Smart Buildings

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The term ‘smart buildings’ is very much a product of the hyper-connected age of Big Data.

Dramatic increases in CPU processing power and ever-faster broadband connections have expanded the scope of what is possible in the protection and management of buildings.

‘Smart’ building systems can collect, analyse and respond to data received through sensors or cameras. What’s more, they can increasingly do this in concert with other systems, with everything from HVAC and lighting to CCTV and access control now able to ‘talk to each other’.

Deployed intelligently, this convergence of hitherto disparate systems can optimise building environments to boost productivity, employee satisfaction and energy efficiency.

“There has been a mismatch between what users expect from an intelligent building and what the suppliers are able to deliver. One of the main reasons for the disparity is that the intelligent building has generally been defined in terms of its technologies, rather than in terms of the goals of the organisations which occupy it.” Professor Derek Clements-Croome, school of construction management and engineering, University of Reading

Global spending on smart building technology was forecast to grow from $7bn in 2015 to $17.4bn by 2019 (IDC Insights: ‘Business Strategy: Global Smart Building Technology Spending 2015–2019 Forecast’).

No longer mere overheads, facilities functions can be seen as strategic assets that can help organisations realise their operational objectives.

IFSEC Global canvassed hundreds of security professionals, facility managers and building owners in order to understand the changing landscape. The smart buildings report 2017 found that half (50%) said they classified their building systems as ‘smart’. Of the 435 respondents who did not regard their building systems as ‘smart’, 46% said that they expected smart functionality to be introduced within the next 12-24 months, while of those who did classify their building as smart, 70% felt there was room for improvement.


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