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Intelligent Building

Over the last 20 years, there has been a lot of discussion and debate about the concept of an "intelligent building." Work has gone on in many forums to define and quantify what the term really means. The end result of all of these efforts is that an intelligent building is not just one thing. My definition of intelligent buildings is as follows:

"Use of technology and process to create a building that is safer and more productive for its occupants and more operationally efficient for its owners."

The results from implementing these technologies and processes are buildings that cost less to operate and are worth more to their occupants. For projects that are owner-occupied, such as corporate, government, and institutions, the benefits of an intelligent building provide an immediate ROI in terms of higher employee productivity and reduced operating expenses. For commercial developments, these projects are expected to result in above market rents, improved retention, higher occupancy rates, and lower operating expenses. All around, this is a win-win situation!

So what are the technologies and processes that are required to create such a project? The list is long, starting with design and going through long-term operations, retrofit, and eventual decommissioning. See the sidebar article for a brief summary of the attributes.