Asst. Prof. Dr. Ümmü Altan Bayraktar, lecturer in the Girne American University, Faculty of Communication, Department of Journalism and Broadcasting, interviewed Haşim Altan, the Cypriot Architect and Associate Professor of Sustainable Design & Architectural Engineering in University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates:
Smart Buildings – Green & Intelligent!
Why Smart Buildings – What is their Significance?
Nowadays, and particularly in the last five years, the term ‘smart’ has been used more often than ever to refer to something different, important and ‘intelligent’ besides the terms ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ when denoting buildings.
Technological breakthroughs and the Information Communication Technology (ICT) of the new age have revolutionised the exchange and spread of information over the past years by allowing the human being to innovate ways of integration between service systems and technologies that become the part of our lifestyle. What`s more, they are now the part of our buildings and the structural environment.
In this sense, the term ‘smart’ has now become the way the buildings are created: services and systems are integrated with technology (also referred to as IBT) in such a way that makes our lives much easier (compared with the past, e.g. pre 2000s). Smart way of life is driving innovation forward and therefore exists with “green” and “intelligent” buildings to provide sustainable present and future.
In the last decades, Building Intelligence (BI) has become a widespread concept applied in constructions of diverse scales. Whether a building is intelligent in terms of its performance, services, systems or all of the three aspects combined, the aim of BI is to enhance the comfort and safety of the occupants, and at the same time, enable them to acquire a high level of control over the various parameters that can determine how healthy the environment inside a building is. Consequently, BI not only enhances the productivity and the well-being of the users (building occupiers), but also helps to achieve resource efficiency, cost effectiveness, flexibility and adaptability. Moreover, Building Intelligence is recently being intertwined with sustainability concepts (incorporating green buildings in the context) as means to achieve energy conservation requirements of today due to ambitious targets set by many countries around the world.
Due to the rapid progress in network technology and the information system (as part of the ICT as previously mentioned), the ways of living and working have been directly and indirectly affected. Traditional residential buildings (i.e. our homes) are no longer capable to satisfactorily accommodate the impact caused by the developing technology. Thus, the scope of Intelligent Buildings (IBs) has gradually extended from office building automation to residential building automation, and created something that may be called as ‘smart or ‘intelligent’ homes in these days.