If you’re considering investing in smart technology for your facility, you’re in good company. Recent research shows that the global smart building market is expected to grow from an estimated $7.42 billion in 2017 to nearly $32 billion by 2022. And a recent survey of 20 countries found that 57 percent of U.S. organizations and 59 percent of global organizations plan to increase their investments in smart building measures related to energy efficiency in 2019.
So how exactly does building optimization translate to real-world results? Take a look at the four smart building benefits below to see what you can expect, depending on the type of technology you choose to implement.
4 Benefits Of Smart Buildings
1. They help you save money.
Keeping building operations costs in check is a challenge for every facilities manager. And while spending on new technology might seem counterintuitive to saving money, you will see cost savings over the long term. Here’s how:
- You can pinpoint areas of waste and address them. Power-hungry machinery, inefficient lights and equipment, and proper time of use can all be addressed—if you’re aware of your real time energy usage. A building enabled with technology gives you granular data regarding every pump, motor, compressor, boiler, light, etc., so you can see where your building’s energy usage is concentrated. With greater visibility into operations and equipment you can pinpoint inefficient pieces of equipment or wasteful usage patterns and make deliberate improvements to reduce your energy consumption—and costs—overall.
- You can fix things before they break. This IBM Watson commercial is humorous and right on point. The data you gather from your smart building technology can help you predict when something’s going to fail. Predictive maintenance allows you to avoid an expensive emergency technician visit and the costs associated with downtime. (Not to mention the inconvenience of a last-minute repair.)
- You can formulate a smarter demand response strategy. Utility companies charge more for power at certain times of the day than others—usually the times when everyone else is also demanding it. Knowing the energy usage of all your equipment at all times throughout the day can help you plan ahead to avoid those high-demand times (and charges). Smart building technology can help with that, giving you the ability to shift the power demand in your favor, and reducing your energy bill dramatically.
2. They promote happier, more productive tenants.
Smart building benefits aren’t limited to cost savings, they also extend to people. Optimizing the human experience is important for attracting and retaining tenants, and can boost productivity and satisfaction among employees. Here’s how:
- You can improve indoor air quality (IAQ). Studies have shown that, as air quality goes down, so does productivity. Smart buildings allow you to track indoor air quality—CO2, dust particles, volatile organic compounds (VOC), humidity level, and more—and make improvements toward healthier working and living. (And if you think a bit of lost productivity is worth the cost, another study showed that, from 2000 to 2008, improvements in air quality nationwide are estimated to have saved manufacturers $20 billion annually from productivity loss!)
- You can improve your tenants’ comfort level. A 2012 study found that only about 40 percent of U.S. workers were satisfied with their office temperatures; design standards call for a rate closer to 80 percent. And 53 percent of employees say they’re less productive when the office is cold. The trend today is more modern, livable workspaces; smart buildings make it possible to enhance the human experience and cut costs at the same time.
3. They increase sustainability.
Optimizing energy and resource use is a concern faced by many facilities managers, who are sometimes tasked with meeting certain objectives related to sustainability. Four in five U.S. firms are currently putting sustainability strategies in place for a variety of reasons, ranging from revenue growth to cutting costs to keeping pace with competitors. (One firm’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact and improve efficiency reduced its annual operating costs by $1.5 million.) Technology makes it possible for buildings to operate at optimum energy levels and reduce their carbon footprint—making them both smart and sustainable.
4. They give your property a competitive advantage.
Thanks to the smart building benefits listed above, commercial real estate value is now about more than just location. The presence of smart technology is also becoming a market differentiator. Not only are prospective buyers interested in the bottom-line benefits connected to energy use and maintenance, but also in the ways data allows them to connect with their tenants, strengthening tenant engagement. Technology also makes potential problems and issues easier to identify, diagnose, and manage—another plus. Deloitte even suggests that a building lacking “smart” features may trade at a discount.
Want to know how you can start reaping the benefits associated with smart buildings?
If you’re interested in smart technology but aren’t sure how to get started, talk to us. Our mission is to help organizations like yours increase efficiencies, lower costs, and streamline operations with simple Internet of Things technology solutions. It may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! We’re happy to answer any questions you have about how you can improve the performance of your building, and about our solutions. Contact us today to learn more.