Commercial buildings are getting smarter thanks to internet-connected devices, smart sensors and data analytics. In fact, the market for smart building technology is exploding and is expected to grow from $81 billion in 2022 to more than $300 billion by 2029.
So, what’s the latest in smart building tech? Here are three big trends that you should be aware of:
1. Touchless tech
COVID-19 changed the way people think about public spaces. In the aftermath of the pandemic, people remain leery of touching things like door handles, light switches or even elevator buttons. These concerns are accelerating the adoption of touchless tech in a variety of areas. These are a few examples of what’s happening in the space:
- Voice-driven tech allows passengers to step into an elevator and speak the floor number rather than push a button.
- Touchless displays that use artificial intelligence and sensors can determine where you want to touch the screen.
- Modern touchless entry systems allow you to open doors with an app on your phone or another mobile device. Voice recognition technology will also improve access control systems.
In addition to reducing the spread of germs, touchless tech can improve building security. Growth trends include the use of biometric authentication systems such as fingerprint and eye scanning, as well as artificial intelligence-driven facial recognition technologies.
2. Indoor air quality monitoring
COVID also elevated indoor air quality (IAQ) from what might have been an afterthought to something that’s top of mind. We’re all much more concerned about what’s in the air we’re breathing than we were two or three years ago.
IAQ sensors and smart air filtration systems monitor things like carbon dioxide levels, temperature and humidity. They can even measure the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) off-gassed by carpet, furniture, paint and other products commonly used in construction.
Long-term exposure to VOCs can be harmful to our health, but here’s the good news: smart buildings equipped with IAQ sensors can reduce exposure by reminding you to change air filters or prompting you to have your HVAC system serviced to increase airflow.
3. Building operations management
Smart building management tools like occupancy sensors and smart lighting allow you to monitor and manage your energy use in real time, ensuring you’re not heating, cooling or lighting empty spaces. Ultimately, these systems can save you money if you employ automation strategies focused on energy efficiency.
For office building owners, smart building management systems can increase the value of your property and help you and your tenants meet your sustainability goals. Because these systems are largely automated, they also require fewer people to manage building operations, which is a bonus in a challenging and competitive labor market.
These and other advanced technologies can help you create a smarter building that can save you money, reduce your carbon emissions and create a healthier indoor environment.