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What is a smart building?

Smart buildings are buildings that communicate. They have subsystems – such as heating and cooling, energy, lighting, plumbing, access control, and security – that interact with one another through a network and can also be controlled remotely. These buildings are equipped with digital sensors that gather energy consumption and other data and interact with software to help building managers optimize heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security and other services.


The ultimate objectives of smart building system technology are energy efficiency, reducing pollution and waste, saving money, and sustainability.

How do smart building solutions work?

Buildings become smart through the fitting of sensors onto their core systems. Smart building solutions manage a range of building functions, including power, lighting, video surveillance and security systems, water meters, heating and cooling. Smart building technology is also crucial in enhancing building safety, for example through intelligent fire detection and management systems. Such systems depend on smart building components, like intelligent devices that can be affixed to fire pump casings that monitor their temperature and immediately alert facility managers if the casings become too hot – a clear indication of a fire developing.


But it’s not just a matter of emergency situations: smart building features also enable building managers to monitor environmental data in real-time, helping them improve livability for all users. Such features and systems are governed by software that enables an operator to monitor the situation not only in real time, but also historically, allowing access to records of everything that has taken place in the building at any time and enabling remote action on a building’s systems when necessary.

Examples of what smart building technology can do include:

  • Monitor where, how and when occupants are present;
  • Automatically adjust and synchronize lighting, temperature and parking based on usage;
  • Improve indoor air quality through advanced climate controls;
  • Anticipate any maintenance problems and troubleshoot;
  • Generate data about the energy use of the building’s core systems, allowing management to upgrade and optimize.
Energy Efficiency for Public Buildings

Smart Public Buildings

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The result is better building performance and energy efficiency, which leads to reduced operational costs, safer environments and the elimination of wasteful use of energy and resources.

What are the benefits of a smart building system?

Running the air conditioning or heating in an empty room wastes both energy and money. Smart digital sensors collect data on building use and operation and make this data easily available to occupants and building managers, who thus acquire actionable information. Such data enables targeted use of lighting and heating, better air quality and increased physical security, resulting in benefits such as improvements in efficiency, sustainability, safety, productivity and savings – both in energy use and financial terms. Smart buildings thus save money through optimized operation and increased efficiency in equipment, energy usage, maintenance and power consumption.
smart city

City Solutions

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Smart buildings offer many benefits, including:

  • Reduced energy consumption, which leads to a smaller carbon footprint and contributes to reaching net-zero emissions;
  • Saving on energy costs by using energy only where it is needed;
  • Improved maintenance troubleshooting thanks to continuous data monitoring;
  • Greater comfort and wellbeing for occupants through automatic temperature control;
  • Maximized effectiveness of security installations through deployment of smart locks, alarms and monitors that interact with other systems.

What is the Internet of Things and how does it affect a smart building?

The Internet of Things (IoT) makes a smart building even smarter. A definition of what the Internet of Things is generally involves objects and systems like lighting, heating, and security that “talk” to each other through the internet and can also be controlled remotely. Using motion-sensitive sensors to turn off the lights when a person leaves the room is nothing new. In a smart building fully enabled with the Internet of Things, data generated by a building’s sensors on elevator use, fire alarm status, occupancy rates, energy use and ambient temperature, for example, are centralized into a single “control panel” that enables an operator to monitor the situation in real time - and remotely - as well as automate many of these processes when desired. Continuous monitoring in an IoT-enabled building can also reduce maintenance and need for repairs by bringing any issues to the attention of the building manager before they turn into problems.
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Digital Services

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