The Third Seminar of the Constro Lecture Series shed light on the evolution and general concepts of a 'Smart Building'. Ar.Vinod Gupta who spoke about his ideas of a smart a building. He began with the CMC Building, Mumbai from the1990s, is rightfully called the 'first smart building' of India. The client brief for the building had three major points that needed to be fulfilled:
1. Use of Building Automation systems for HVAC, Lighting, Water and electricity, Security and Overall Buildingmaintenance.
2. Make the office a Paperless one.
3. Achieve a building that is relevant in the 21st Century.
  The most important aspect was making the building Environmental friendly, which meant energy efficiency, water use efficiency, use of materials that didn't require extra energy for transport of construction and most importantly creating a healthy working environment for the staff.


Guptaspoke about the innovative creation of levels within the building that created a kind of “slow stair case” and encouraged movement of people without use of elevators. The façade of the building used glass ascladding material to avoid growth of a certain kind of fungus Day lighting was controlled with automated self adjusting louvers and lights that depended on the sun's position during the day. Use of such systems, coupled withgeneral architectural the ories of efficient space usage, proper form generation for the building is what led to the success of the building in a way.
  He also spoke about NIIT Campus at Neemrana, Rajasthan and IIT Gandhinagar Campus. An important point raised here is when can we say a building is smart? An interesting way to look at it would be to first think about the human body. It is probably, the smartest thing we know today. It has a large number of systems that are inter-connected ina way to ensure its efficient performance. However, not the mere presence of such systems makes a person'Smart'. Hence smartness is just a label not a goal. People are good only if they have the right values and goals. It isvery similar for buildings and architecture as well.


The second speaker wasAr Oscar, principal architect at Oscar and Ponni Architects, Chennai. A smart building is theintegration of building, technology and energy systems. These systems may include building automation, life safety,telecommunications, user systems and facility management systems. Smart buildings recognise and reflect the technological advancements and convergence of building systems. They provide actionable information about abuilding to allow its management.

Smart Building Timeline

• Till 1985: Automatic control function
• 1986 to 1991: Buildings capable of responding to the changing needs
• 1992 to present: Buildings with features effectively satisfying the changing needs.
  With Innovation, Integration and Empowerment, traditional building automation is elevated to an intelligent building.Itprovides an efficient and cost effective environment through optimisation of its four basic elements of Structure, Systems, Services and Interrelationships.


In conclusion, we take a look at the basic advantages of smart buildings:
• Higher levels of security and safety
• Simplified operation for users and administrators
• Simpler staff tracking
• Reduced administration costs
• Reduced system costs by sharing infrastructure
• Easier integration into university systems
• Information can be delivered to all interested parties in the manner they need
• Increased mobility
  In the final lecture Mr. Skandaprasad talked about 'Driverless Buildings' like 'Driverless Cars'.Investment in BuildingService Split is typically: Structural – 75%, Services – A little below 25% and Automation 2-3%. This small investmentcan save much energy for the future!


With building management system, anything can be controlled ensuring a safe, secure and comfortable home. The potential for automation ina residence could include Gates, to digital locks for doors, Curtain controls, Lux censors fornatural lighting, and touch screen panels for temperature controls, solar panels generating energy, gas leak detectors,motion detectors and a lot more!While these systems are handy, it is important to understand when and where to stop automation, else it becomesstupidity not smartness!

Some technologies to facilitate automation include:

1. Building Information Modelling (BIM)
2. Diagnostics or self-tuning Equipment for better system performance.

3. Voice: Voice commands on smartphones have proved their advantages.
4. Gestures: Elimination of touch ensures hygiene, safety and comfort.
5. Cloud connectivity: It basically reduces infrastructure, makes connection hassle free.
6. Power over Ethernet: Quick to install, easy trouble shoot and most importantly cost effective.
7. Near field Communication (NFC): Smart phone, where just tapping your phone can do the needful.
8. Energy Optimisation: HVAC optimising with occupancy sensors.
  Any building to become smart must hence be primarily designed properly before application of any kind of automationsystems.