Can all buildings be Smart?

  • Howard Wilson, Building Product Lead, Siemens Ireland. 
Howard Wilson, Building Products Lead, Siemens Ireland.

In my role I get involved in many discussions where the subject of smart buildings is raised. People have an impression of what a smart building is, and it is often some futuristic vision of a prestigious building in a major city using the latest IOT technologies with all the building services working together in harmony. This tends to imply a certain scale to the building, whether it’s a mixed-use skyscraper in a major city or a brand-new sports stadium.

But is it only large-scale buildings meet the criteria, or can any building be smart?

No is my answer to this. Let me define what I think a smart building is. It’s one that meets the needs on the owners and the occupants in the most optimum way. It should deliver a safe, comfortable, energy efficient environment that accentuates the wellbeing of the building users. The Energy Performance of Buildings directive (EPBD) commits EU member countries to reduce energy consumption and deliver on carbon neutral targets. Around 40% of all energy consumption is in buildings which makes this such a key area. 

Key is measuring and monitoring not only internal temperature conditions but also air quality and then using this information to deliver the best possible conditions. It’s not enough to just measure there must be management. This is where controls will play a major part. Building Management Systems (BMS) and controllers are scalable right down to units which only have a few input and output connections but still deliver powerful control solutions. They are IP enabled allowing remote connection and management. This allows potential problem areas to be identified quickly and rectified with no detriment to the occupant experience.

At Siemens Building Products we have a comprehensive product portfolio that can help to turn the smart building dream into reality. We pride ourselves in the quality of our product range and offer a five-year warranty on all our products.

To start with sensors are key to the system. We offer a range of accurate and versatile sensors that measure all the relevant media within buildings including temperature, pressure, relative humidity, and air quality including CO2 and VOC (volatile organic compounds). 

Our sensors use industry standard signals allowing seamless integration. Modbus and KNX versions are also available. High accuracy versions for use in specific applications such as pharmaceutical and data centres are available.

Our new multi sensor has seven different sensing elements in the one unit; temperature, relative humidity, CO2, noise, light, VOC, and fine dust (PM2.5). These environmental factors are required to be tracked to meet building certifications such as WELL, FITWEL and LEED. The multi sensor has a digital display which enables the building occupants to know what the actual conditions are. It can either be used as a wired or wireless device. The wired option allows the connection via the standard communication BACnet to a BMS controller. The wireless option uses the LoRaWan protocol to connect to other IOT devices. The sensor can be applied to both existing and new buildings, the wireless option makes it ideal for retrofits. More wireless sensors will be available shortly.

The key then is what to do with this data. We have a range of control options. Connect Box offers an IOT solution. It connects all your devices in your building whether wired or IOT leveraging multiple industry standard protocols including LoRaWan, BACnet, M-Bus and many more. Data can then be taken to an existing BMS or a cloud application.

Our Desigo BMS system is the integrated building management platform for managing high-performing buildings. With its open design, it has been developed to create comfortable, safe, and efficient facilities. It is easily scalable from simple single-discipline systems to fully integrated buildings. The Desigo PXC controllers achieve high performing control of buildings.  Designed to reduce the energy consumption of building plants, the Desigo PXC controllers enable you to integrate different protocols with no need of additional hardware or software.

Our GAMMA system uses the KNX protocol and controls both HVAC and lighting It helps to reduce system complexity and create the ideal solution for perfect indoor conditions with reliable, easy to install products. Key to system performance is user operation. We offer attractive user interfaces including the Touch TC5 which won the KNX product award 2022. Its elegant design, intuitive operation and customisation options provide an all-in-one operation unit.

So, when looking how best to manage your building don’t let the size of it put you off. Smart buildings don’t have to be big, complex, and expensive they just need to deliver the best possible environment for the people that use them. And Siemens Building Products can be your single source to deliver the products that meet these requirements.

For more details contact
Howard Wilson 


Tel: +353 (86) 031 8480