As modern technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) and 5G networking advance and become increasingly intertwined with the world around us, we are witnessing the rise of a new generation of tech-based infrastructure: smart buildings.

A smart building uses sensors, IoT devices and AI to optimise performance, enhance the comfort and wellbeing of occupants and reduce environmental impact. Incorporated systems like building and energy management systems are designed to monitor and control various building functions.

From lighting, heating and ventilation to air conditioning, security and energy consumption, these advanced technologies allow for greater control over operations, changing how we live and work inside our buildings. In fact, the number of homes actively utilising smart technologies is expected to reach around 785 million by 2028.

Clearly, property builders are seeing the value of investing in modern tech to develop more resilient, convenient homes. But this is just one of the catalysts driving growth in the intelligent building market…

With a focus on the UK’s net-zero by 2025 commitments, reducing emissions within the built environment will play a significant role in mitigating environmental impacts and working towards a greener future.

So, how are the latest smart building technologies helping to meet these requirements?

Going green with intelligent building technology

The pressure is well and truly on for housing developers — especially with the potential introduction of schemes like the Smart Building Rating (SBR).

The SBR will aim to assess a building’s performance on several factors, including its ability to generate and store renewable energy, its energy efficiency and its demand response capabilities.

Luckily, industry 4.0 technologies present several opportunities for housing and building developers to meet environmental targets — and improve the quality of homes, offices and other facilities.

For example, lights can be turned on and off through motion detection sensors to reduce lighting costs and lighting controls can be integrated with automated blinds or daylight sensors to optimise the use of natural light.

Smart windows can also be utilised to lighten or darken the building in response to sunlight intensity, reducing the load on lighting and HVAC systems — and intelligent HVAC systems can automate the control of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to manage energy consumption.

Incorporating smart building technology at the start of construction optimises energy performance from the outset — and also covers the energy standards and regulations that buildings must comply with in the UK.

But what are smart tech’s other uses and benefits in the home?

Optimising the day-to-day

Nearly every aspect of the home has seen the introduction of an intelligent technology alternative…

Keyless smart locks

Via an app, wireless smart locks enable residents to lock and unlock the door remotely and monitor who is coming and going.

Because smart locks function differently from traditional locks, it is tough to compromise them — and some smart locks offer features like auto-locking that allows users to set a time at which their door will lock automatically at night.

Home security

Sensors can provide advanced access control through facial recognition or smartphone identification — and door monitoring systems alert residents to unexpected or unauthorised visitors. These capabilities give homeowners higher visibility and control of their security.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems

RFID systems can help detect moisture that could indicate a pipe leak, alerting homeowners and allowing them to resolve the problem quickly.

Installing these tech capabilities in new and existing structures to increase efficiencies and reduce pollution is crucial. However, as homes become smarter, developers will have new obstacles to tackle — from ensuring IoT networks are cyber secure to choosing products and suppliers that take an uncompromising approach to quality.

So, is it imperative for building developers to choose suppliers and manufacturers that can guarantee superior performance and reliability — without exception.

Leave it to the experts

In the fast-paced and increasingly digital landscape, smart building developers need technology-first solutions they can trust — no matter the size or purpose of the project.

At Swan EMS, we have vast experience within this sector, having developed cable assemblies, PCB assemblies and other components for use in various building automation and control systems.

We provide first-class electronics manufacturing services, catering to the needs of both digital and analogue systems, and our teams ensure optimal performance and intrinsic safety for all the components we produce.

Plus, our quality management system is certified to EN ISO/IEC 80079-34:2018 standards in line with IECEx and ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU — meaning our customers can rest assured that their building control solutions deliver on every expectation for safety, performance and durability.

Keen to learn more about how our electronics manufacturing experience in the building controls sector can help your next project? Get in touch at 01495 320 989 or email to discuss your requirements today.