In the last decades, Building Intelligence (BI) has become a widespread concept applied in different types of buildings of diverse scales. Whether a building is intelligent in terms of its performance, services, systems or all of the three aspects combined, the aim of BI is to enhance the comfort and safety of the occupants, and at the same time enable them to acquire a high level of control over the various parameters that can determine how healthy the environment inside a building is. Consequently, BI not only enhances the productivity and the wellbeing of the users (building occupiers), but also helps to achieve resource efficiency, cost effectiveness, flexibility and adaptability. Moreover, BI is recently being intertwined with sustainability concepts (incorporating green buildings in the context) as means to achieve energy conservation requirements of today due to ambitious targets set by many countries around the world.
Due to the rapid progress in network technology and the information system (as part of the ICT), the ways of living and working have been directly and indirectly affected. Traditional residential buildings (i.e. our homes) are no longer capable to satisfactorily accommodate the impact caused by the developing technology. Thus, the scope of Intelligent Buildings (IBs) has gradually extended from office building automation to residential building automation, and created something called ‘smart or ‘intelligent’ homes these days. Smart Buildings (SBs) are dynamic buildings and can provide new capabilities to meet organizational or residential needs which are part of learning new things. Existing buildings can also be SBs with integration, i.e. integration of systems, services and technology, to serve their users and to operate, maintain and manage the buildings. Integration can similarly be used to enhance safety and security. Importantly, cost can be a challenge as a smart building often means investing upfront money for life-cycle savings, however, by spending upfront it is possible to lower life-cycle costs dramatically in the long term which is also sustainable.
This will be done by using several techniques including:
- Communications: telephone, Internet and video use.
- Security: surveillance via surveillance cameras.
- Energy saving and resource control.
- Management and use of parking lots.
- 24 hours’ control.
- Operation and management of facilities.
- Billing services for modern and updated facilities.