, and output devices, also known as actuators. You need the input devices to detect measurements such as indoor temperature and if the appropriate equipment is on. The role of the output devices is to adjust measurements, such as turning off a piece of equipment or reducing indoor temperature.
The controller manages all your building’s main systems. Its role is to process input devices’ data, and relay desired changes to your output devices. The communications protocol is the language all these devices use. For instance, the output devices relay commands from the controllers to programmed responses.
For example, the BAS can automatically increase your home’s ventilation if it detects too high carbon dioxide levels. The component of the BAS is the user interface, which visually displays data. It could be a web-based tool or a computer.
Energy Management Systems (EMS)
These computer-based systems control, monitor and optimize energy use in a commercial building. For instance, a lawn fertilization company may use intelligent sprinkler systems to water the lawns and keep them green throughout the summer. EMS comprises communication networks, software, and hardware, working together to lower and manage your building’s energy consumption.
A commercial construction service uses your energy management system to reduce energy costs by enhancing energy efficiency. It does this by analyzing and tracking your building’s energy usage patterns to identify opportunities for optimizing energy consumption. This is possible through programming and occupancy recognition to track and monitor indoor environments.
An EMS monitors your building’s energy consumption in real-time to identify areas that can be adjusted for energy savings. It also uses automated control to monitor and control a section of systems in your building. These include equipment, HVAC, and lighting systems. The goal is to reduce waste and ensure all equipment is optimized for efficient energy consumption.
Another critical role of EMS is to provide energy analytics by analyzing energy usage patterns for improvement opportunities and trends, data you can use to develop tracking and saving energy strategies. Lastly, one can use EMS for demand response. The system monitors changes in energy demand and adjusts real-time energy use so you can reduce its strain on your building’s energy grid by avoiding costly demand charges.
Occupancy analytics use space management software and IoT sensors to monitor, track, and analyze the use of your commercial facility. The best option is to use a property management service with occupancy analytics software to manage your space.
Occupancy analytics were beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic when the necessity to maintain social distancing was critical in controlling the spread of the virus. Add to this the dawn of hybrid workplaces that demand the alignment of demand for workspaces and supply. Occupancy analytics can provide this data, including tracking where and how your employees work.
Irrespective of the building the commercial construction service manages, you’ll need insights into how your physical space is used, how many people use it, and when they use it. This is where occupancy analytics in commercial real estate comes in. It gives you critical data you can use to optimize the use of your space in a way that increases efficiency and reduces costs. This allows you to make informed decisions instead of making them based on guesswork and assumptions.
Among the benefits of occupancy analytics is that it improves the use of space, reduces costs, tracks busy and slow times, promotes energy efficiency, ensures your commercial building complies with health regulations, and improves workers’ experience and productivity.
Despite the apparent advantages of Occupancy Analytics, only some commercial real estate companies are using it. This is perhaps because most still rely on inefficient and outdated methods to track occupancy. This outdated tracking is helpful but less helpful than Occupancy Analytics. Besides, every company has its own objectives, and if it isn’t investing in a useful technology such as Occupancy Analytics, one can’t fault them.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Since Facebook went live with Metaverse and changed its name to Meta, there has been increased interest in virtual and augmented reality. These technologies provide immersive experiences that allow clients to virtually view commercial properties without being there.
AR and VR have become highly popular for developers, architects, and designers. The technologies provide immersive experiences that allow one to ‘see’ a completed commercial building before breaking ground. Architects and designers no longer have to prepare physical prototypes for commercial building projects. They can do even better using AR and VR to get you to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ the final product’s appearance.
One can use VR and AR before construction commences to analyze the site, plan construction, and utilize space. You can also use this technology to market and sell your property by providing potential buyers with an interactive experience of the space you propose selling to them.
You can also use AR for simulations and training in commercial buildings. These could be training about emergency responses, maintenance tasks, and safety protocols. These technologies simulate actual emergencies and train employees to respond in such situations.
One can also use AR and VR to manage a commercial building, but it makes sense to contract a commercial construction service to implement the system for you. For instance, you can use AR when conducting maintenance and repairs, such as air conditioner repairs or furnace repair. This is possible by overlaying diagrams or digital instructions on a system or equipment. You can also use VR to simulate several scenarios for occupancy optimization, energy management, bathroom remodeling, HVAC installation, and space planning. This is critical information that’ll help managers make informed decisions.
Another way to use AR and VR is to enhance the tenant experience in a commercial building. For instance, one can use AR to provide interactive assistance or wayfinding to assist tenants and visitors in finding their way around your commercial premises. On the other hand, you may use VR to create virtual meeting spaces to minimize the need for physical contact and facilitate collaboration.
Smart lights are set up to respond to diverse triggers. They’re wi-fi enabled gadgets that connect to the internet, making it possible to control them remotely via devices such as phones or even smartwatches. When setting up a smart lighting system in your commercial building, ensure the central controller is properly set up. This is because the smart devices connected to it get commands directly from it.
Smart lighting costs more than the average bulb. However, in the long run, smart lighting bulbs, for example, are more efficient and will last longer than normal bulbs. Smart lights allow one to schedule lights, which means you can still control the energy consumption of your building even while away.
When setting up intelligent bulbs in a commercial building, some of them may not come on. This could be because they’ve either disconnected from the intelligent controller or there’s no internet connection. Commercial real estate companies with a department for handling smart lighting can help you set up an intelligent lighting system. They can even assist you in changing from the regular lights by installing smart switches, which means you won’t have to overhaul the building’s entire electricity system.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Monitoring
Indoor air quality can be monitored using a device known as the VOC sensor. This device can detect various pollutants in the air. For example, a VOC sensor would detect a leaking gas in a room by noting the presence of gas emissions in the air. This device can also detect the presence of other chemicals in your house.
The smoke detector is another indoor air quality monitoring device that sets off a fire, or the sprinkler alarm once a certain level of smoke is detected. To add smoke detectors, getting a commercial construction service to set them up is the best option. In case of other circumstances that could lead to the intentional production of smoke, cover the detectors with smoke detector covers to avoid unnecessarily triggering the alarm system.
Renewable Energy Integration
In essence, renewable energy has many sources. The commercial construction service you hire to help you can recommend several options. The main sources of renewable energy at the moment are solar, hydro, and wind energy. Solar installation technology has fueled the production of cheaper silicon cells, making solar panels cheaper.
This technology converts sunlight into electricity for commercial buildings and other areas. This energy source is highly recommendable, especially because it’s green and depends on the largest source of green energy, the sun. The cost of solar electricity has come down significantly since its discovery. Engaging a solar panel company to evaluate your building and recommend a solar energy system is a good idea, but always compare rates from different providers before settling on one.
The common sources of hydroelectric power are dams, which produce transferable electricity. There are hopes, however, that this energy source can be implemented within commercial buildings without relying on dams. For instance, a commercial developer using Swiss turbine technology in Hong Kong has successfully converted the building’s water system into a main electric power source. The technology uses water under intense pressure to generate electricity. Besides, there’s a new class of turbines that can convert wind energy on a small scale to produce up to 10 to 15 kilowatts of electricity. The energy produced by these turbines can power up a business. It’s currently being used in farms that produce crops on a large scale.
Technology has allowed commercial buildings to go green through smart applications that optimize energy consumption and enhance efficiency. If you need to bring down an existing structure to erect an energy-efficient commercial building, contact a commercial demolition service to bring down your current building or hire a commercial construction service with the requisite knowledge of the newest tech in commercial buildings.