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Announcing the Smart Buildings NYC Website

The definition of a Smart Home has been refined over the past decade. Most consumers have at least a conceptual understanding of the related solutions and technologies. However, the same cannot yet be said for the idea of Smart Buildings. These spaces in which many of us live or work are much more complex, use far more energy and resources, and require a multi-faceted approach to making them “smarter.” Steven Winter Associates and Sentient Buildings have created an online resource to serve as a forum for understanding Smart Buildings, in New York City and beyond.

What Are Smart Buildings?

Smart Buildings Logo

Smart Buildings integrate technology, buildings systems, and people. They provide a centralized view of information across HVAC, lighting, and other systems to improve daily operations, comfort, and asset value. Making a building smarter requires a strategy that is beyond today’s latest widget; it needs to account for the building as a whole, which in many cases means a deep understanding of both new and 100-year old technology. Smart buildings capitalize on existing systems and create a flexible platform for future upgrades as building needs and technology options change.

With the introduction of NYC’s new Local Law 33, which mandates large buildings display their energy efficiency score in a prominent lobby location starting in 2020, many building owners and managers will be inclined to identify capital improvements that target energy use. Smart building solutions can be a means to easier decision making. Technology that monitors how a building uses energy can help to determine deficiencies and economical system improvements, while implementing controls for selected systems will allow for automated response processes and remote access.

Future-Proofing with Open Communication Standards

Communication Standards GraphicIt is well recognized that standards are a key requirement for any industry to realize its full potential. Our phones are more valuable when they are compatible with standards like USB and Bluetooth. Buildings will be more valuable to the extent that they incorporate standard communication protocols between smart devices that don’t limit choice or result in vendor lock-in. Steven Winter Associates has sought to promote building science standards and best practices for nearly 50 years. Over the next 50 years, we look forward to also contributing to the establishment and dissemination of standards that help a wide network of owners, operators, contractors, and service providers benefit from Smart Buildings.

“Smart” is Not a Destination

All buildings have room for improvement and upgrades can be made incrementally or comprehensively. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the complex environment of large buildings. Smart is not a destination, but the process of learning and adapting to the needs of a building and team.

Visit the new website: www.smartbuildings.nyc