- Hong Kong has 300-500 new buildings per year, having more than 50,000 buildings in total
- Hong Kong buildings account for 90% of its total electricity consumption and 60% of total carbon dioxide emissions each year
What is a smart building?
A smart building is exactly what it sounds like. Smart. It operates entirely on technology while keeping the environment safe and well optimized at the same time. Unlike traditional buildings, smart buildings are more convenient to live in and are also easily manageable. Some common examples would be IoT (Internet of Things) sensors and wayfinding features.
Smart buildings can also be referred to as intelligent buildings. Since Artificial Intelligence is integrated into the building systems, it improves user experience and increases operational efficiency. The buildings are cost-efficient and eco-friendly. This is why a smart building can also be a combination of both intelligent and green buildings depending on the type of efficiency they are capable of providing.
Most intelligent buildings in the world
In Amsterdam, Holland
According to BREEAM, The Edge is considered to be the smartest and greenest building in the world. With the help of Artificial Intelligence and IoT, employees can manage and access any of the building’s facilities via a mobile app. For example, the building stores your data and knows what kind of car you drive, so it will find the most convenient parking spot for you. Besides, The Edge has also adopted an Ethernet-powered LED lighting system which is integrated with 30,000 sensors. They are not only futuristic, but were also awarded for achieving the highest rate of sustainability.
Other than The Edge, some of the world’s renowned smart buildings are listed below:
- Burj Khalifa–Dubai
- DPR Construction–San Francisco
- Duke Energy Center–North Carolina
- Tottenham Hotspur Stadium–London
- Hindmarsh Shire Council Corporate Centre–Melbourne
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Smart Building Trend
The concept of a smart building was initiated by westerners, and clearly, the majority of smart buildings are located in the Western parts of the world. However, many Asian countries, especially East and Southeast Asian nations, have already implemented the concept locally due to the growing demand for high-quality offices by investors.
The Hong Kong metropolitan has more than 50K buildings and is continuing to grow by 300-500 buildings every year. It has become quite challenging for the city because of its small area. This is why the city is full of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. However, these buildings consume a large portion of power, water, energy and electricity, and account for a total of 60% of Hong Kong’s total carbon dioxide emission per year. To address the energy consumptions and total emissions of the existing and new buildings in Hong Kong, the government has introduced a set of strict green certification standards (BEAM Plus).
To receive a BEAM Plus certificate, from building design, planning and construction to its operation and maintenance, developers have to fulfill a set of performance criteria regarding different sustainability issues. For buildings that have not been built yet, all carbon dioxide emissions can be traced and potentially reduced. However, for existing buildings, only carbon dioxide emitted from operations can be identified and minimized.
Hong Kong’s K11 Atelier King’s road which is located in North Point on Hong Kong Island is a great example of BEAM Plus. All 28 floors of which are greenery-covered, including exteriors, cafes and other outlets. It is the first building in the world that has been awarded “all Platinum levels of the WELL Building Standard Pre-certification, Hong Kong BEAM Plus Provisional Certification and the U.S LEED Pre-certification” for meeting UN’s sustainable development goals. The building is set to have a combination of more than 70 sustainability features. Some of its remarkable features are: solar control, LED lighting system, higher energy efficiency, ventilation system, etc.
Although Hong Kong’s smart buildings may not be as competitive as the world’s most intelligent buildings, they are improving and evolving rapidly. The technology integrated into Hong Kong’s modern buildings is managed through software and other management systems known as Intelligent Building Management Systems (IBMS). They reduce the workforce and automate the system by keeping both the mechanical and electrical equipment under control. Only one single device or software is enough to manage a system of the whole building.
Check out our video on what’s inside Hong Kong’s smart buildings!
Given the adverse effect of global warming, it has definitely posed a threat to our lives. To achieve a sustainable future, smart buildings are essential to help us cut down carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumptions. Therefore, we can see the bright future ahead for smart buildings in the world.
PS: Special thanks to Farin for research and drafting
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