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Buildings getting smarter and more personal

Installation Staff 10 February 2015

Over 200 delegates attended yesterday’s Smart Building Conference at The RAI. The full-day conference comprised plenary sessions and dedicated seminar on commercial and residential smart building.

Smarter sensors, location-based technology and intelligent data sharing systems are set to transform the buildings of tomorrow. That was the forecast of Dipak Raval, head of smart building infrastructure at Cambridge Consultants. Speaking at the Smart Building Conference at ISE 2015, Raval said: “The emergence of low-cost, low-power wireless connectivity is changing the game significantly.”

“Today’s buildings are not that smart,” he added, noting how systems for access, heating, lighting are limited and localised. “They don’t share information, and tend to be wired and very expensive.” Raval revealed how a new generation of wireless sensors will not only reduce costs, but also enable adjustments to be made for specific locations or even individuals. “It would be possible to personalise our environment so that the lighting changed according to whether my PC was turned on or off,” said Raval.

Wearable technology could be used for improved security and access systems, and the data generated then used to track a person moving around a building, said Raval. “If someone walked into an office, the heating and lighting could automatically be adjusted
for them.”

The biggest challenge to adoption of these technologies is ease of integration, said Raval. Asked by the ISE Daily, whether people would feel comfortable about being tracked around a building, Raval said: “Employees are used to wearing ID badges at work and this is just a natural extension. If people can see the benefits of the technology, it will break down any barriers.”

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