Going Green is Smart,

but “Smart” is more than just going Green…

“Intelligent” is the new wave!

Introduction

The term “Smart” and “Green” are often used interchangeably in the field of architecture and design, however not all that is “Green” is “Smart” and vice versa. This article aims to educate the reader on the benefits of investing in “Smart” or “Green” Building systems and technologies and also highlights the various differences and similarities between design philosophies.

Nasa Green Building

Why should you consider “Smart” or “Green” buildings?

Water and Electricity feature on almost all top 10 global issues currently; the continued supply/conservation of fresh water and the reduction of carbon emissions through supplementing fossil fuel generated electricity with renewable energy are high on the world economic forums’ top issues list for 2015 and these issues are prominent when planning for a Green building. A Smart building however will include many additional business related criteria as listed later within this document. Key however to both Green and Smart buildings are the effective use of key resources such as water and electricity.

At a very fundamental level, smart or "intelligent" buildings deliver useful building services that make occupants more productive (for example lighting, thermal comfort, sanitation, air quality, physical security, mobility and many more) at the lowest cost and environmental impact over the building life cycle. Smart Buildings utilise integrated ICT technologies to operate and manage building services and functions. Achieving this vision requires detailed planning during the inception stage as well as ensuring the longevity of the implemented technologies.

A “green” building is the one that considers its impact on the environment and human health. Green buildings are part of a global response to increase the awareness of the role human activity has in contributing to global climate change. A green building incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of development on the environment and people. Green buildings are energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible and have the ability of being self sufficient by utilising renewable resources.

The proper use of science and technology should not be to conquer or control nature,

but to live in it, harmoniously…

 

20/20 Vision

If we apply 20/20 vision principles to Smart Buildings and we go back 20 years to 1995, the definition of a Smart building back then was probably made in reference to an IT Geek company. Electricity supply costs were approximately R400.00 (Excluding VAT) per month for a consumption of 1500Kw/h (extract from Eskom 1996 business tariff guide) and the internet in South Africa had approximately 2 million users (0.7% of the population). The total national carbon emission in South Africa in 1995 was in the region of 480 million tons. South Africa 20 years ago was classified by the Energy Development and Research Centre (University of Western Cape) as a water stressed country. Networking was in its early stages with only computers being networked together.  ↓

Today however the world is a very different environment and electricity supply costs are in the region of R1.42 per Kw/h (+- R2100.00 excl. VAT for 1500Kw/h consumption), this excludes any growth in the actual electricity consumption through normal business growth and the internet in South Africa has approximately 25 million users (approx. 49% of the population). Carbon foot prints are on every corporate strategic plan agenda as carbon taxes are due to be implemented in 2016. The total national carbon emission in South Africa in 2015 is in the region of 550 million tons. Water resources today are under threat; droughts, pollution and general misuse are having an impact on our water quality and quantity. Today many household devices and building management components are connected, with every household now having an average of 10 x IP addresses. →

If we project where we are today forward 20 years to 2035 we can expect our electricity costs to escalate by a minimum of at least 10% per annum excluding any normal business consumption growth figures and lower than the current proposed Eskom tariff increases, this will mean that 1500 Kw/h consumption would be around R8.00 per Kw/h with a monthly cost of R12,000.00 excluding VAT per month. If we continue to grow without carbon emission constraints then our emissions will be in the region of 1000 million tons by 2030, and almost half the world will live under conditions of high water stress. The number of internet users in South Africa will probably exceed the population total. This dramatic increase will be fuelled by the networking of almost every device or product.

The management and control of electrical consumption through consumption management systems and renewable energy supplements coupled with the overall management and control of all environmental components of a building is critical to business planning and sustainability. Not only should one be looking to implement these systems now but should also plan to grow and extend the management control of future environmental systems to accommodate future developments.  ◊


What is a Green Building?

 

 A “green” building is the one that considers its impact on the environment and human health. Green buildings are part of a global response to increasing awareness of the role of human activity in causing global climate change. Green building incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of development on the environment and people. Green buildings are energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible.

