Despite the benefits that technology is known to bring, not all end users are convinced of the return on investment that such structures bring to their business. For systems integrators and solution providers in the sphere of green and eco-friendly smart buildings, selling their solutions to customers would require a bit of convincing. Despite the benefits that technology is known to bring, not all end users are convinced of the return on investment that such structures bring to their business.
This is where a clear presentation of the comprehensive advantages of eco-friendly smart buildings that make use of network connectivity should be made. In a recent blog post, Atin Chhabra, GM and Head of Digital Customer Experience (DCX) for Schneider Electric in the India Region, elaborated on a related point as he explained the benefits of network-enabled green buildings.
“The eco-buildings are building projects that work in the direction of conserving most of the natural environment around the project site,” Chhabra said. “The development and construction promote a healthy environment for all involved. It is inevitable that this infrastructure will not disrupt the land, water, resources and energy in and around the building.”
The avalanche of technology constantly brings forward more comprehensive and developed practices in creating greener structures, he added. The benefits of green buildings are multifold, ranging from environmental to economic to social. By adopting greener practices, one can leverage maximum advantage of environmental and economic performance. Green construction methods, when integrated with smart building automation, provide the most significant benefits.
Generally speaking, the advantages of technology-enabled eco-friendly smart buildings can be categorized into three types, environmental, economic and social. The key, when selling the product to the customer is to make them understand that ultimately, even the first and last category would contribute to the economic benefits in the medium to long-term.
1. Environmental benefits
One of the major advantages in this regard is the lower usage of water in smart buildings. Intelligent automation systems can radically improve the process of estimating how much water is needed and when. This can help the system control the availability of water and thereby save this precious commodity.
Speaking of such natural resources, there are other benefits as well. Smarter usage of power means that smart buildings will be able to conserve energy with the use of products like smart meters and grids.
Smart buildings would also be better equipped to keep the environment clean, especially within its walls. The intelligent air purifiers that may be embedded in the building will be able to optimize the performance of these buildings.
“Smart buildings imply that the flow of air and temperature can be regulated as per requirement,” Chhabra said. “Moreover, advanced building management systems have air and water purification system embedded – making it fit for use.”
2. Economic benefits
The obvious point in this regard is lower operational costs. Chhabra pointed out that although the initial installation costs may be high, the overall costs of operation, in the long run, would be reduced by a great deal. Then there is the crucial point of productivity. After all, organizations worldwide are constantly seeking ways to increase the productivity rate of their units.
“Smart connected devices and building help increase the productivity of a manufacturing or assembly unit,” Chhabra said. “It also encourages parallel processing of operations.”
Finally, better management of power consumption would lead to lower costs. “The design of these buildings ensure power factor correction by reduced phase difference the voltage and current,” Chhabra pointed out. There are also factors like predictive maintenance that can ensure that devices within the building are taken good care of at the right time to avoid any financial losses.
3. Social benefits
Ensuring that the people who use the building find it comfortable and convenient is one of the priorities of a smart building. Increased quality of life will lead to employees functioning better and thereby improving overall productivity. Of course, needless to say, this translates to an economic benefit as well.
Smart buildings are also able to decrease the strain on local infrastructure, according to Chhabra, which would contribute to improving the public services on the whole.