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What is a Smart Building?

A smart building is a highly customizable set of independent systems such as closed-circuit television, air temperature sensors, illumination controls and key card access points that monitor, communicate and adapt to the changing conditions in and around a physical structure to meet stakeholders’ objectives and goals.

The foundation of a smart building is an internally connected system that has Internet access for the purposes of remote monitoring and management via a building management system, also known as a building automation system or BAS.

Who uses Smart Buildings?

Stakeholders using a smart building include retail tenants, retail shoppers, passengers, students, apartment and office tenants, security personnel, building operators, building management and building owners.

Stakeholder demands can vary, but some examples are high-speed Internet access via Wi-Fi, smart parking spot notifications, app-enabled heating, cooling and lighting controls, occupant count tracking and customized key card access.

A fully developed smart building ecosystem securely collects, analyzes and adapts to multiple data sources including:

  • Asset Maintenance
  • Building Management System
  • Capital Forecasting
  • Cogeneration (Wind, Solar, Geothermal)
  • Digital and Physical Security Systems
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Metering Data
  • Power Grid Management
  • Utility Billing
  • Utility Programs (Automated Demand Response)

What are the benefits of smart building systems?

Smart building systems can mean lower energy and water consumption, enhanced employee productivity, faster maintenance and complaint troubleshooting, adaptive scheduling to optimize facility usage and machine-learning analytics that can examine historic trends and compare performance across multiple buildings.

Penn State University has realized operational efficiencies from building smart building systems and cybersecurity strategy.

When it was time to upgrade their aging infrastructure across their expansive campus, the stakes were high. The university issued a top priority to reduce risk and increase efficiency by isolating and centralizing its BACnet (Building Automation and Control network) system.

You can read the whole Penn State & GrayMatter Smart Building story here.


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