Building automation is the incorporation of information technology into the architecture and interior of a building to improve efficiency, reduce risk and provide services to occupants. The following are illustrative examples of building automation.
Heating, Ventilation & Air ConditioningIt has been common for heating, ventilation & air conditioning to be fully automated for more than a century. Modern systems may be highly efficient with techniques such as deep water cooling or passive design.Windows that adapt to achieve objectives such as passive heating, passive cooling, light levels and privacy.
LightingAutomated systems for lighting are nothing new but modern systems may adapt to individual preferences and use as much natural light as possible with techniques such as sunlight transport.
ElevatorsElevators were fully automated as early as 1895. Newer models are potentially more efficient with algorithms to predict traffic patterns.Safety systems such as automated fire detection and sprinkler systems. Modern safety systems may have advanced features such as an elevator that is connected to an earthquake early warning system such that it can stop at the nearest floor and ask passengers to exit and take cover.
SecuritySecurity such as an automated access control system.
Occupant TrackingA building that knows where its occupants are at all times for purposes such as security, rescue or to provide services. For example, a building that sets light levels according to each person's preferences as they walk into rooms.
Green SystemsSystems for automatically caring for plants such as a green wall.
SpaceSystems for automatically reconfiguring spaces such as a wall that retracts to join multiple rooms on command.
StorageStorage systems such the ability to automatically store items in a basement and pull them up on command.
EnergyEnergy related automation such as automatic backup power or solar panels that clean themselves.
CommunicationsCommunications such as a building that can notify people of things. For example, a building that notifies someone that an expected guest has arrived.
TransportationTransportation related automation such as a moving walkway.
Comfort & ConvenienceComfort related automation such as a bathtub that fills to a desired level and temperature.
CleaningSelf-cleaning elements of a building such as a floor that cleans itself.
MaintenanceMaintenance automation such as an elevator that self-repairs.
Inspections & TestingA building that automatically tests equipment such as smoke detectors to report problems.
MonitoringAutomated monitoring for security and other purposes such as managing infrastructure.
Waste ManagementA building that processes waste such as recycling automatically.
DeliveryA building that automatically delivers things such as package or mail to occupants.
AdministrationA building that administers itself such as a self-service process for applying for access to a building.
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