From Smart Phones To Smart Buildings

Until recently, running a large office was quite a hassle.  The caretakers (or the employees that arrived first in the morning, and left last at night), had a lot of work to do ensuring that the heating was set correctly in the morning, and that everything was turned off, and the alarms were set correctly at night. Today, however, things have changed, and computers can take over most of those tasks.

Leave a Light on For Me…

Most “smart buildings” are programmed to have three or four different modes. Common names for those modes include: Unoccupied, morning warmup, occupancy, and night-time setback.

Those modes dictate the way that the heating and lighting systems will behave. For example, while the building is unoccupied, the heating system might cycle periodically to prevent frozen and/or burst pipes. A few hours before the building is due to be occupied, the system will start warming up the building. During the hours that the building is occupied, the thermostat will automatically be set to a comfortable temperature, and the building’s lights and air conditioning will be set to trigger on motion detectors. At night, the security systems will be turned on, and the air conditioning and lighting turned off to save energy.

Watching Over Your Building

One of the most interesting aspects of smart buildings is the ability to monitor what’s going on in them. This facility came in handy or many companies during the recent extreme winter weather. Managers of buildings that stood empty because people were snowed into their homes were able to log in to the office and monitor remotely the status of their equipment and security system.

Basic remote monitoring systems aren’t all that user friendly, but it’s possible to arrange for bespoke web development as part of setting up a smart building.  You will be able to pick your own set up and decide which services you want to monitor remotely, and who you want to be able to access them.

Smart Buildings Save You Time and Money

Installing the equipment required to make your building “smart” can be quite expensive. Once you add up the cost of smart lighting, air conditioning, heating, and security systems, in addition to bespoke web development to set up your monitoring and management tools the way you like them, the up-front bill may seem rather intimidating. However, when you consider the time wasted running around turning everything on or off each day, and the cost of wasted energy from systems that are accidentally left running, it’s easy to see the long term savings.

Many governments are offering grants and rebates for companies that make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Investing in “smart” infrastructure is a great way to show that you care about the environment. A growing number of companies and consumers are starting to consider the environmental policies of companies when they are making purchasing decisions, so anything that you can do to show that you are responsible about energy could be a good thing for your brand.

Guest article by James Harper on behalf of bespoke web development experts, Xibis.

View all contributions by

Website 101 Editor