Benefits of Energy Savings

Real-World Benefits of Energy-Saving Smart Buildings

Conventional buildings aren’t very efficient. Often, the only way to monitor conditions is to wander up and down corridors, peeking into offices. Temperature monitoring usually involves manually adjusting the air conditioning or opening windows to regulate humidity and airflow. 

There’s no way to see where and when you use the most energy. It’s hard to adjust conditions when more visitors or fewer workers are in the building. Waste, it seems, is inevitable, and it’s impossible to make significant savings a reality.

In contrast, a smart building uses advanced technologies to control the environment and improve efficiency.

What Does a Smart Building Do Differently?

A smart building has interconnected systems, from air conditioning to security and lighting. It uses technological tools to:

  • Gather data (scrutinize)
  • Evaluate (measure against optimized conditions)
  • Improve the functioning of the building (change lighting or air conditioning settings in real-time)

The result is higher visitor and employee satisfaction, enhanced productivity, plus cost savings due to energy efficiency.

Blog Energy Management

What Makes a Building “Smart”?

Simply put, it involves various IoT sensors like occupancy counters or thermometers collecting data and sending it to a hub. The management software uses AI to evaluate the data and send real-time instructions to heaters or timers.

 This system also operates on a larger scale. The software can improve long-term efficiency in energy consumption, maintenance, air quality, and pipe functionality. It does this by using consistent measurements and data analysis over a long period.

6 Real-world Benefits of Smart Buildings

1. Save Money by Reducing Energy Consumption

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) cause around 40% of a building’s total energy consumption. While the energy sector has made significant strides in sourcing and delivering low-impact energy, it has not effectively translated these gains into cost savings for its customers.

Currently, the only way to pay less for your energy consumption is to use less of it. A smart system can lower a building’s energy consumption by about 5% – 35% by adjusting temperatures as needed, translating into significant financial savings.

Numerous Energy Management Systems (EMS), like Spacewell Energy, are available in today’s market. They are designed with the goal of upgrading conventional buildings into smarter structures that leverage the power of data and IoT technologies to achieve heightened efficiency.

2. Reach Sustainability Goals and Build your Brand

Consumers have become very aware that the amount of energy we use has a massive impact on the health of our planet. Making buildings energy efficient is the best place to start improving your company’s environmental, social, and corporate governance performance (ESG) score. Smart building technology can help you meet your net zero goals and reduce your carbon footprint.

Improving your ESG score can save money and will please investors, employees, and customers. Most customers care about sustainability and that a company’s carbon footprint plays a part in their buying decisions.

3. Improve Building Efficiency

Smart sensors are discreet and unobtrusive, but they gather a lot of anonymous data on how the building is used during both regular working hours and off-peak times. Smart software systems can analyze the data to adjust heating and lighting as needed, which, in turn, will identify infrastructure gaps. 

Optimizing lighting usage is one major way to save energy in commercial buildings. By adjusting lighting based on climate conditions and usage patterns, the building only uses lighting when necessary and only in the areas where it’s needed. Automated systems can switch off lights in areas that aren’t in use but can keep the lights on for workers chasing deadlines after hours.

4. Predictive Maintenance

When buildings and infrastructure are not maintained regularly, you’ll need to replace things more often. If you miss something important, problems can cascade. Maintenance costs can skyrocket, and you may end up with permanent damage to the infrastructure or even the building. That means much larger budgets and the aggravation of ongoing interventions while staff are trying to finish their work.

Smart buildings can plot a program of predictive maintenance. The sensors can track how well the building is doing and find maintenance issues before anything goes seriously wrong. 

For instance, consider pipe monitoring. The pipes in a building often cause maintenance problems that can take a lot of time and energy to diagnose. Investing in a system that monitors pipes can pinpoint problem areas long before it becomes a hazard.

Fixing a system before it breaks down reduces water waste. Optimizing water temperatures for when staff are in the building and need hot water can save money and improve reporting on health and safety.

You can find a range of softwares, like Spacewell Maintenance, that incorporate predictive maintenance capabilities into their comprehensive facilities management solution. Leveraging data analytics and condition monitoring to predict when maintenance should be performed.

5. Increase Productivity and Staff Loyalty

Smart buildings are designed to make occupants more comfortable. Clean, well-maintained facilities and comfort can increase productivity and encourage staff loyalty. Workers love a clean, well-maintained office space. Automated tools can improve maintenance standards and ensure that health and safety requirements are met cost-effectively.

For example, ventilation systems use a lot of energy. It’s important to balance indoor air quality without increasing energy use. A smart building system can halt ventilation systems in unused areas to prevent waste. At the same time, it can increase ventilation in crowded places to keep your employees safe. Once your smart system has the data, it can automatically apply tweaks to the system for optimum comfort at minimum cost.

6.Better Use of Resources

A smart building can provide valuable data to improve resource use and planning. Instead of assumptions or unverified data, you can use real-time, authentic intelligence. 

One instance is smart cleaning, where a monitoring system can identify high or low-user areas. There’s no need to clean areas that aren’t being used, but you need to know about busy areas in buildings so you can ask cleaning teams to focus their efforts on those spaces.

Become a Fly on the Wall to Protect your Investment

Have you ever wished you were a fly on the wall who could see what goes on in the building environment? When you start using IoT sensors, you can extract data from the environment and turn it into actionable insights.

Like all internet traffic in the building, the traffic from smart sensors, IoT gadgets, and smart office equipment must be properly secured and encrypted with a VPN to prevent eavesdroppers from getting their hands on your data. But once secured, the smart system brings intelligent facilities management within reach of business owners, landlords, and tenants.

A smart building system gathers all the needed data, runs it through AI algorithms to deliver targeted, actionable insights into your energy usage and inefficiencies, and allows you to manage buildings remotely. It ensures you are empowered to make informed decisions to manage a high-cost asset and keep it in tip-top shape for the future.

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About the author 

This blog post is courtesy of PR Consultancy.

Note that some changes have been made to reflect Spacewell Energy’s style.