We live in an era were digital transformation is more than necessary to optimize earth resources, energy and make our life more comfortable.
It has real impacts in the building construction sector, such as energy regulation, building management, user’s comfort and quality life improvements.
Buildings need to be transformed
Creating smart buildings is rethinking our way of living. Once digital transformation will be redefined as an essential element of today and tomorrow lives, we will be able to evolve to live, work and cooperate everyday better together, in modular and connected places. We are about to live differently, as homes will automatically, naturally and smartly adapt itself to our way of life and habits.
But mainly, we need to create smart buildings to achieve more energy efficiency. In 2018, in France, the residential-tertiary sector represented 45% of energy consumption. This consumption concerns gas and electricity dedicated to heating and domestic uses (electric appliances, lighting, etc.). In 2018 in United-Kingdom, the domestic sector was the second sector to use the most energy (28%) shortly after the industry (40%). Building energetic transition is a key point, which can be handled thanks to the use of new energies (renewables energies) and reduction of actual use. It can be done thanks to the use of digital in buildings, through an energetic and smart regulation system.
Smart devices and IA will redefine building construction
To be quickly connected and stay modular over the years (flats, offices, school, …), buildings need wireless and interoperable smart devices. Why not using battery-less devices, to benefit low maintenance and better user experience? With radio smart devices, actuators and sensors, create rapidly, at low investment and without construction works smart buildings is easier. Electrical wires will no longer be a problem for housebuilding. It is also a benefit to architects who dreamed of future buildings with windows everywhere.
Once connected with interoperable sensors and actuators that generate data, artificial intelligence takes over. It controls the building and analyzes in real time air quality, energy consumption, presence or not of the occupant, etc. It is able, according to the occupant life rhythm, to anticipate needs and predict uses. The building intelligence is our deported brain, our daily help which anticipates and do the best for us, our health and family.
How could it manage to do all this? Shall we give it means, feed it on a daily basis with data before it succeed to accompany us every day? The answer is yes. As all intelligence, it has to be nurtured. To give it birth and accompany it on its development, we must create buildings which will allow its development.
Connecting the building, is to bring new means to collect and transmit data. First of all, thanks to sensors and actuators, installed in homes, offices or different living spaces. It will bring more comfort to users and energy efficiency. Those sensors are meaningless without a gateway, a brain that gathers those information, create connections between them. Those raw data need to be understood and transformed.
Tomorrow and today’s building must be modular, simplified, and receptive to our way of living. How can we help it to transcend beyond living spaces at our disposal? Firstly, by permitting data generation, collect and transmission.
Housebuilders have a key role to play and means to do it
To create smart and modular buildings, housebuilders must be surrounded by experts which will give them a clear and detailed vision of necessary equipment’s for buildings. Experts will then model the building in 3D thanks to BIM, allowing them to play their advisory role in digital transformation.
Digital model, possible thanks to BIM (Building Information Modeling), is the interface between a virtual building, digitized, and the data it collect. It allows to follow its life from building conception, it is a necessary tool to think building efficiency before its birth. It is a precious help during conception, building, operation and demolition. Indeed, its role is to allow pre-construction and pre-industrialization and reproducibility of the building. It is a necessary tool to housebuilders whom can this way think about energy efficiency, comfort and security of the building before give it life by the stone.
Housebuilders consider smart buildings is approximately 25% less of cost on the building construction (thanks to BIM and wireless smart devices), and at least 20% energy efficiency won.
Digital transition suggests evolution in the profession
With smart buildings, all jobs have to evolve. User become more responsible, a network is created: the city is connected, smart and human.
To favor smart buildings rise, is at first to be aware that digital transformation impacts and change professions of the building sector. Electricians must integrate sensors and actuators that will collect data to the building, architects and desk studies understand the need for buildings to be modular, housebuilders must collaborate and integrate to the site process new experts. Building developers must learn to use new tools to aim at more efficiency. In a meanwhile, jobs are aimed to evolve, today they live a digital revolution.
How to daily grasp and favor this integration? By forming and be open to interoperability, being aware of issues and develop trust. Being formed, it is at first to be interested. Not being afraid of seeing his job disappear at the benefit of new comings on the market. It applies to housebuilders, electricians, specifiers, and all other experts that evolve on this moving sector. The soonest we integrate those evolutions to our daily lives, the better we will gasp their commissioning and will be key actors of smart building. We have to be precursors on this domain, which makes a lot of noise. The sooner we will be in advanced on his adoption, the most we will have chance to make building digital transformation real. Those evolutions are beneficial to all professions.
Modularity, efficiency: the main gain of smart buildings
More modularity in the building means an efficient space management and the implementation of a building concept thanks to digital. It allows to share and use spaces differently to optimize its occupation rate. Spaces become multi-use and are optimized. For example, a building is no more freeze on time, a home can be transformed in office, or a school. The building is smart and have different lives all over the years, it is optimized. Efficiency is firstly energetic, and also social because tomorrow the smart buildings will communicate together, and users will communicate to their neighbors, they will be part of a network, connected with a neighborhood, a whole city. For land developers, it is the opportunity to propose new services, such as optimization of spaces. Buildings favor uses transversality, they are now versatile and efficient, all over their life.