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The 4 Game-Changing Technology Trends for Smart Buildings in 2021

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Now that 2021 feels like a distant dream; COP26, the UK energy crisis, the COVID pandemic all echoing around us – all of which being huge catalysts for smart tech integration, the question seems to beckon: are the promises of the last year being brought to fruition?

Well, the good news is 2021 appears to have made a positive impact on the number of organisations adopting smart technology for their buildings, with the recent push for sustainability becoming an important factor in business operations. Whether that be HVAC control, monitoring assets and devices or simply monitoring energy use more closely, a recent study even shows that the smart building market is predicted to be worth $108.9 billion by 2025. Astonishing!

With this new focus on facilities that save money and reduce waste, patterns and trends have begun emerging…

Safe buildings in a post-COVID world 

There have been many lessons learnt from the pandemic, and in a way, it’s almost highlighted the absurd lack of solutions used to reduce the spread of sickness within workspaces. Even without COVID, reducing the spread of ANY illness ultimately means fewer sick employees and a subsequent increase to annual productivity – so when it comes to ROI, you can see an immediate appeal.

Some of the ways safer buildings have been encouraged include:

  1. HVAC monitoring and control for better ventilation and improved air quality.
  2. Occupancy control and visibility to reduce the over-population of buildings.
  3. Facilities introducing social distancing guidelines and hot-desk policies.

You can see more features of buildings adapted to the new normal in this infographic by Siemens.

Energy monitoring to reduce waste and save cash

One of the most significant ways to transform a building into a waste-free smart facility is by monitoring energy consumption and reacting to spikes and inconsistencies. By doing this, organisations are able to use only the energy they need and as such reduce their energy costs AND carbon footprint.

It’s a huge win-win and can be a golden ticket for energy managers and sustainability managers alike.

Don’t just take it from me though, you can find out all about energy monitoring solutions over on the Hark website.

Predictive maintenance and the proactive monitoring of assets and devices

By gaining visibility of issues with assets or devices, engineers are empowered to extend the lifetime of their infrastructure, while making it smarter. A huge benefit of doing this is the reduction of maintenance call-outs and the ability to see when device placements are or aren’t needed, which can have a positive knock-on effect for Capex.

When problems are detected, analytics platforms such as The Hark Platform are able to alert the relevant people in order to ensure no disruption is caused.

Energy storage and microgrid generation

While not all organisations have the facilities to introduce energy storage batteries and renewable energy generators into their estate, for those that can, there are huge benefits.

In a time where energy costs are generally at an all-time high (in the UK, at least), the ability to store excess energy and even generate your own is a precious commodity indeed. Due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy and the indeterminable fluctuations of energy costs at any time during the day, being able to switch to your own stored energy or your own solar panels whenever costs exceed a certain threshold is extremely valuable. This is something we expect to see much more of in the coming years, as the drive to NetZero becomes ever more imperative.

As separate trends these may not seem massively significant, but when combined, they form a powerful smart building solution which organisations are striving towards more and more.

A complete facilities management package like this can reduce wasted cash and carbon, while ultimately providing a safer, more secure, and much more reactive place to work for employees or visitors. The fact is that the sooner a business adopts this kind of technology, the sooner they’ll get the ROI for it and be seen to be both sustainable and health leaders.

If you’d like to know more about how easy it is to get this technology deployed in your facility, you can contact us today.

Carlos Nisbet
Carlos Nisbet
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