image of a multi-storey infrastructure building with a sustainable green roof

Smart buildings have been around for decades, but it’s only recently that they’ve started to make more sizable  impacts on our lives. Smart buildings are one of the key elements of sustainable infrastructure and can help to reduce carbon emissions, reduce building maintenance operational costs,  and also  provide more connected ways of living and working.

But what exactly does a smart building do? And how can it contribute to a more resilient and sustainable future?

What are smart buildings?

Smart buildings are defined by the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) as “buildings that use the information and communications technologies to improve a building’s efficiency, performance, and sustainability.”

In other words, smart buildings help to improve the quality of life for people in the building and surrounding community. They also reduce waste through better energy management and improved occupant comfort, which can lead to increased productivity at work or school.

Examples of smart buildings include:

  • Offices with integrated lighting systems that automatically dim or brighten as needed
  • Buildings that monitor indoor air quality using sensors connected to IoT devices like thermostats or motion detectors
  • Maintenance experts using AR-based glasses to read equipment manuals, red herrings, and FAQs
  • An AI-based asset management system that detects idiosyncrasies in asset performance
  • Homes equipped with automated security systems via internet-connected cameras or monitoring software used by professionals

Why are smart buildings important?

Smart buildings are important because they contribute to both long-term sustainability and resilience. For example, energy efficiency is a key component of both sustainable and resilient infrastructure. Smart buildings use sensors, controllers, and other technologies to monitor energy usage and make adjustments as needed. This helps reduce waste at every stage of the process—from generation to consumption—and it can have a lasting impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions across the globe.

Smart buildings also play an important role in future infrastructure development because they allow us to respond quickly during natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes. They often come equipped with automatic shutoff valves that automatically shut down systems like lights when there’s an electrical surge caused by flooding. This protects workers from injury due to electrocution while allowing for quick repairs once a disaster has subsided without requiring manual intervention from trained professionals.

The role of facility management in smart buildings

Facility management is the process of managing a building’s operations and services. It includes the following:

  • Planning and forecasting operational requirements
  • Managing maintenance contracts and service agreements
  • Providing internal and external services to meet contracted needs

Facility management today is responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, and operation of buildings. It includes managing the building infrastructure like water supply, air conditioning, and heating plants along with facilities such as lifts and toilets.

The role of facility managers is becoming increasingly important as technology evolves to make our lives more convenient while also saving time and money through lower operating costs. They have become more involved in strategic decision-making rather than just being hands-on builders/engineers who focus on maintenance issues only after they arise.

For example, facility management software platforms like PlanRadar allows facility managers to access all building-related data (including sensor information) in one place, allowing them to identify inefficiencies and spot opportunities for growth. To learn more about how PlanRadar enables you to build smart infrastructure, you can try the app for free or contact us here.

Facility management software and smart infrastructures

One of the biggest challenges in smart buildings is integrating data. Facility management software can help make this process easier by providing data integration and analytics, which is essential to any successful project.

While there are many different types of facility management software on the market today, they all have a few things in common:

  • they integrate real-time information from sensors and other components into one system;
  • they provide two-way communication between users and devices, and
  • they allow users to control integrated building systems remotely.

Building operations software is designed to help facility managers in managing a building’s operations and maintenance, including energy management, facilities management, and space planning. It can be used to automate tasks such as calculating utility costs or managing tenant billing.

The software also allows facility managers to better understand how their buildings are performing, which enables them to identify potential problems before they become expensive issues. For example, if a building is losing power because of a faulty sensor or circuit breaker, the facility manager will know about it immediately — instead of waiting for someone to report an outage.

The best facility management software will allow you to integrate data from different sources, including sensors and building automation systems. This can help you keep track of all your assets and make sure they are in good condition. Facility management  software will also integrate data from other systems, such as fire alarms and security cameras. This can help you keep track of what is going on in different parts of your building, which is particularly important if multiple tenants are using a common space. They allow users to control devices remotely, so they don’t have to be present at the location where the equipment is installed.

BIM software in facility management

Building Information Modelling (BIM) software is used to manage data and information, as well as to create digital twin and virtual representations of the building. It can be used for managing energy consumption, operational efficiency, and cost control, designing improvements for future upgrades or retrofits. It also helps in creating a digital twin of the building that can be used for predictive maintenance and planning. This enables facility managers to take advantage of smart building technology when looking at sustainable infrastructure projects.

In addition to these common features, some software also includes advanced analytics tools that help users understand how their buildings are performing. This data can be used to identify problems and fix them before they become more serious issues. For example, if a building is losing power because of a faulty sensor or circuit breaker, the facility manager will know about it immediately — instead of waiting for someone to report an outage.


Smart buildings are one of the most important elements of sustainable and resilient infrastructure. They can improve the quality of life for people in cities by producing more energy, heating and cooling themselves efficiently, reducing carbon emissions, saving water, and more. Smart buildings will also help create smarter cities by connecting all systems – from transportation to utilities – so that everyone in them can work together harmoniously to make sure that everyone stays safe and healthy.

Looking to get started with facility management software that enables you to build smart infrastructure? Start your 30-day free PlanRadar trial here.