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What are Smarter Buildings?

Businesses face increasing pressure to reduce costs and run property in a more efficient and sustainable way – this can be achieved by designing and operating buildings in a much smarter way.

Property costs are typically the second largest cost (after payroll) for many businesses, and buildings worldwide consume 42 per cent of all electricity – more than any other physical asset. Non-domestic buildings also generate 18 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions.

Climate change issues combined with current economic pressures mean that better performance is required from a decreasing pool of built resources.

What are Smarter Buildings?

A smarter building can be many things: it can be greener and run more efficiently, or it can be the building you don’t have, having demonstrated that you no longer need it. What the Smarter Buildings concept is trying to achieve is buildings and property portfolios that are more cost effective, more sustainable, better maintained and better places to work. The only way to do this is by gaining an improved understanding of buildings and their behaviour by making them more instrumented, interconnected and ultimately, more intelligent.

Instrumented: It is now possible to measure the condition of what is going on within a building on a near realtime basis, through the application of sensors and meters. This provides a level of information that has not been available in the past and allows us to make quicker and better decisions.

Interconnected: This sensory information becomes powerful when data from many disparate systems and devices is brought together and integrated to interact in new ways. This can support multi-dimensional reporting across a whole portfolio of properties.

Intelligent: Finally, this wealth of information can be used with advanced analytics to make optimal decisions that are based on historical trends and predicted events again taking account of factors that traditionally cannot be linked due to their disparate systems. By turning all types of building be it offices, airports, hospitals or factories into interconnected eco-systems through external integration and applied analytics, they can become smarter and more intelligent.

What are Smarter Buildings? There is increasing pressure to reduce costs and run property in a more efficient and sustainable way - this can be achieved through making building, and the way they are operated, smarter. Part of a series of papers on IBM Smarter Buildings.

Building Information Modelling

In March 2011, the UK Government mandated a 20 percent saving each year on publicly funded construction projects. How can construction get smart and rise to the challenge?