Recently, smart buildings have become more common than ever for new commercial builds and building renovations. A smart building is any building that relies on automated solutions for everyday functions.
In comparison, buildings that do not have smart integrations will operate all internal systems separately and without many critical data points that prevent system breakdowns or security breaches. Despite the many ways that building automation solutions (BAS) have improved the way we live and work, there are still several misconceptions out there that are worth debunking. Keep reading to learn more about which pieces of misinformation you should avoid regarding smart buildings and BAS systems — let’s get into it!
Myth #1: Building Automation Solutions Only Reduce Energy Costs
Though reduced energy costs are an advantage for building automation solutions, they provide many more benefits beyond energy conservation
There are a lot of reasons why an architect, engineer, or building owner may opt for smart technology, but the #1 reason is usually the bottom line. Because of this, too many people believe that building automation solutions are only useful for cutting energy consumption and reducing total energy costs. While this is a true assessment of smart buildings, there are so many more advantages that owners, managers, employers, and employees can benefit from when it comes to smart technology.
For example, while automation does save energy, many people completely ignore the benefits of integrated operation systems via an Internet of Things (IoT). An IoT refers to any building systems that are connected through the internet. When your systems are connected, they are able to communicate with each other. While it is true that individual system automation saves money, truly smart buildings are capable of automatic internal communication that allows businesses to optimize their workflows, increase security, and predict potential failure points across all internal systems.
Myth #2: Smart Building Solutions Only Benefit Owners and Employers
Contrary to the common myth, building automation systems can improve employee productivity, workflow, and overall happiness at work
A lot of the time, the discussion surrounding smart building technology is focused on the benefits for the owners and employers. These advantages take shape in the form of money saving, predictive technology to streamline operations, or ease of installation. Though these are important advantages for owners and employers, often employees and building inhabitants get overlooked. In reality, there are so many ways that employees will benefit from the implementation of smart technology and IoT applications. Here are just a few of the many benefits that get overlooked:
- Improved air quality
- Intuitive & automatic lighting
- Automatic temperature control
- Increased building security
- Increased cyber security
- Capacity control
These innovations can both improve the lives of current employees and entice future employees to come and work in a smart building. Studies have shown that employees perform better and prefer to work in spaces equipped with smart technology. Especially in our post COVID-19 work culture, capacity control and air quality monitoring are major factors employees will consider before they return to in-person work.
Myth #3: Building Automation Solutions Leave Buildings Vulnerable to Hackers
Building automation solutions and IoT can improve cybersecurity for all fields
Depending on who you talk to, there are two ways to think about cybersecurity and building automation solutions. One camp will tell you that smart buildings are more vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches, and the other will tell you that smart buildings actually create checks and balances that prevent cyberattacks.
The correct answer is that smart buildings are able to prevent cyber attacks due to increasingly robust defense programs made for smart buildings. It is possible to integrate a cybersecurity management system as part of a building’s IoT, making cybersecurity one of the many systems that you can effortlessly integrate as a part of your building automation solutions. This way, your security system is able to protect all of the smart systems as a part of your overall building management system (BMS). These cybersecurity systems are referred to as Certified Emergency Managers (CEM) that will manage and deter any threats.
It is important to note that cybersecurity does not necessarily come built into these automated systems, which means that building owners and managers need to ensure that the CEM is integrated and working properly at all times.
Overall, smart buildings have the capability to improve the daily lives of all building stakeholders. Now that we’ve discussed and debunked the most common myths about smart buildings, there is more learning to do regarding how building automation solutions are changing the way we live and work.