Smart buildings hold the promise to bring the advantages of IP to infrastructure services such as security and access control.
Smart buildings have been simmering away for some time. Not only do they hold out the promise of big savings on network infrastructure and maintenance costs - 60 percent or more, claimed Panduit - but they can also save energy by enabling building services to be managed intelligently.
For example, said Brett Swett, Panduit's business development manager, in his company's new HQ, will be able to schedule a meeting on your PC, and the control systems will automatically turn on the air-conditioning and lighting in the meeting room in advance, and activate a digital sign on the meeting room door.
The main obstacles to having smart networks incorporated into buildings involves rewiring existing systems, the fact that very often the building is rented and not completely occupied and that companies grossly over-estimate the cost of constructing smart buildings.
Use of energy efficient technology needs focussed promotion from governments and environmental groups, as rightly pointed out by Rob Day in this article at Greener Buildings.