Green Building Diagram

Green building measures include:

  • Careful building design to reduce heat loads, maximising natural light and promoting the circulation of fresh air.
  • Energy-efficient air conditioning and lighting.
  • Using environmentally friendly, non-toxic materials.
  • Reducing waste and using recycled materials.
  • Water-efficient plumbing fittings and water harvesting.
  • Using renewable energy sources.
  • Sensitivity to the impact of the development on the environment.

Benefits of a Green Building (as per the Green Building Council of South Africa)

Most Important Reasons For Going Green In South Africa:

 

Reduction in Energy Consumption
76%
Protect Natural Resources
55%
Reduce Water Consumption
48%

Source: McGraw-Hill Construction 2013

 

Green buildings have lower operating costs, are more efficient, less likely to become obsolete, provide a higher rate of return and have been shown to promote wellness, healing and productivity. Here are some of the reasons why:

Research reveals that Green Star SA buildings enjoy energy savings of between 25% and 50% compared to buildings designed to SANS 204 standards. The payback periods of energy and water saving practices are becoming much shorter as a result of increasing utility costs and the wider availability of more affordable green building technology,

The Department of Public Works’ planned ‘Green Building Framework’ is likely to include certain green building requirements for government accommodation. This will increasingly apply to large multi-national tenants too.

Decreased operating costs, lease premiums and more competitive, less risky, future-proofed buildings contribute to the value of green buildings. This has been empirically proven in the United States and Australia with 11% and 12% valuation premiums, respectively.

Extensive studies in the United States and Australia have shown rental rates in green buildings to be approximately 6% and 5% higher, respectively,

Green building practices can have a significant impact on combating climate change and help to create truly sustainable communities.

Green buildings are future-proofed against increases in utility costs, potential energy and water supply problems, tightening legislation, carbon taxes and the impact of mandatory energy efficiency disclosure, as well as costly retrofits or even obsolescence.

Investment in green buildings is an integral part of the worldwide trend towards more responsible, sustainable and ethical investing.

Skilled staff members are hard to attract and retain. However, educated people, particularly younger graduates, are increasingly aware of sustainability and wellness issues and consequently, may be more attracted to working in a green environment.

Green buildings create a differentiated product in the market, and are viewed as technologically advanced and environmentally and socially responsible. These attributes are positively linked to the company brand and image of the owner and/or the tenant.

(attrition rate – measure of individuals or items moving out of a collective group over a specific period of time): With increased comfort and occupant satisfaction and more flexible spaces, green building can minimise the costs and impact of churn. With lease terms in South Africa typically ranging between 3 and 5 years, churn represents a significant cost to businesses.

Improved internal environment quality (IEQ) from increased ventilation, temperature and lighting control, the use of natural light and the absence of toxic materials result in the improved health, comfort and well-being of building occupants. This has been shown to increase productivity – always a significant factor in the profitability of a business. Studies show improvements in productivity of up to 20% which easily covers any premium paid for higher quality green space.


What is a Smart Building?

At a very fundamental level, smart buildings deliver useful building services that make occupants productive (for example lighting, thermal comfort, sanitation, air quality, physical security, mobility and many more) at the lowest cost and environmental impact over the building lifecycle. Achieving this vision requires detailed planning during the inception stage as well as ensuring the longevity of the implemented technologies. Smart buildings use information technology during operation to connect a variety of subsystems, which typically operate independently, so that these systems can share information to optimize total building performance. Smart buildings should look beyond the building equipment within their four walls. They should be connected and responsive to the power grid and renewable energy sources as well as secure links to the internet and interact with building operators and occupants to empower them with new levels of visibility and actionable information.

Smart buildings successfully merge building management and IT systems that can dynamically optimize system performance and simplify facility operations. Integration greatly reduces both the hardware expense and frustration associated with installing and operating multiple autonomous building systems.

