Building automation is not only performed with a view to make buildings be or seem more modern. It is rather a matter of safety and sustainability.

Companies that spend more on R&D, besides improving their safety levels, see how their profits increase because these systems reduce energy consumption, making companies be much more efficient and competitive in economic terms, yielding considerable profits to the organization, as well as to clients and employees.

Novelties in the field of building automation

  • Building information modelling technology (BIM). Building 4.0 focuses on the use and implementation of BIM technology with respect to the construction industry. This technology generates and manages building data throughout their useful life thanks to a powerful dynamic modelling software. The information provided by the building is gathered in a database which is constantly updated.

By means of the information collected in real time, buildings having this type of technology at disposal become much more efficient and sustainable than traditional edifications, since the issues that may arise can be solved in their initial stages, reducing response time and costs to a great extent.

  • Internet of things (IoT). IoT, according to experts, will be an essential part of smart cities in the future, what is more, according to the Disruptive Technologies report developed by consultant McKinsey Global Institute, thanks to the IoT application and its low cost, industrial productivity could increase between 2 and 5%, and their estimation for the next 2025 is that between 80 and 100% of the world manufacturing industry will make use of these applications. 
  • Virtual reality and 3D applications. Virtual reality and 3D software offer a wide set of possibilities within the building sector. One of the main benefits is that architects, engineers, contractors and suppliers work connected, so the problems that may arise throughout each phase of the project can be immediately solved, reducing cost overrun derived from future problems or mistakes. Another benefit the 3D field offers us is that blueprints or mock-ups are no more needed, which entails considerable savings in each project. 

As regards virtual reality technology, this field offers many possibilities, particularly in the field of sale and purchase of real estate, since it enables to take a real walk through the space only by making use of augmented reality glasses. 

  • Drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles have opened a wide scope of possibilities in all sectors, but it is in the building industry where they are gaining more and more importance. These small aerial vehicles are very helpful when it comes to carry out building maintenance or restoration thanks to the take of high definition quality images and in real time, thus avoiding the use of cranes or systems previously used to inspect structures that are difficult to access.

Surveillance for buildings and companies is another task that has been entrusted to drones at present. Drones are fast, versatile, and have a wide field of vision, hence their use has spread beyond borders and customs.

  • Access control. In the field of building access control, a great amount of progresses have been fulfilled recently: from the arrival of biometry (fingerprint, facial, voice or iris recognition), to radiofrequency systems, etc. This technology guarantees safety to clients, employees and security within the facilities. 
  • Building automation, for its part, combines electronics, electricity and computing, and its main purpose is to generate the automatic control of a building. Building automation guarantees security in buildings facing possible intrusions, accidents and breakdowns thanks to the warning systems they have, as well as people safety through their advanced communication systems.

Building automation also guarantees user comfort thanks to their efficiency and accurate performance of each and every of its functions. Another characteristic of this system is that it offers a way to lower energy consumption, so it is efficient and sustainable.

Besides the above mentioned systems, there are others such as LED lighting, automatic doors or cloud computing (online service management), which contribute to enhance safety, user comfort and sustainability.

Building automation, electronic safety, lighting control systems or access control are part of the necessary technological advances that are required to develop a model based on smart cities, intelligent cities able to adapt to the present and future needs of citizens and the environment.

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