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Autonomous Buildings of the Future

Intelligent building technologies may reduce your building costs by up to 30%.

Many building owners believe that creating a smart building is cost prohibitive. Indeed, implementing intelligent infrastructure does require an investment in technology, and many building owners struggle with building a business case, justifying the cost, and demonstrating a return on investment.

By focusing on technology and infrastructure investments as capital expenses, rather than as potential future cost avoidances, building owners are missing an opportunity to reduce their building’s operating and lifecycle costs, gain a competitive advantage, and increase potential revenue.

Smart buildings, rather than representing a simple capital expense, help to reduce the building’s lifecycle cost through operational and energy cost savings.  Ultimately, these cost savings then allow building owners to invest in intelligent building technologies that address yet another challenge building owners face today: aging infrastructure.
Additionally, by not investing in intelligent building infrastructure, building owners face the loss of competitive advantage and potential revenue as their buildings will not be ready to accommodate the highest-value customers (i.e. patients, tenants, etc.), nor will they be able to make the transition to predictive maintenance models.

Smart building technologies aren’t limited to commercial buildings, hospitals, and schools, however. You might have a smart thermostat in your home today, or perhaps you’re considering one. The initial cost of the smart thermostat is significantly higher than most other programmable home thermostats, but homeowners who use this device see that it pays for itself in about two years . That is, these smart thermostats use artificial intelligence to help homeowners reduce energy consumption, thereby saving utility costs.

Homeowners who rely on their traditional programmable thermostats certainly save themselves the initial investment in the smart technology, but fail to see the long-term impact of energy and utility savings.

Similarly, high-efficiency washers, dryers, and other home appliances require a larger up-front investment than traditional appliances, but by using fewer resources, homeowners can take advantage of improved performance as well as lower utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint.

The same concept can, and should, be applied to your building. Let’s not fail to see the forest for the trees.

Buildings are becoming data-rich environments, a fact that represents a fundamental shift in the facilities industry. As a building ages its operating expenses tend to increase.



• You will want to upgrade your infrastructure, but where do you start? How do you prioritize your investments with limited funds?

• Spending on connected buildings is expected to more than triple from 2013 to 2018, representing a 28.4 percent compound annual growth rate, it is safe to say that connected buildings will be the wave of the future.

• Failing to upgrade puts you at a disadvantage.

• Digital technologies and the new way of performing maintenance help control operating expenses.

• An outdated facility can lead to lost revenue and lost customers.

• Studies show intelligent building technologies can reduce the cost of energy, spatial management, and maintenance by up to 30%.6

• Employees, tenants and customers expect the building they are in to mirror the efficiency and convenience they already experience with their personal lives. And they will make decisions on where they work and spend their money accordingly.

• Critical problems can be immediately identified and corrected for minimal downtime.

• Studies show that predictive maintenance programs lead to a 35 to 45%7 reduction in downtime.


7Operations & Maintenance Best Practices: A Guide to Achieving Operational Efficiency,” Federal Energy Management Program, U.S. Department of Energy, August 2010.

The good news is that the trend toward digitalization and connected devices will create vast amounts of data you can employ to improve the lifecycle cost of your building, reduce resource consumption, capture new revenue opportunities, and maintain consistently high building and system performance.

Just as no two buildings are the same, neither are two technology roadmaps. Your plan should have a structure of its own. At its base are your goals and objectives for the building. From there, the roadmap will include:

•  A timeline listing the use of and demands on the building for the next 20 years

•  A list of building technology requirements including:
    − Major building systems
    − Building subsystems
    − Budget and costs

•  A list of information technology (IT) requirements including budget and costs

•  Cabling and wiring planning, and budget and costs

•  Energy plan, including energy:
    − Demand/use
    − Procurement
    − Utility plans/rebates
    − Alternative and demand/response

•  Sustainability requirements including budget and costs

•  Integration plan that identifies system synergies, redundancies, and opportunities for future adaptability

The building of tomorrow is here today. Digitalization is helping building owners bring down their operating costs. When it comes to building technology, tomorrow is closer than you think. Digital Services combined with Intelligent Infrastructure Solutions can help you create the perfect place.

Click here to get a more in-depth overview of Digital Services and the steps you can take to get started on your journey to the smart building.

For more information, please click here and a Siemens representative will be in touch!

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