The Future of Buildings
Autonomous Buildings are the next future generation of smart buildings. Fully automated, sustainable and energy efficient.
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What happens when buildings run themselves?
Some time during the next decade, the number of internet-connected devices will surpass the number of humans on this planet. That’s mind-boggling, if you stop to think about it. In commercial buildings, connected devices as part of the building internet of things are growing exponentially as well. Humans simply don’t have the capability to sift through all the data these connected devices create. Thankfully, as buildings get smarter with machine learning and artificial intelligence, buildings will be able to practically run themselves.
They may seem like a scary concept to a facility manager whose job really is to manage a building. What does she or he do if the building manages itself?
Of course, no building will be truly autonomous, so expertise for facility managers will have to change a bit to understand how to tune and manage these AI and machine learning systems.
So take a deep breath: The facility management profession isn’t going away. Like most things related to technology or that rely on technology, the profession is simply changing. And facility managers must be ready for that shift, and be willing and able to shift their expertise as well.
LOWER COSTS BETTER EXPERIENCE
Autonomous buildings can increase security and reduce environmental impacts by using on-site resources (such as sunlight and rain) that would otherwise be wasted.
Autonomy often dramatically reduces the costs and impacts of networks that serve the building, because autonomy short-circuits the multiplying inefficiencies of collecting and transporting resources.
Other impacted resources, such as oil reserves and the retention of the local watershed, can often be cheaply conserved by thoughtful designs.
Autonomous buildings are usually energy-efficient in operation, and therefore cost-efficient, for the obvious reason that smaller energy needs are easier to satisfy off-grid.
But they may substitute energy production or other techniques to avoid diminishing returns in extreme conservation.
An autonomous structure is not always environmentally friendly.
The goal of independence from support systems is associated with, but not identical to, other goals of environmentally responsible green building.
However, autonomous buildings also usually include some degree of sustainability through the use of renewable energy and other renewable resources, producing no more greenhouse gases than they consume, and other measures.