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What are smart buildings?

Here’s a quick look into the cutting-edge technology that’s transforming facility management.

June 17, 2019 | By Dave Englebrick

neon smart city animated image

Owning or operating a building is a massive capital expense for businesses. Thus, property owners and facility managers are always looking for ways to make buildings more efficient and sustainable, while also ensuring the buildings are safe and comfortable. Utilizing cutting-edge technology—like the Internet of Things—is an innovative way to automate, connect and ultimately revolutionize traditional building management systems.

What is smart building technology?

Smart buildings leverage IoT technologies to control, connect and optimize building management systems. Think: lighting, security systems, HVAC systems and more. When connected, these systems share data back and forth, providing key insights that lead to higher efficiency, greater safety and comfort and lower cost of operation. This is essentially the ultimate goal of property owners and facility managers everywhere. But most of the complexity when integrating devices lies in mitigating threats and managing data—it demands a clear vision and detailed roadmap.

Minimizing risk

Taking on a smart building transformation presents exciting and innovative opportunities; it also increases the need for cybersecurity. Getting your risk and security ducks in a row is one of the most critical elements in smart building technology implementations.

The reality is, the rate of internet connections is outpacing companies’ ability to secure it. These systems need to be protected against attacks (and continuously updated) as new threats arise. While many organizations have developed mature processes and controls for securing and protecting their networks and systems, it is often the case that networks related to smart building technology are overlooked, leaving them the perfect target for cyberthreats.

Going green and financial optimization

You’ve heard it before: data is the new oil. And a major boon of smart building technology is data collection and analysis. Data insights around energy use—such as total energy consumed or room temperature trends—can help facility managers, developers and building owners make educated energy decisions for the building and tenants, ultimately driving sustainability, efficiency and cost savings. Since smart building technology encourages financial optimization, all members of a building ecosystem can extract value from IoT solutions.

Ultimately, smart building technology is the wave of the future. Will you be riding?


Dave Englebrick serves as a Practice Manager within TEKsystems’ Networking and Unified Communications practice. He has more than 28 years of industry experience in design, operations and R&D within the telecommunications realm. Dave has supported K-12 and higher education for 15 years, as well as the state of Kansas and Missouri. His knowledge spans from Cisco to Avaya voice, focusing his Cisco UC discipline on design implementation.

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