Smart Building

E2E Smart Building Interface notebook

 

 

  • Integration of building systems on a common IT infrastructure or shared network utilizing open protocol and common HMI (Human Machine Interface).
  • High-performance buildings that provide significant benefits to building owners, property/facility management professionals, and end-users.
  • Maximize building performance and energy efficiency.
  • Use open protocol and are technology neutral strategies that add long-term, sustainable value to the property.

 

 

Benefits of a Smart building

Smart buildings can demand higher rentals, have lower vacancy rates through higher customer service, added technologies and increased efficiencies.

Smart buildings are usually highly efficient buildings where operating costs are significantly lower than comparable standard buildings. Using accurate, intelligent monitoring and control of energy intensive systems such as HVAC and lighting help reduce costs.

Integrated systems allow for sub-metering of individual tenants; tracking and automatically invoicing tenants for their energy use. This not only gives the tenant control of their electrical costs but may allow for shared savings through demand response programs.

Smart building technologies give building management professionals the tools they need to better serve tenants, occupants, and users. Accessing building systems via the Internet makes it easier for facilities professionals to assess real-time conditions, detect problems, and monitor building performance off-site. Problems are identified early and solved immediately, sometimes prior to the customer realizing there is a problem.

Changes to a system can be made from a Network Operations Centre (NOC). The result is a leaner facility management operation which directly correlates to reduced labour costs.

A web-based security system allows security personnel the ability to view live video from surveillance cameras on a laptop or portable device.

A fire situation is perhaps the most commonly cited example of how integrated systems are beneficial. A fire alarm is triggered and the integrated building systems respond: smoke exhaust dampers open and fans operate, the paging and intercom system warns the occupants and issues instructions, the access-control system unlocks doors for evacuation, lighting is turned on, and security cameras provide emergency personnel with a view of the fire.

Since technology and equipment are changing rapidly, a building with an IT backbone utilizing open protocol will be ready to support almost anything that comes onto the market. Additionally, with tenant needs changing, a smart building is flexible enough to adapt quickly.

Monitoring and control of energy use for the purpose of reducing consumption defines a green building. While it may be possible to have a green building that isn’t smart, all green buildings will have some form of a Building Automation System (BAS). The BAS could allow a daylight-harvesting system to work together through an IT backbone with interior lights and photoelectric and occupancy sensors to provide optimum light levels and save energy use.

Smart buildings can offer occupants wired and wireless high-speed Internet along with other communications services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) that will maximize the building’s revenue per square foot.


What is a Intelligent Building?

An Intelligent Building includes all Building management systems and IT platforms as included in Smart Buildings in the added integrated functionality of internet voice and data service provision.  High levels of IT security systems are required to ensure the protection of consumer data and automation systems.  Each and every device that can be connected to the IT network, is connected (Internet of Things – IOT).

Today’s property developers need to embrace the fact that totally integrated IT and building management systems should be the norm and included in building designs during the conceptual/budgeting status of a project.  Too often, IT service provision is added on post-development completion.  This results in substandard IT systems being implemented due to the unplanned capex requirements.  Developers should look at a total cost of ownership and revenue generation model for each development during the conceptual/planning stages and appoint a specialist IT consultant to develop the IT/Automation/Service provision designs and budgets based on the required revenue generation model.  Options of providing for the system containment (cabling infrastructure) within the development cost with IT/Automation/Service provision provided for on a 5 year service level agreement (SLA) with specialist providers.  This SLA contract should be based on the developer realizing the revenue streams and the service provider realizing the infrastructure sale, maintenance and support revenues.  An Intelligent Building will not only provide the developer with an additional revenue stream but substantially improve the tenant “user” experience and move the development into a desirable category.

 

Intelligent buildings image

E2E Smart Building Interface notebook

Intelligent Buildings Have Several Things In Common:
  • Integration of building systems on a common IT infrastructure or shared network utilizing open protocol and common HMI (Human Machine Interface).
  • High-performance buildings that provide significant benefits to building owners, property/facility management professionals, and end-users.
  • Maximize building performance and energy efficiency.
  • Use open protocol and are technology neutral strategies that add long-term, sustainable value to the property.
  • Integrate the provision of IT Unified Communications with building management systems
  • Provide the property developer with a new revenue stream

 

 

Benefits of a Intelligent building

Smart buildings can demand higher rentals, have lower vacancy rates through higher customer service, added technologies and increased efficiencies.

