Smart technology is a key enabler in achieving sustainable and liveable cities. Making informed decisions about which technologies best support a city’s overall development strategy depends on establishing the right governance and identifying the most suitable technical concepts.
About Smart City
Smart Cities arise from the shift that is occurring in the ICT industry to a new technology platform for growth and innovation. As cities operate in a globally competitive environment – or workers, tourists, and businesses – the ultimate goal of Smart City initiatives are to attract businesses and citizens to ensure a vibrant city economy. To do this, cities must tackle a wide range of urban challenges (growing demand for power, waste management, traffic management, etc.) through coordinated and focused investment. Smart Building technologies represent one such area of investment that cities need to consider as part of the wider Smart City ecosystem.
Smart concepts for smart city
- Smart technical concepts – cities should explore and identify the smart concepts available to solve an issue. This could include district heating/cooling, energy and water synergy parks, or blue-green infrastructure,
- Smart technologies – ICT can be used to support improved sustainability. This could include technologies such as water metering that minimize the use of resources, free parking space detection systems, or ‘green waves’ that prioritise traffic flows for bicycles.
Smart solutions a successful smart city
- Energy efficiency and sustainability are major features of a smart building. Buildings on average consume about 30% of the world’s energy, and savings of up to a quarter of costs could be achieved by using advanced building management systems and analytics to optimize performance in areas such as ventilation, temperature, lighting and air quality.
- Technological innovations in improving energy consumption, water usage and indoor air quality, as well as access to better data about how efficiently commercial buildings are run, can increase operational efficiency, limit costs and cut consumption of resources for owners and operators. However, the high cost of initial investment versus perceived value is still a concern affecting adoption rates.
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are intended to detect automatically and respond intelligently to variables such as weather conditions, time of day and occupancy of the building, with the help of sensors and other data gathering equipment. For example, HVAC systems in smart buildings should be able to switch off lights automatically in areas where there are no occupants, or adjust the temperature according to weather conditions and the number of occupants in a room.
- Other elements of a smart building include sensors for detecting motion, noise, moisture, temperature, humidity, fire and smoke, carbon dioxide and hazardous gas; integration with city wide water recycling systems and pneumatic waste disposal systems; remote surveillance, security and access control systems; and data infrastructure.
- These complex and multiple interconnected systems need to communicate and coordinate with one another for buildings to work efficiently. Connectivity is ensured through the provision of a combination of wireless, fiber and mobile networks; distributed antenna systems (DAS) can extend wireless and mobile network coverage with additional antenna nodes.
- There is a growing market for advanced occupancy sensors, carbon dioxide sensors, thermostats and photo sensors that can gather data about movement, heat, light and use of space to adapt to changing building conditions and make real-time alterations to a building’s environment. This helps to reduce energy use and improve air quality.
The growing amount and variety of data generated by interconnected devices from various departments in smart buildings can provide added value in terms of better building performance, energy efficiency, space utilization and predictive maintenance costs.