What is building automation and what benefits does it offer?
Building automation is designed to automatically manage various systems and IoT devices within a building. It is mainly used for the optimisation of non-residential structures, such as hospitals, schools, offices, restaurants and hotels, as well as factories and apartment blocks. The solutions that building automation offers are aimed at improving quality of life, increasing security and ensuring energy savings, bringing advantages in economic terms and making buildings more ecologically sustainable.
From the "old" domotics to the "new" home automation
Until recently, home automation was seen as something fascinating but complex and expensive. Today, home and building automation systems have led to new ways of living, encouraging the design of buildings and homes that are more human, multi-functional, eco-friendly and flexible. What was once a luxury is now a feasible and effective solution for any type of project.
Thanks to its integration into interior design, the fields of application are now vast and constantly increasing: lighting, temperature control, and security and energy management are becoming furnishing elements that can enhance the architecture and character of buildings and interiors.
Planning automation during the design phase
Building automation should not be treated as an ‘extra’ element in a building; it must play an integral role during the design process.
Modern automation systems rely on the collection of data from sensors, which are then processed to enable precise automated functions, varying the characteristics of each environment based on the user’s needs.
Real examples of use
The new solutions have an ever-growing range of application. Building automation can be integrated into any environment. Just as elements can be added for discreet management of natural light (such as curtains and roller blinds) in company reception areas or boardrooms, other control units, such as thermostats and smart light switches, can become an integral part in the design of a restaurant. Modern lighting systems provide space for creative flair, not merely in controlling the brightness of the light fixtures, but also in combining colours to enhance the furnishings in a hotel lobby, the environment of a sophisticated winery or the works of art on display in a garden.
Technological elements can also be effectively integrated into hotel bathrooms, with smart mirrors allowing you to read the morning news while washing, and a new generation of showers that promise to use 90% less water and 80% less power. From body dryers to towel-warming drawers and floors that activate an alarm if you fall, the possibilities are becoming limitless.
It is important to determine which characteristics have priority, based on the specific application needs. For example, a sporting facility or hospital department may require adequate and diffused lighting that can be managed centrally, even by untrained staff, or in a restaurant or hotel, it may be desirable to integrate control systems and lighting fixtures into the architecture, where they become furnishing design features.
These examples are merely a small glimpse of the future interior design possibilities: designers and architects have extraordinary tools at their disposal to create environments that are more pleasant to live in, can integrate intriguing new functions, and are more environmentally friendly.
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