Energy efficiency and smart homes

Smart technologies and well-being
The quality of living at home has become increasingly important in recent years, both for the general improvement of living conditions, which has greatly increased the needs, and for the time spent daily by people inside buildings, which in many cases exceeds 90% of the total. The combination of thermal, visual, acoustic comfort and indoor air quality is the discipline that guides the design, construction and evaluation of contemporary buildings: it is the concept known today as IEQ or Indoor Environmental Quality.
The quality of indoor environments has important relationships and effects with the well-being experienced by end-users at the home, with productivity and health in the workplace and with the energy performance and sustainability of buildings. Among the four dimensions of IEQ, the climatic quality of the building – understood as the combination of thermo-hygrometric conditions and air quality – is taken over by the HVAC functions and is of fundamental importance for its energy implications.
smart home
Smart technologies and sustainability
The contribution of buildings to climate change is under a microscope because buildings consume more than 30 % of the world’s energy. In addition, they contribute almost 40 percent of global carbon emissions. Building green is no longer a luxury option. Many clients, tenants and occupiers now regard it as standard. Building developers are expected to include active emission mitigation technology in their developments from the outset.
Shifting to more energy-efficient buildings is now regarded as central to carbon reduction strategies. The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent and increase energy from renewables by 20 percent. All new buildings must be Near-Zero Energy Buildings. The EU also aims to be a carbon neutral economy with net-zero emissions by 2050. Canada and the UK have significant plans for the rollout of intelligent technology into the built environment. In China, 30 percent of buildings must be green.
Rather than creating complexity, smart technology creates significant opportunity to increase return on investment (ROI) and meet tough environmental targets with ease. Smart buildings also speed the adoption of green technology such as electric vehicles (EV) and solar power with clever integration
There are several real benefits of smart buildings for developers and owners. As a building adapts to the demands of its users, or the goals of its managers, it can save energy, cut emissions and reduce energy costs. Smart technology changes the way far-sighted owners view their buildings. Integrating smart technology into the building development is a strategic decision. It should be clear by now that a smart building is more than just as a cluster of products in a physical environment. Owners and investors are able to adapt goals and plans as use patterns of the asset play out in front of them in real time. Data visualization means scenario plans can consider the longer-term management of the space. By using a ‘digital twin’ owners can experiment with changes of internal configuration or even consider entire changes of use to maximize asset value, all while controlling its consumption of resources.
There has never been a better time to adopt smart building technologies. Intelligent buildings that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago are now a reality. And as technology advances we can expect even greater leaps forward.