Smart and connected spaces are steadily becoming the aim of old and new commercial buildings. Cities are keen to regenerate buildings and harness the power of research data to augment energy usage. Applying useful information based on scientific research will help to better manage commercial buildings, utilities like electricity and water, and shared resources.
Investing in smart building lighting systems in city real estate can help achieve these goals for the benefit of the planet. In this article, we look at the connection between commercial buildings in urban areas and climate change, and the advantages of opting for intelligent lighting for buildings.
Cities and Climate Change
According to the World Green Building Council, a building is deemed green if its design, construction or operation cuts back or removes harmful effects on the climate and natural environs. More so, a green building must yield positive impacts, enhance the quality of life for living things, and safeguard precious natural resources.
The Coalition for Urban Transitions projected that by 2050, cities can drastically reduce 90% of carbon emissions by adopting new technologies and implementing good practices. Presently, buildings contribute to a whopping 30 to 40 percent of total emissions of greenhouse gasses in cities. Reducing the emissions by 90% in this timeline requires cutting emissions from buildings by more than 80% of current levels. The World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment Progress requires metropolises to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030. By May 2020, an impressive twenty-eight big metropolises signed this treaty, and more cities around the world are expected to join.
The stark reality of climate change is not lost on many and pressure is mounting in every country to ensure relevant laws are drafted and implemented so urban areas can grow sustainably. As the future unfolds, green buildings are being erected using sustainable and ethically sourced materials to ensure a high-efficiency rating. Apart from being energy and resource-efficient, their design must be environmentally-friendly not just esthetically. This can be achieved by installing vertical and rooftop gardening areas to improve the quality of life for users or residents. Furthermore, green buildings will have the capacity to produce their energy.
Advantages of Smart Building Lighting Systems in Cities
From the above summary, it is apparent that sustaining the planet is now at the forefront of many discussions and no country should distance itself from this gnawing issue. There are many advantages of adopting smart building lighting systems in cities whether for commercial or residential purposes.
1. Automating Lighting in Offices
One of the greatest use of skyscrapers in cities is for commercial use where companies set up shops and have employees working for them. Smart building lighting systems make it easy to automate lighting in offices depending on the amount of light available. Employees pulling a night shift don’t have to worry about turning lights on and off manually as this can be done using the Wi-Fi connection.
2. Highlighting Products in Stores
Smart lighting in commercial spaces like a shopping mall is often used to draw attention to certain products. It could be a new product launch that requires visibility to attract would-be customers or an existing product that is having a sale. People who enjoy spending time in retail stores will attest to the role lighting plays in spotting goods on shelves or along with supermarket isles. When customers can see what is on display, they are more likely to pay attention and buy the product in question.
3. Boost Sale of Commercial Real Estate
Commercial real estate (CRE) has always been in high demand but the property market is susceptible to fluctuations which can lead to huge losses or profits. Covid 19 has brought unprecedented challenges to the economy and many companies were forced to downsize due to difficulty in meeting payroll. More so, government decrees calling for the lockdown of cities to curb the spread of coronavirus meant working from home. Offices were left nearly empty and this dynamic has turned real estate into a buyer’s market. CRE developers are turning to smart lighting and other innovations to make their projects appealing to buyers.
4. Beating the Afternoon Slump
Working for several hours on end can leave employees feeling lethargic in the late afternoons and this will impact their productivity. Smart lighting allows adjustments to increase illumination levels which in turn boosts the energy levels of employees. During peak work hours, you will find many employees glued to their computer screens so the lighting needs to be soothing to support visual comfort. The ability to adjust the brightness and color of office lighting helps in boosting productivity which subsequently increases the chances of meeting goals.
5. Checking Space Occupancy
A building with connected lighting systems allows monitoring of which rooms are occupied at any given time. This data can help schedule HVAC systems according to occupancy thereby saving costs on electric bills. Smart lighting can also help in emergency scenarios, for instance, if a fire breaks out in the building. The fire alarm would go off instructing people to vacate immediately until the situation is neutralized. Checking building schematics can help identify if there are occupants still left in the building and pinpoint where they are located.
6. Bolster Aesthetic Appeal
Investing in intelligent lighting for your office can make the space look more expansive than the actual square footage. You can use different light fixtures as decorative elements in key places like the reception area, boardrooms, bullpen, hallways, etc. Making good use of intelligent lighting creates a wonderful atmosphere that is conducive to working. Smart lighting will also make your branding more prominent which also increases the aesthetics for clients and staff.
7. Less Ultraviolet Light
Another major benefit of intelligent lighting is that it incorporates minimal levels of ultraviolet light. Research surmises that ultraviolet and infrared light contain rays that harm the cells of the skin and cause various ailments.
Smart lighting systems are essential to any commercial space for many reasons. This lighting can be used to highlight products, make a working area more inviting, for safety reasons, and save on energy costs. The latter advantage fulfills the requirements of the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment Progress.