From Connected Buildings to Interconnected Buildings: How This Could be Sustainable

We’ve all heard a lot about IoT, PropTech and how buildings of the future may look.  Those who still think that a building is just four walls and a roof may need to adjust their thinking. Really smart buildings connect everything from infrastructure to devices to make your buildings alive, technology use more efficient and alter the way we live and work together. Just to give you a couple of examples: you can have your employees securely move about the workplace with their smart device, optimise the indoor climate they work in and use spaces and working equipment more efficiently; or you can ease the work of your Facility Manager by providing real-time information on building equipment performance to focus on maintenance activities that have the most impact and reduce the risk for critical incidents.

Really smart, but is this really resource efficient? A lot of data has to be managed which has to be secure and to be looked at in the right angle. A lot of technology has to be installed and smoothly used. How long will this technology be up-to-date if we look at a building’s life cycle? We may have to discuss the level of connectivity we really need. We may not put our focus on individual buildings but on interconnected buildings for which smart technology is crucial. Taking the example of resource efficiency: more cost-effective technologies are more feasible at a larger scale, e. g. the use of solar energy where design doesn’t have to rely on maximising each building’s solar access; complementary energy needs of occupancies can support more efficient energy infrastructure, and diverse activities can generate good opportunities for sharing energy between buildings. Larger-scale systems may also pique the interest of big investors.

If and how connectivity is really taking buildings and communities to new heights will also be discussed at our symposium in April 2018.

Many thanks to Dr. Birgit Memminger-Rieve from 40 Percent Symposium host, ES EnviroSustain for providing this thought-provoking post. ES EnviroSustain are once again the hosts of our Symposium on the 12th April 2018. For further details, please view the agenda here, or register to attend.