Tue Jul 15 14:25:39 UTC 2014
Turn on the heating or air-conditioning from your car on the way back home; electric appliances that shut off with a simple voice command directed to the clock, or turn off the TV and the lights when going to bed using an intelligent control: these things are now a reality.
All this thanks to smart building technology, a set of systems capable of automating and controlling a home's management, providing energy, safety, well-being and communication management services between electric appliances. Smart building technology favours energy savings in a home or business.
Starting a few years ago, most new construction buildings incorporate many of these mechanisms. Among the most common are awnings are curtains programed to take maximum advantage of natural light, mechanisms that adapt the home's temperature in relation with the outdoor temperature and stand by detectors for electric appliances.
These types of technologies are also being implemented bit by bit in buildings. This is building automation, a type of remote, centralised and automated management that involves the incorporation of numerous subsystems in the installation of tertiary buildings such as offices, highschools, corporate, hotels and business buildings, among others. It has a clear goal: optimise resources, reduce costs and lower unnecessary energy consumption, at the same time as safety and comfort is increased. Building automation has its fundamental application in lighting, in security and in irrigation control in gardens and green spaces. In this way it is possible to obtain energy savings of up to 40%.
But turning a house into an intelligent home implies a significant investment- To the margin of new construction homes, that can incorporate some of these smart building technologies, are houses with traditional installations. In these cases, by using energy from an already existing installation and through communication of information of the wifi network pre installed in the home, the resources found normally in any home are taken advantage of.
The Instituto Tecnológico de Óptica, Color e Imagen (Technological Institute of Optics, Colour and Image) works on projects aimed at controlling all of the electronic devices installed in an intelligent home through any device with internet access, such as a cellphone or a tablet. In this way, programming of the devices that make up the home is simplified, without the need to use a control for each device.
This project falls within plans to bring new technologies to the general population. However, it has special importance for users with a disability, and for those whom activities such as managing lights and raising and lowering blinds is an important obstacle.
The guide published by IDEA about how to save energy using smart building installations shows how to make efficient use of natural resources and lower cost hourly rates, thus reducing the electricity bill. The smart building installation can help us to not leave lights on, to take better advantage of solar light, to avoid having the air conditioning on with the windows open and not to water the garden if it has rained. Installing a energy consumption monitoring and management system also offers the user the possibility to modify their habits and take steps to reduce their electricity bill.
Intelligent telephones, intelligent controls, smart cars, intelligent homes… what we've always dreamt of, surrounding ourselves with technology customised to our image to make life easier.