You walk into a room, and you turn on the lights. You look back and in the space that you just left, the lights are off. Great temperature. You leave for work, and lock all your doors. Your protection system automatically gets armed. Did you accidentally walk into the future home through a time warp? Are you on the latest blockbuster sci-fi set? No. No. That’s not the fantasy stuff; Smart Foundation Systems this is the truth of the “smart” home today. And it gets “smarter”
These buildings are often more conscious of their surroundings with sensors to measure temperature, humidity, air quality-even carbon monoxide or radon than the people who live in them.
Of course, one form of smart building is the “smart” home, but most of the smart buildings are not residential; they are commercial or municipal. Building automation systems are used today for heating and cooling individual rooms or areas, monitoring security cameras and alarms, lighting, water distribution systems, elevators-in general, it can be automated if it shifts or changes.
We now have several buildings full of sensors, controls and intelligent appliances. As the technology is now known to help reduce energy consumption and emission control, we can all be assured that we will see much more in the future. We are indeed seeing the development of whole “smart” cities.
Iceberg’s Tip With the introduction of smart building technology, we are on the precipice of a very different world from the one we know. Perhaps we will see whole smart cities consisting of smart homes, smart cars traveling on smart highways lined with smart street signs and smart billboards.
And why need those smart buildings and smart cities? Despite them, have we not simply done fine? While that is certainly debatable, it becomes difficult to deny that urban areas around the world have infrastructure that is being heavily stressed by growing populations. The World Health Organization estimates that more than half of the world’s population lived in urban areas in 2010. They forecast that by 2030 the number will grow to 60 per cent. The UN predicts it will hit more than 70 percent by 2050. With power distribution systems, water management systems, sanitation systems, transportation systems and more burdened by increased demand, and with the budget constraints faced by most municipalities, there is a strong push for greater efficiency and sustainability in cities around the world. In addition, several governments are now implementing legislation that mandates cleaner technology and reduced emissions.