Lighting Controls / Smart Buildings

Lighting controls (Smart Buildings / Smart Cities) can reduce operating costs by placing the right amount of light where it’s needed, when it’s needed. It also improves user comfort, and provides better information to the owner or tenant.

An effective controls system can reduce both the amount of power required by the lighting system and amount of time it operates, reducing both sides of the energy equation (Energy = Power x Time). This can translate to a number of economic benefits, including lower energy charges, lower demand charges and, depending on the power provider and controls strategy, advantageous utility rates.

According to the New Buildings Institute, lighting controls can reduce lighting energy consumption by 50% in existing buildings and by at least 35% in new construction.

Key Benefits of Smart Buildings *courtesy of NYSERDA

All of these strategies are amongst those that AEC currently hosts, or has implemented throughout various client sites in North America. Small buildings, to large facilities, tenants to owners, can all benefit.

Your building can be smart enough to immediately detect when a piece of equipment may need repair, or it can dim a building that automatically dims the lights when it’s sunny outside. Imagine a building that allows and considers employee input to set the temperature of spaces within set tolerances, maximizing their comfort and productivity. This is just the start of what the next generation of building technologies can do — using the Internet of Things (IoT) to create smarter buildings that cost less to operate and have greater comfort, appeal, and marketability.

Organizations that properly utilize and design smart technologies and real-time energy management solutions can not only reduce energy costs by up to 40%, up to 70% when done in combination with other measures, but they can also boost the bottom line by creating an environment that reduces energy waste and stimulates employee productivity.

Memoori, a smart building research firm, estimates that there will be over 3.3 billion IoT devices installed in commercial office buildings by 2022, which is three times as many as there were in 2017. Leading businesses are using these connected technologies to drive greater building performance by understanding, controlling, and automating how their energy is used. **Memoori, NYSERDA

What Makes a Building Energy-Smart?

Smart city concept. IoT(Internet of Things). ICT(Information Communication Technology). Energy-smart buildings use digital connectivity to monitor, automate, and optimize how a building uses energy and performs. They connect and pull information from the sensors, controls, meters, and software in the building to enable the tracking, monitoring, and analysis of energy data. The most sophisticated smart buildings offer cloud-based connectivity and centralized, real-time monitoring capabilities that transform an organization’s energy data into actionable insights. With smart building technologies, your business can:

  • Increase profitability and save up to 40% in energy costs annually by addressing common sources of energy waste, such as systems running in unoccupied buildings, daylighting, free air cooling, etc.
  • Minimize risk by responding in real time to weather events or surges in electricity costs that come from peak utility rate pricing
  • Prioritize capital investments—smart buildings help executives pinpoint where they should make equipment investments.

The Six Benefits of an Energy-Smart Building

1. Greater Insights and Visualization with Big Data
Smart buildings continuously collect large amounts of data from around the building, crunch the numbers, and radically simplify key pieces of information, like how much energy the building is using at any point in time and what it’s costing. With this information, smart technologies identify trends and uncover building optimization opportunities—enabling stakeholders across the business to make informed data-driven decisions and investments.

2. Opportunities for Employee Engagement
Medical officer and shaking hands with businessmanWhen energy data is visualized and communicated, more people within an organization become aware of its impact on the bottom line. Informed employees are more likely to be mindful about their own impact on energy performance and costs.

3. Responsive and Dynamic Spaces
Operating conditions in a building change from day to day, and even hour to hour. Smart buildings respond quickly to changes in weather, occupancy, and space utilization. Imagine a building that turns on generators automatically after a big storm or that pre-cools spaces on hot days to avoid peak utility costs. Smart building technologies can also be controlled remotely, allowing facility managers to adjust equipment and building conditions from one plant to another, no matter where they are. (MORE BELOW)

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4. Predictive Maintenance
The systems in your building can routinely have unseen faults, such as reduced airflow due to clogged air filters. If these faults go undetected, systems can waste a considerable amount of energy and have a shorter life span. Smart buildings immediately detect these faults, detail why they occurred, and help you prioritize which issues to focus on first—ultimately empowering staff to spend less time putting out fires by preventing them to begin with.

5. Measurable Impact
Organizations sometimes have a hard time determining the impact of energy saving improvements, which can create difficulties in getting decision makers to approve future investments. Having access to real-time energy data at a granular level (floor-level, system-level, equipment-level) can reveal the impact of those improvements with greater accuracy. With a better sense of the return on investment, businesses can start small with upgrades and easily build a business case for similar improvements that could be made to other facilities or enterprise-wide.

6. Comfortable, Productive Spaces
Smart buildings create a healthier, more productive, and more comfortable space for employees. With advanced climate and lighting controls, smart buildings can improve indoor air quality and lighting aesthetics. According to a World Green Building Council study, enhancing ventilation and indoor air quality can improve worker productivity by 11%, and enhancing lighting conditions can improve productivity by 23%.

Gensler, an architecture and design firm, installed high-efficiency LED lighting and sensors throughout their space, providing leaders with real-time daylighting, occupancy, thermal, and energy data. Through a centralized control system, Gensler optimized light levels based on individual spaces and how they were used. Lighting output in their open workspaces was reduced by 25%, saving energy and money. Because of the changes, the company also saw a 25% increase in workplace satisfaction.

Super Business Woman on Mountain

Energy Savings

Depending on the characteristics Nowadays IoT wearable devices get more and more popular, as we tend to make more use from things we wear. If you want to get data from various devices collected and processed, Kaa is ready to offer the best solutions! of the space to be controlled, energy savings as high as 90% can be realized through use of occupancy sensors, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Occupancy area Energy Savings
Private office 13-50%
Classroom 40-46%
Conference room 22-65%
Restrooms 30-90%
Corridors 30-80%
Storage areas 45-80%