Reading Time: 4 min | Sep 2022

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Design Special

Smart Building Technology

Internet of Things (IoT) technology is bringing connectivity, data and user interfaces into the home and workplace: for greater efficiency, safety, and comfort for occupants.

Imagine for a minute you’re heading home from work, some time in the future:

Just outside the office – which could also be your local café since New Work principles were adopted at your company – your trusty electric bike waits. Even though it’s rush hour, you and your bike easily skirt past the line of cars, guided by GPS and your mobile device.

You park your e-bike in the garage and plug it in, but it doesn’t begin to charge – yet. Your electrical charging system is smarter than that. Knowing that you won’t need a full battery until the next morning, the system waits to charge until the load on the electrical grid is lowest, and electricity cheapest – saving you at least a few cents every day.

The path to the house is already well-lighted for your safety and comfort. As you approach the door, the lock registers your arrival and clicks open. A screen in the hall displays real-time data on air quality, interior and exterior temperature, and energy and water consumption. In the lavatory a bath is being drawn for you, the water heater having switched on half an hour prior for just this reason.

Of course, this is not really a future scenario. All of this technology is already with and around us; many innovations have been recognized with an iF DESIGN AWARD. Yet for most of us, comprehensive smart building technology is still a thing of the future.

Data-driven efficiency and user experience

A smart building uses IoT (Internet of Things) technology – hardware, software and connectivity – to manage Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), water, lighting and security functions. The goal is to make the living or working environment more comfortable, convenient, efficient and safer for occupants.

Smart Building Technology winners in the iF DESIGN AWARD 2022

Most of us know how convenient smart lighting can be, whether controlled by remote or app like BREVO can be.

With energy costs rising drastically almost everywhere, there is a greater need than ever to make homes and offices as efficient as possible. Enertek’s storage system helps households to save the solar energy generated and is easy on the eyes, too.

By monitoring data, such as when people use certain rooms or consume energy, Smart Buildings can prioritize energy consumptions based on occupancy patterns and use natural light and open windows automatically for cooling. The Leawod smart window and the Panasonic Fresh Air controller stand out here.

By collecting and aggregating data on how occupants use spaces, a smart thermostat can keep a room warm in the winter and cool in the summer at the exact time when people tend to be there. Winners in this category include the clever Callidus smart thermostat.

Of course, data is useless if you can’t visualize it – which is where Busch-Jaeger's SmartTouch Home control panel or KOCOM’s The Black come in.

Outside the home, innovations such as the Dometic Smart Delivery Box tap into trends of grocery delivery, solving the last-mile dilemma of where to put shopping bags when the occupants are not at home.

From CO2 sensors and smoke alarms to intellgent exit signs, there is an uptick in safety and security-related products for the home. One standout is the Bosch Outdoor Siren which deters potential burlars before they even enter a home.

Then there are products that seem to tick all the boxes, like Home Labs’ Qiet, which is a security device that monitors home security but also temperature, humidity, and air quality.

Finally, as a result of continuous research in the fields of airtight, soundproof, waterproof, and window materials, Sun Yu Ai has developed the world's first Intelligent Flat Window.

Therefore Sun Yu AI is the first company to introduce intelligence to the window industry and further connect the products to the Internet. Smart flat windows break through all the impossibilities and give people a new application that benefits them, assists them, and empowers them.

This is an exciting space, and we can hardly wait to see what next year’s iF DESIGN AWARDS will bring!

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