Security solutions for smart buildings. – Using analytics to keep the flow in your business

Sienna Dzanic

In the quest for improved operations and sustainability metrics, smart buildings are starting to move front and center. Based on the same premise as smart cities, these connected structures both form and become part of a mini-ecosystem, interacting with the people, systems and external elements surrounding them. Smart buildings combine technology with data and the ability for existing building systems to communicate with one another, resulting in a smoother, synchronized environment that operates more safely and efficiently.

The rise of smart buildings has been driven by a number of factors, such as IoT technology, post-pandemic concerns around health and safety and improved connectivity. These moves have been supported by changing regulations and compliance, in an attempt to improve standards across industries.

Technology improves processes and helps to address concerns

The connected nature of a smart building allows for different factors such as security monitoring, control of traffic flow and energy consumption to be assessed and managed efficiently. This is critical for preparing to welcome employees or visitors into different spaces.

Different areas of the smart building require specific solutions to address the main function. Looking at the reception area, this represents the first impression for any visitor and should be used to create a welcoming and safe atmosphere. Network cameras equipped with the relevant analytics software can be used to achieve this to manage occupancy, trigger alerts when a visitor arrives and communicate messages which reinforce the measures taken to improve comfort. From a security perspective, cameras can also be used to monitor for suspicious activity or identify persons of interest.

Acting to support sustainable goals – both within the building and the city

As sustainability becomes even more of a priority – catalysed by the Covid-19 pandemic – it’s important for different factors to be managed within smart buildings, as these can contribute to the overall environmental goals of the city. With buildings consuming a large portion of global energy, there is a great drive to lessen their impact through changes which can be implemented and maintained using technology.

For example, when an area becomes less populated (as detected by network cameras), smart lighting can be triggered to turn off until a person enters the space. These measures can act to effectively reduce energy consumption but are dynamic and responsive to the occupants’ needs.

What are the challenges to making buildings smart?

Although smart buildings come with a plethora of benefits, implementing connected technology comes with a range of challenges. Updating from traditional to contemporary operating systems can be financially demanding for some businesses. In addition, the existing infrastructure can prove to be a barrier due to how systems were originally configured. Work will need to be done to integrate and unify key functions into one for streamlined operation and a connected ecosystem.

Buildings made for the future

As more sectors adopt smart buildings to improve efficiencies and streamline processes, it’s easy to see how these will contribute to the wider productivity and sustainability goals for smart cities. Connected buildings play an important part by not only controlling the impact of the activity within its walls through the Building Management System (BMS), but feeding into the efforts of all buildings and structures within the wider city ecosystem. For example, smart lighting and heating systems can have a direct impact on the building’s energy consumption, as it is only triggered when a person enters a particular area or during certain times of day.

In this way, city authorities can have a bird’s eye view of operations on a macroscale and understand the role each structure plays in supporting their sustainable objectives. Smart buildings also enable a more integrated approach to improving the health and safety of residents and visitors – especially in a post-pandemic landscape – by using data collected from sensors to inform measures that will limit crowding and access.

To find out more about Axis’ solutions for smart buildings, download the whitepaper ‘Stay on top of security solutions for smart buildings’.

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