Smart buildings are usually highly efficient buildings where operating costs are significantly lower than comparable standard buildings. Using accurate, intelligent monitoring and control of energy intensive systems such as HVAC and lighting help reduce costs.

Integrated systems allow for sub-metering of individual tenants; tracking and automatically invoicing tenants for their energy use. This not only gives the tenant control of their electrical costs but may allow for shared savings through demand response programs.

Smart building technologies give building management professionals the tools they need to better serve tenants, occupants, and users. Accessing building systems via the Internet makes it easier for facilities professionals to assess real-time conditions, detect problems, and monitor building performance off-site. Problems are identified early and solved immediately, sometimes prior to the customer realizing there is a problem.

Changes to a system can be made from a Network Operations Centre (NOC). The result is a leaner facility management operation which directly correlates to reduced labour costs.

A web-based security system allows security personnel the ability to view live video from surveillance cameras on a laptop or portable device.

A fire situation is perhaps the most commonly cited example of how integrated systems are beneficial. A fire alarm is triggered and the integrated building systems respond: smoke exhaust dampers open and fans operate, the paging and intercom system warns the occupants and issues instructions, the access-control system unlocks doors for evacuation, lighting is turned on, and security cameras provide emergency personnel with a view of the fire.

Since technology and equipment are changing rapidly, a building with an IT backbone utilizing open protocol will be ready to support almost anything that comes onto the market. Additionally, with tenant needs changing, a smart building is flexible enough to adapt quickly.

Monitoring and control of energy use for the purpose of reducing consumption defines a green building. While it may be possible to have a green building that isn’t smart, all green buildings will have some form of a Building Automation System (BAS). The BAS could allow a daylight-harvesting system to work together through an IT backbone with interior lights and photoelectric and occupancy sensors to provide optimum light levels and save energy use.

Smart buildings can offer occupants wired and wireless high-speed Internet along with other communications services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) that will maximize the building’s revenue per square foot.


In Summary

When planning for a new building development decide and plan which type of sustainable building you or your client want. There is no reason why you cannot plan and design a building that delivers on the Intelligent building benefits but that also complies and is accredited as a Smart Green Building.

This new “Intelligent Green” building concept will not only deliver against the corporations Green initiatives and Carbon reduction but also enables additional business level bottom line benefits.

The key to a successful “Intelligent Green” building implementation lies in the detailed planning and design stages of a new building project. Extensive research into suitable technologies and systems that will be required in order to realize the true benefits must be conducted by a professional ICT and Electronic consulting business. Detailed User Requirement Specifications (URS) must be compiled after input from the business to form the foundation of the planning and design stages.

 

The table ABOVE attempts to compare the benefits associated with Smart and Green buildings and provide a guideline for the development of a “Intelligent Green” building.

This compares the functional and technical differences between Intelligent, Smart and Green buildings and provide a guideline for the development of an Intelligent Building

International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 11, November 2014 1 - ISSN 2250-3153. Are Smart Buildings Same as Green Certified Buildings? - A Comparative Analysis.

Green Building Council of South Africa https://www.gbcsa.org.za/about/about-green-building/.

Eskom 1996 business tariff guide http://www.eskom.co.za/CustomerCare/TariffsAndCharges/Documents/1996a.pdf

Internet Live statistics http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users-by-country/

ENERGY & DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH CENTRE (University of Cape Town) http://webdav.uct.ac.za/depts/erc/Research/publications-pre2004/03Mukheibir-Sparks_Water_resource_management.pdf

ENERGY & DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH CENTRE (University of Cape Town) - Information on climate change in South Africa: greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation options. http://www.erc.uct.ac.za/Information/Climate%20change/Climate_change_info-complete.pdf

South Africa’s Carbon Chasm – Based on Carbon Disclosure Project 2010 responses from the JSE 100 Companies