Smart buildings, start today

Issue 4 2021 Commercial (Industry), Security Services & Risk Management

The global pandemic is a large, disruptive force that has impacted the commercial real estate industry and its tenancy. Widely introduced remote and work from home (WFH) policies have left the real estate industry with below average occupancy rates. In some instances, owners and landlords are resorting to co-occupation of buildings in an effort to obtain at least some revenue from a wavering demand stream.


Ettienne van Niekerk.

A recent article in Business Insider states that 15% of the offices owned by a large South African commercial real estate owner are now standing empty. And if projections are anything go by, this will remain the status quo for the foreseeable future.

With this in mind, how can building owners alleviate the financial impact of the pandemic in a relatively simple and sustainable manner?

Smart buildings and their underlying technology now offer a feasible and sustainable answer to real estate owners’ expenditure woes. Sustainably managing assets and energy usage will allow both owners and tenants to not only drive down monthly bills, but also to contribute positively to the fight against climate change.

The three As

Where does one start? My advice: don’t overcomplicate it and prioritise spending, target the action that will require the least amount of effort while delivering the biggest rewards. At Schneider Electric we believe in recommending fit-for-purpose solutions through a three-step process. As an example, let us assume we want to optimise the energy usage of a building. We will have to:

1. Assess: gather as much meaningful data as possible. Meaningful data reveals patterns and can be used to draw great insights. With our example in mind, how much energy is the building consuming and when is this energy being consumed? Here, it would be necessary to place meters in strategic locations if none exist, or to extract as much data as possible from existing metering infrastructure.

2. Analyse: study the data, gain insight into the current operations and draw conclusions. Continuing with our example: What does the building’s load profile look like and does it match the occupancy profile? What loads are unnecessarily running whilst the building is unoccupied? What can be done to make the load profile resemble the occupancy profile?

3. Act: place actions against these conclusions and prioritise in terms of greatest reward. We live in times where every cent matters. What action will give you the greatest return on investment?

Technology and smart buildings

The first steps towards an energy and cost-efficient building do not have to be an expensive exercise; it needs to be smart. The key is to deploy the correct technology in the optimum manner to ensure maximum savings.

Fortunately, building management systems are becoming easier to deploy and more powerful thanks to innovative IoT technology, enabling not only energy saving and prolonged asset lifecycles, but also the measuring thereof and resultant cost savings. Connecting devices with software and data insights to create smart buildings can unlock tremendous value, particularly in the current economic climate.




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

The year resilience paid off
Issue 8 2020 , Editor's Choice, Security Services & Risk Management
Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Michael Davies about business continuity and resilience in a year when everything was put to the test.

Read more...
Top 10 security misperceptions
Issue 4 2021 , Cyber Security, Security Services & Risk Management
The Sophos Rapid Response team has compiled a list of the most commonly held security misperceptions they’ve encountered in the last 12 months while neutralising and investigating cyberattacks in a wide range of organisations.

Read more...
PoPIA: De-identifying, matching and filing
Issue 3 2021 , Editor's Choice, News, Security Services & Risk Management
Three of the crucial areas in organisational PoPIA compliance that must be discussed include de-identifying, information matching programmes and filing systems.

Read more...
Keeping MICE safe and compliant in a new environment
Issue 3 2021 , Commercial (Industry), IT infrastructure
The meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector has been challenged with massive change over the past year, first Covid-19 and now the Protection of Personal Information Act.

Read more...
Never allow someone onto your property without asking questions first
Issue 3 2021, Fidelity Services Group , News, Security Services & Risk Management
Opportunistic criminals are always looking for easy targets. Being aware of basic personal safety measures can go a long way towards protecting you from impersonators and imposters.

Read more...
Bringing down the walls in the corporate world
Issue 4 2021, Suprema , Commercial (Industry)
Having an open floor plan tips the balance between private and public and this shift affects how a company protects and safeguards personnel as well as proprietary and sensitive company information.

Read more...
Winners of the inaugural South Africa OSPAs
Issue 4 2021, Technews Publishing, Secutel Technologies, Cathexis Technologies , Editor's Choice, News, Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management
The presentation of the first-ever South Africa Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) took place virtually on Thursday 3rd June 2021 as part of an internationally attended online thought leadership webinar.

Read more...
Skills in CCTV camera operations
Issue 4 2021, Leaderware , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Security Services & Risk Management
I also come across some delegates who are simply outstanding in their ability to understand and apply the concepts, or who identify potential suspects through a natural feel for criminal behaviour. Early ...

Read more...
The what and why of farm attacks
Issue 4 2021, Technews Publishing , Agriculture (Industry), Security Services & Risk Management
Laurence Palmer continues his series on farm attacks in South Africa, looking at the reality as it stands today and the risks these innocent potential victims face.

Read more...
Integrated, modularised operations management
Issue 4 2021, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, Access Control & Identity Management, Commercial (Industry)
Skycom, along with its mobile solutions partner, Nimbus Solutions, has developed a cloud-based platform that supports a host of integrated, in-house operations management modules, as well as mobile visibility and reporting in real-time.

Read more...