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future smart cities

before. Although hidden away, wastewater management is an essential component to growing, sustainable communities. So, there will be need for energy-efficient wastewater solutions to accommodate this growth. Xylem’s ‘Powering the wastewater renaissance’ report assessed the wastewater management capacity of three regions (US, Europe and China). It showed that nearly half the electricity emissions related to wastewater management can be abated by installing high-efficiency wastewater technology that exists today. “Unlocking significant emissions abatement in the wastewater technology sector does not require new technology or an aggressive carbon pricing,” said Krishna. “It does require an accelerated adoption and investment in existing high-efficiency technology and that’s where we are working closely with existing water authorities.”

Intelligence for our buildings Dannielle Furness

The global push for smart cities will take the concept further still, with a MarketsandMarkets smart building report released August 2016 projecting 34% global growth per annum for the sector over the next five years, up from the current US$5.73 billion to just under 25 billion by 2021. Underpinning the automated building is networked communications management, as total building intelligence depends on the effective and efficient transfer of information between largely disparate systems that utilise discrete, (and often) proprietary communication protocols. In addition to the increasing complexity and the need for seamless integration between unrelated services, there are still other factors to consider — the wellbeing of the occupants should be paramount. No matter how ‘smart’ the building, if it doesn’t provide an enhanced environment for the people working or living within it, it is failing to deliver. In the face of more elaborate requirements, how will future technology developments be incorporated to produce an outcome that simultaneously serves the needs of building owners, managers and occupants? Jim Sinopoli, managing principal of design and engineering firm Smart Buildings, recently authored an article for automatedbuildings.com in which he said that the intelligent building of the future will be self-learning. Sinopoli suggests that much of the technology to achieve self-learning already exists. He uses the ability of some distributed antenna systems (DAS) to form a self-

© Stock.Adobe.com/au/kantver

Building automation in both commercial and residential environments is by no means a new concept. In its infancy, smart home technology focused largely on lifestyle benefits. It was a costly solution grounded firmly in the integration of high-end services including home theatre and security systems. By contrast, application of the same building blocks in commercial projects was aimed at reducing overall energy consumption,

particularly from HVAC and lighting, which are two of the largest energy users. With increased consumer awareness, the energy savings argument became more prevalent in residential projects, and commercial jobs increasingly incorporated more complex integration with other systems such as building management and access control. Initially, both applications required expensive dedicated wiring, multiple load control devices, integration tools and peripherals like time clocks, sensors and wall panels. The choice of load controller dictated the types of lighting that could be installed and system changes required a technician to attend the site and be physically connected to the network. Smart building technology became easier to install, commission, operate and monitor through the introduction of wireless internet, mobile devices and the Internet of Things. Simultaneously, costs eased and automation became more accessible through entry-level, home-based solutions like Google Home and Amazon Echo. As residential systems simplify, the introduction of building rating schemes and government incentives for commercial development has helped expand the definition of a smart building. Energy use is no longer the sole focus — building managers and owners must now consider additional infrastructure elements, incorporating parking systems, water and waste management, as well as security components such as surveillance, access control and emergency management.

INSIGHTS 2017 7

Profile for Westwick-Farrow Media

Sustainability Matters Dec 2016/Jan 2017  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Dec 2016/Jan 2017  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...