In a period of dwindling natural resources, intelligent building management is not just a tool for enhancing comfort, but also an important approach for providing increasingly scarce natural resources optimally to the greatest number of people. The condition for this is the analysis and consistent interpretation of individual user behaviour in a building.
As part of a panel discussion on 3 September at the Faktor-3-Forum in Aarau, Thomas Stadler, Chief Digital Innovation Officer at Bouygues Energies & Services discussed opportunities, risks and hazards in integrating user behaviour for intelligent building management with Andrew Price, Head of the iHomeLabs of the University of Lucerne, Roland Keller, Departmental Head of Building & Supply Technology at Basler & Hofmann as well as David Mastrogiacomo, Technical Head at Losinger Marazzi.
Time discrepancy between planning and construction
"What wasn't planned cannot be operated either." Thomas Stadler drew attention to a decisive dilemma in building at the very beginning with this simple truth: a lot of time passes between the planning of a building and its completion. Architects and planners are also required to foresee the technological and social developments of the next ten years in order meet the expectations of the users upon completion. Particularly with regard to building technology, this enterprise is difficult in view of continuing technological and also social development. Demographics and living environments are changing, increasing numbers of people live alone, work to an increasing extent from home, own an electric car, have increasingly high expectations regarding health and safety and climatic conditions in their own four walls, especially in summer.
In the course of lively discussion, it became clear that the development towards smart buildings that anticipate user behaviour in the sense of energy efficiency, are currently restricted by several circumstances. According to the assessments of the panel participants, the causes are not only to be found in statutory restrictions, but also reservations due to data protection. Furthermore, the conflict of interest between owners and tenants is an important factor. The desire of tenants for smart buildings, even ones that anticipate user needs, seems to be in conflict with the profitability requirements of landlords. Here quite a lot of clarification is needed to enable landlords to recognise the financial advantages of the new technical possibilities in full.
Development cannot be stopped
Nevertheless, the participants were agreed that the trend to smart buildings that take user behaviour into account for the benefit of energy optimisation cannot be held up. In view of the shortage of available energy, the 2050 energy strategy of the federal government requires clear measures in the field of energy efficiency. Publicly listed companies in particular have to be able to prove their efforts to save natural resources these days.
In addition, the recording, analysis and anticipation of user behaviour not least also opens up possibilities in the field of health and safety according to the experts. Possibilities that will now also find increased attention as a result of the Covid-19 experience.