Whether or not sustainability is your goal, smart building is the wave of the future. Gone are the days of development that don’t provide personalized value and security. Smart construction and building technology are here to stay. As a sustainable effort, smart building leads to an increase in efficiency while consumption is dramatically reduced, providing major savings all around. It’s a win-win!
No matter the size of your project, finding ways to save is always a factor. While cutting corners is a method used by some, we find that this costs more money in the long run. The best way to reduce costs is with proper planning and smart building design. At Loder Construction, we get it right the first time.
You may already be familiar with technology such as smart TVs, phones, and watches, but this is just the tip of the iceberg for possibilities! Before we elaborate on how smart building can save you money, let’s examine precisely what smart building entails.
What Is A Smart Building?
Smart building employs the use of building automation systems to enable user control from a handheld device, such as a smartphone, or a central hub. With a simple press of a button, users can access controls to various building systems. Systems can even be linked together to regulate several processes simultaneously.
A variety of different applications go into the creation of smart technology. Sensors are a prime example. The use of sensors can detect changes in the environment and instruct a system to make modifications accordingly. Managing room lighting can be accomplished with motion sensors, for example. Sensors can also be used to detect more subtle variances, such as those in temperature.
The level of sophistication of smart systems also varies. For example, continuous data collection can be used to analyze energy usage to help facility managers make informed decisions about building energy consumption. Such information can be invaluable, enabling improved operations and increased efficiency resulting in significant savings.
As technology continues to advance, systems become more intuitive, ultimately leading to the connection of numerous operations into one user-friendly interface.
How Far Can Smart Building Go?
A prime example of how far you can take your smart building design is The Edge building in Amsterdam. The goal leading to the creation of this building was to develop a smart building to consolidate employees from multiple locations into a single building. The transition into the digital age led to the creation of a radically modern work environment facilitated by the integration of sustainable technologies.
The environmental features of this project highlight innovation in smart building technology. Not only is the building energy neutral, it’s also energy positive using 70% less electricity than comparable office buildings. The Edge is the ultimate example of how far you can take your smart building design. Some building features include photovoltaic panels, an aquifer thermal energy storage system, 28,000 sensors used to analyze heat, light, humidity, and motion.
Save On Energy Costs
For businesses adopting smart building technology, a significant cut in energy costs can be achieved. The use of smart sensors and meters provide efficiency through improvements in lighting, HVAC, fire, and security systems.
Through a continual collection of data and the ability to make continuous automated adjustments, the technology used in smart buildings swiftly facilitates energy and operational efficiency. Traditional building design does not allow multiple building operations to communicate. Systems such as HVAC, fire safety, lighting, and security surveillance all work separately.
However, with the implementation of smart technology, these systems can feed into a central network and work in sync with each other. This results in active sustainability leading to improved efficiency and reduced consumption. In turn, utility costs are reduced. This also offers additional appeal to potential tenants, resulting in lower vacancy rates.
The US Energy Information Administration reports HVAC systems to account for more than 50% of energy use in commercial buildings. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), smart technology could reduce the annual energy consumption of HVAC systems by 18%.
Additional savings with the use of smart technology have been estimated as 28% for plugged equipment and 33% for lighting. Combined, these reductions in energy can equate to thousands or even millions in financial savings each year.
Savings Beyond Energy Efficiency
The benefits of smart building technology go beyond energy efficiency. Smart technology promotes enhanced business intelligence, increased revenue, innovation, and company competitiveness. These aspects also lead to improved employee morale and retention, providing considerable cost savings to business owners.
In addition to sustainability and reduced operational expenditure, the long-term benefits of smart building lead to revenue opportunities and increase supply chain efficiency. For example, one of the nation’s largest supermarket chains has implemented an “intelligent shelf” system to display pricing and product information. Such changes are being seen across a wide range of industries as they strive to enhance customer experience and implement resource-saving technologies.
Smart buildings with improved ventilation and lower toxin levels in the air have also been shown to improve employees’ cognitive performance and overall alertness. According to the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard, a comfortable workforce is a productive workforce. Providing employees with a happy and comfortable work environment leads to significant savings overall.
Increased productivity has been seen with the use of apps designed to inform employees about cafeteria menus and allow them to pre-order their meals. Desks and conference rooms can be fitted with wireless charging systems, enabling employees to charge devices from anywhere.
Check Out Financial Incentives
Federal and local governments recognize the need for renewable energy, which is why programs are explicitly offered to incentivize smart building. For example, the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides a federal corporate tax credit for businesses that develop, finance, or install renewable energy technologies such as solar power, fuel cells, wind turbines, or combined heat and power systems, to name a few options.
Additionally, many states offer sales tax exemptions for renewable energy equipment or energy-efficient products. In California, for example, renewable energy equipment, combined heat and power equipment, and alternative transportation equipment are exempt from sales or use taxes.
Are you considering the installation of solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, geothermal, hydro, or biomass technologies for your commercial build? Many states also offer income tax credits for these investments. The bottom line, there are many smart building incentive programs available to help offset construction costs.
Overhaul Your Building’s Operations And Effectiveness
Cost-effective management of your operational expenses can be achieved by integrating all business operations into one cohesive whole with a building management system. Access and manage heating, lighting, and air conditioning systems, security and surveillance, and access controls, with smart building technology to optimize effectiveness. A building management system provides advantages to any smart building investment.
Smart building allows you to use resources only when needed, and to identify and manage wasteful resource use. For example, the installation of outdoor moisture sensors can accurately detect air precipitation allowing the regulation of irrigation systems to activate as needed. Similarly, biometric sensors can control lighting based on room usage.
Smart building design will not only provide savings on operation costs but also in the maintenance of equipment. Malfunction detection devices, for example, offer sustainable solutions to costly repairs by catching errors on the spot.
An overhaul of your building operations will enable you to utilize resources more efficiently, reduce waste, lower operating costs, conserve natural resources, recycle wastewater, monitor real-time operations, collect data, detect problems within your systems, raise alerts for issues, interact with other systems, and much more.
The Best Choice For Your Smart Building Project
Ready to embrace cutting-edge automated platforms? Whether you’re interested in smart building development or updating an existing building with current technologies, Loder Construction can help.
Loder Construction has proudly served San Francisco to Tahoe, Fresno to Chico, and everywhere in between since 1995. As commercial general contractors, our primary goal is customer satisfaction through superior quality and cost. Our success has been built on client trust, communication, and the ability to deliver precisely what clients want.
As a group of dedicated professionals with a passion for building, we take personal ownership of each project as if it were our own. The Loder Construction staff, subcontractors, and suppliers are dedicated to working hard and providing exemplary customer service.
Loder Construction is the “on-call” General Contractor for many property owners and developers in the Sacramento area. From ground up construction and custom builds to outdoor facilities and sports complexes, no job is too big for us to handle. Our vast portfolio exemplifies our full range of capabilities.
For help with efficient estimating, building sanitation, or learning about our pre-construction process, please contact us today!
He received his first hammer at 4 years old, not that he wanted one but, because he kept “borrowing” his father’s. Construction has been a part of his life and being raised as a six-generation carpenter, it came naturally. As a boy he visited his father and grandfather on their construction site, and he learned what was being built. High school and college summers were spent soaked in sweat, at the end of broom as his apprentice skills improved. After graduating from Fresno State with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2008, he started running small Tenant Improvements for Loder Construction and excelled in keeping projects on-time and on budget.