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The Future Is Now: Five Smart Building Features Transforming Today's Workplace

The Future Is Now: Five Smart Building Features Transforming Today's Workplace Forbes (08/31/17) Barendrecht, Arie

The article's author details five examples of Web-enabled smart building features that are having a big impact on today's office environments. The first is optimized HVAC systems. For example, through the use of such systems that continuously "maximize performance of the whole system," The Rockefeller Group was able to achieved major carbon dioxide reductions -- almost 3,000 tons a year -- at its landmark Time-Life Building in midtown Manhattan. The second is managed electricity reductions. Aiming to keep electricity consumption within sustainable levels on the hottest summer days, more and more of the nation's utilities now offer so-called "demand response" incentives designed to help ensure system reliability. The thid is maximized building security. The author cites one major managed security firm that offers a visitor management service, which enables businesses to use visitor registration directly from their e-mail client. This has proven to significantly expedite visitors' check-in process by having the user-friendly barcodes e-mailed directly to them.

Four, more buildings are installing smart sensors for lighting. At the New York Times' 52-story, 1.5 million-square-foot headquarters in Manhattan, for instance, the publisher implemented a management system that aligned lighting controls, motorized window shades, sensors, digital ballasts, and LED drivers all under a single software umbrella underpinned by a Internet-based interface. The system has slashed usage to approximately 0.4 watts per square foot -- a 70 percent energy savings. Finally, there are controlled appliances from remote locations. For any work space with a large kitchen, network-based freezer and refrigeration sensor systems can reduce costs and possibly prevent major losses associated with spoiled or unusable product.

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