An intelligent building is fit-for-purpose, responsibly consumes resources and supports a healthy environment for end users. The journey to such a structure begins with assessing the aforementioned characteristics and identifying a baseline for future improvements. Next is to establish a project plan that outlines goals, a timeline and a budget, and is endorsed by building executives. Building Operating Management shares a few initial changes that can make any existing building smarter:

To start, implement occupancy sensors that determine whether a space is occupied to control the lighting. These same sensors can be used to control other systems as well, such as adjusting the HVAC when a space is unoccupied, turning off displays and speakers in unoccupied conference rooms, and sending alarms to security if unauthorized movement throughout the space is detected. Additionally, smart, in-building transportation systems, such as elevators and escalators, can be programmed to slow down or stop moving when unoccupied to save energy.

Once the fundamentals are put in place, a building can take the next step toward intelligence. An intelligent building will take all of the information from its smart building components and analyze, package and distribute the data automatically with the goal of continuous and automatic improvement.

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