Why Build A Digital Building?

illustration of digital buildings

In today’s fast-paced and technologically advanced world, the concept of a digital building goes beyond mere connectivity. It offers a range of benefits, including energy savings of up to 30%, a boost in employee productivity by up to 16%, and a 5% increase in operating income. By integrating building systems such as lighting, air quality management, and physical security into a single IP network, organizations can achieve enhanced energy efficiency, productivity gains, and improved experiences for occupants or employees.

The Advantages of Implementing a Digital Building Solution

Increase Resource Efficiency

A digital building enables centralized management of core building components, resulting in improved energy savings. By connecting components like HVAC and lighting to the network, these systems can be activated or deactivated based on real-time occupancy data collected through networked sensors. This intelligent control ensures that resources are utilized efficiently and minimizes energy waste.

Increase Workforce Productivity

Lighting plays a crucial role in office settings, and studies have shown a direct correlation between lighting and productivity. According to the American Society of Interior Design, 68% of employees express discontent with the lighting in their offices. Optimally managed lighting within a well-designed digital building can positively impact employee stress levels and productivity. A connected lighting system can be programmed to simulate natural light or be customized to suit individual preferences, enhancing moods, promoting well-being, and increasing energy levels in the workplace.

Automatically Adapt to Changing Conditions

By leveraging sensors connected to the building’s IP network, a digital building can detect movement and adjust environmental conditions accordingly. For instance, when sensors detect movement in a ballroom, a connected HVAC system can automatically distribute cool air to maintain comfort for occupants. This adaptability ensures that the building environment remains optimized for the needs of its users, enhancing occupant satisfaction and well-being.

Optimizing the Customer or Client Experience

A well-designed digital building allows for high levels of customization, leading to enhanced customer experiences. For example, the color and intensity of LED lights can be adjusted to draw attention to specific items, spaces, or thematic elements, such as highlighting a particular product or creating a festive atmosphere. This level of customization contributes to a memorable and engaging experience for customers or clients.

3 Steps to Creating an Intelligent Digital Building

Step 1: Network Convergence

Building infrastructure must be united within a single IP network. By consolidating all systems and components onto a common network, installation, management, and reconfiguration become more streamlined. Network convergence lays the foundation for creating an intelligent building.

Step 2: Data Collection and Analytics

A digital building connected to a common network provides the capability to collect data on customer behavior, employee behavior, and building usage patterns. By analyzing this data, organizations gain valuable insights into space utilization and can make informed decisions to optimize building design and performance.

Step 3: The Emergence of a Mature Digital Workplace

The digital workplace represents the convergence of people, organizations, and tools. It combines physical and digital elements to create an intelligent environment that promotes employee engagement and delivers a positive customer experience. Continual enhancements based on data insights drive ongoing improvements in office, building, or campus functionality.

Benefits of Digital Buildings

Digital buildings also referred to as smart buildings or intelligent buildings, leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to integrate various building systems and produce efficient, economical, and user-friendly environments. Here are some key benefits of adopting digital buildings:

Energy Efficiency

Real-time monitoring and data collection allow businesses to optimize energy consumption, resulting in lower energy bills, reduced carbon footprint, and increased sustainability. By analyzing occupancy, natural light availability, and usage patterns, organizations can create energy-efficient spaces and even work towards achieving LEED certifications.

Occupant Experience

Digital buildings offer intuitive interfaces that allow operators to adjust environmental conditions to create a comfortable and personalized experience for occupants. This includes temperature control, lighting adjustments, and access to amenities. By collecting data on parking availability and occupancy rates, businesses can enhance the overall experience for occupants and visitors.

Cost Savings

The optimization of energy usage and informed decision-making in digital buildings lead to significant cost savings. Real-time monitoring of system performance enables predictive maintenance, avoiding costly disruptions. Additionally, data-driven insights help businesses optimize energy consumption and reduce waste.

Predictive Maintenance

IoT sensors placed throughout digital buildings allow for real-time monitoring of systems and equipment. This enables proactive maintenance, identifying and addressing issues before they escalate into major problems. By staying ahead of maintenance needs, organizations can ensure uninterrupted operations and avert potential disruptions.

Increased Security

Digital buildings can integrate with electronic security systems, providing real-time video surveillance, access control, and analytics to enhance security monitoring. Real-time alerts and notifications enable rapid responses to emergencies, ensuring the safety of occupants and minimizing liability.

Precautions of Digital Buildings

While digital buildings offer numerous benefits, their implementation requires careful consideration and precautions to ensure optimal performance and security. One of the primary concerns is cybersecurity. As digital buildings rely heavily on interconnected devices and data exchange, they become susceptible to potential cyber threats and attacks. Organizations must prioritize robust cybersecurity measures, including network encryption, regular security audits, and continuous monitoring to safeguard sensitive data and protect against unauthorized access. Additionally, as digital buildings heavily rely on technology, there is a need for redundancy planning and backup systems to mitigate the impact of any system failures. Proper training for building operators and occupants on utilizing digital building features and understanding potential risks is also crucial to avoid unintentional mishaps. Regular maintenance and updates to the building’s infrastructure and systems are essential to ensure their continued reliability and functionality. By taking these precautions, organizations can maximize the benefits of digital buildings while minimizing potential risks.

Setting Up a Digital Building

The transition to a digital building environment offers numerous advantages, including increased resource efficiency, improved workforce productivity, optimized customer experiences, cost savings, and enhanced security. By leveraging network convergence, data analytics, and ongoing enhancements, organizations can create intelligent digital workplaces that drive efficiency, sustainability, and occupant satisfaction. Embracing the concept of digital buildings is not only a step toward the future but also a strategic investment in creating smarter, more efficient, and human-centric built environments.

Digital illustration of skyscrapers

An illustration of a digital structure

Related Link: Data Integration Architecture for Smart Buildings

Related Link: What is a Smart Building and How Will it Benefit You?

Related Link: What Is BIPV? Building Integrated Photovoltaics

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Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Josh Mahan

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