Those smart, agile buildings

Those smart, agile buildings

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The cities of the future need agile buildings. They will be carbon-neutral, energy positive, technically sophisticated, and support a diverse mix of uses and activities through flexible space usage and shared working arrangements, says the World Economic Forum in its Agile Cities: Preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution report.

Agile buildings leverage big data and real-time monitoring, making extensive use of the latest in sensor technology and lean heavily on principles such as interoperability. They encourage walkability and provide easy access to mass transport.

They also use renewable energy sources, geothermal heating solutions and intelligent building systems to avoid generating greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s about energy independence too, with the use of micro-grids, virtual power plants, eco-districts, and/or aquifer thermal energy storage.

And there’s room for passive design, using natural ventilation, daylighting and other techniques to reduce the building’s energy consumption. Features include biophilic design, green roofs and walls, and low-carbon building material.

The report points to Deloitte’s The Edge building in Amsterdam, with its 28,000 sensors, including motion, light, temperature, humidity and infrared. Workers can control individual micro-environments via a smartphone app. The office is about hot-desking, with 2,500 employees sharing 1,000 desks between them. The Edge has been described as the greenest, most intelligent building in the world.

e-Overview: The report doesn’t mention building information modelling which is coming to the fore with smart buildings. BIM is key in that it gathers every aspect in a single location, while giving to all parties for any purpose. The core aspect of BIM is that it makes the construction industry itself smart.

Image: WEF

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