Are Intelligent Buildings the Future of Human Accommodation?

Over the past few years, the concept of intelligent buildings has caught the fancy of property developers and buyers. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)
Over the past few years, the concept of intelligent buildings has caught the fancy of property developers and buyers. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

Over the past few years, the concept of intelligent buildings has caught the fancy of property developers and buyers. Intelligent buildings are those that use various technologies and processes to make sure that the occupants living inside them are safe and that the building itself runs as optimally and efficiently as possible.

Pros and cons

The No. 1 benefit offered by intelligent buildings is definitely security. Such a building will feature numerous sensors and cameras that will be used by the central AI to continually monitor every aspect of the building. Since the AI manages energy usage, there will be no wastage of electricity or water. As such, occupants can expect lower utility bills.

Intelligent buildings focus on green living, employing technologies like solar power, bio-waste recycling plants, and so on. They are also an excellent investment choice, since buyers are always willing to pay a premium for buildings that are energy efficient, have automated security, and implement an efficient waste management system.

On the downside, intelligent buildings do not come cheap. They not only require a higher up-front investment, but will also demand a higher maintenance cost. As such, the market will largely be limited to wealthy people and high-end businesses. On the security front, the very fact that a centralized AI is managing the safety protocols also makes it vulnerable to hacking by outside parties. So if the AI is not constantly updated on the latest security threats or does not learn about adequate security measures for the building fast enough, then issues of theft and violence can crop up.

How To Build the World’s Most Energy-Efficient Building 0-17 screenshot

Intelligent buildings require a higher up-front investment and will also demand a higher maintenance cost. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

Market outlook

According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global intelligent buildings market for 2017 was valued at US$12.371 billion. It is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.6 percent to reach a market value of US$42.649 billion by 2024.

“Rise in need for new energy efficient interventions, increased market for building automation and control systems, supportive industry standards and regulations toward smart buildings, and extensive IoT penetration in building management systems drive the growth of the global intelligent building market. However, high initial investment and complex interoperability between various systems and devices deployed for managing infrastructure hampers the intelligent building market growth,” according to PR Newswire.

Though Europe was the major source of revenue for the intelligent buildings market, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to show the fastest growth in the segment during the forecast period with a CAGR of 23.2 percent. Driven by the need for lower carbon emissions, energy management systems are projected to be the fastest growing segment within the market.

Collective Works Capital Tower Coworking in Singapore 0-29 screenshot

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to show the fastest growth in the intelligent building market through 2024. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

Famous intelligent buildings

Capital Tower, Singapore

It has an Intelligent Building Management System (IBMS) that is designed to manage things like indoor air quality and the emissivity of glass windows. It also has an excellent parking garage guidance system and offers live stock market updates in the elevator.

The Edge, Netherlands

The Edge is the headquarters of Deloitte. Employees do not have any pre-assigned, permanent desks. Instead, an app will assign them their desks depending on their work schedule every day. The building also comes equipped with about 30,000 sensors that help in reducing electricity consumption by about 70 percent. Plus, the Edge also houses a gym that recycles all energy expended by the members back into the operation of the building.

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