Today a growing number of architects recognize the advantage of winning more work through smart building design. According to the 2021 Hinge Report,* nearly half of architects surveyed cited smart buildings as a topic they plan to research in the coming year. Smart buildings use automation to optimize processes that occur inside a building, such as heating and cooling, security, lighting, ventilation, water usage, and more. This can benefit the environment, the building tenants, and the businesses that own the facilities.
More often than not, architects and engineers are being urged to look to the future and consider changes to help protect the environment and build more sustainably. This includes buildings that are being designed to be more sustainable, ecofriendly, and smarter. From small offices to a large university campus, buildings are classified as smart if they use technology to enhance building operations.
Here are three strategies you can use to incorporate smart buildings into your next design specifications:
1. Smart building tips. Smart building planning encompasses six key areas: connectivity, health and well-being, safety, power and energy, cybersecurity, and sustainability. While there are many details to work out during the planning phase, here are some quick tips to consider in each area:
2. Go green. The design of smart buildings intersects with green buildings where resource-efficient models of construction include specific features, such as sustainable materials, renewable resources, green roof systems, improved acoustics, and clean indoor air quality. When designing a smart building, the green aspects can include concepts such as net zero, which strives to balance resource usage and production to reduce environmental impact. Smart buildings can create energy using solar panels, which absorb and convert the sun’s radiation into electricity and reduce the need for gas.
3.Smart product research. Materials are being engineered to be smarter, stronger, sleeker, and easier on the planet. To keep a competitive edge, architects need to stay up to date on these material innovations. Buildings crafted with well-thought-out, intelligent materials will be more equipped to solve ongoing challenges, reduce their carbon footprint, and make an impact in the industry.
Smart building technology can diminish a whole host of building related health issues. Benefits include improving indoor air quality and reducing symptoms of asthma, respiratory distress, depression, and stress. Students in smart building schools have reduced absenteeism, higher test scores, and better overall academic performance. Patients in sustainable health care facilities have faster recovery times.
Smart building strategies can reduce energy costs, increase the staff productivity, improve building operations, support sustainability, and enhance decisions made across the organization. The future seems bright: Architects who incorporate smart design will win more work. Buildings crafted with well-thought-out, intelligent materials will be better equipped to solve ongoing challenges, reduce their carbon footprint, and make an impact in the industry.
*Hinge Report is a study that provides an in-depth look at the major trends impacting the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.
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