The complexity of smart building automation in action: a case study
EcoXpert partners see this every day. With energy efficiency being a key priority in smart buildings … and green building certifications and modern resident comfort adding to the value of buildings for their owners … smart building technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) play an increasingly important role.
Yet, a building can have a different purpose over time. Take a small apartment building that gets turned into a hotel, for instance. Or, a hotel being turned into a building with a few offices that enable workers to work in an optimal environment with advanced room and lighting control features. By having the latest smart building technologies, including IoT, in place to serve the needs of whoever lives/stays in the building and with the potential future repurposing of their smart buildings in mind, building owners and developers need to think ahead and have the infrastructure, foundations, controls, information capabilities and IoT technologies ready, regardless of future scenario.
The smart building automation case and story of EcoXpert-installed Goralska Résidences in Paris is a perfect illustration of how smart buildings can be constructed and ready for future change of purpose – smart building versatility in practice.
How an EcoXpert successfully leveraged smart building technologies to repurpose the function of a building
A developer refurbished and modernized a building to house twelve apartments in the district of Paris Bastille. Each apartment needed to have an individual smart building automation solution, combining several functions such as lighting control, blind control, room control, energy management capabilities and more of the most modern capacities.
French smart building automation specialist Soliled, a light and room control expert with a Schneider Electric Light & Room Control EcoXpert certification (for advanced home automation, lighting control and small building management systems), took on the job and started working on the project, based upon the KNX protocol.
However, after some time the project developer changed his mind and decided the building would serve as a hotel, today known as the Goralska Résidences Paris Bastille. While the needs of a hotel and the IoT-enabled smart building technologies and functions of an apartment differ from those of a hotel suite from the occupant perspective, they also overlap. And, in fact, if the building had been used for smaller state-of-the art offices we would have found similar overlaps.
Yet, at the same time, it is clear that in a hotel the guest experience is even more important and other services help improve that experience.
IoT and smart building automation technologies at the service of hotel guests and hotel management
Moreover, the hotel manager also needs to be able to connect the various suites for things like service, maintenance, and even energy savings. In the case of Goralska Résidences this happens in combination with virtual concierge services, additional information services and video and audio to name a few.
Building further on the KNX standard, with a homeLYnk logic controller and web server per suite and a connection (gateway) between the KNX backbone and IP backbone, EcoXpert partner Soliled, Schneider Electric and HotelCloud delivered an integrated solution which hotel guests can easily use within the specialist cloud solution for hotels of the HotelCloud e-concierge platform on an individual iPad per room. Using concierge services, checking information services, dimming the lights, playing music, adjusting temperature, controlling the blinds, you name it: it can all be done via the iPad whereby the focus is on ease of use and guest experience. A built-in wall screen offers additional choice.
For the hotel owners, the building management solution enables to optimize customer experience but also to check room asset conditions, get alerts, save time thanks to e-concierge services (time which they can spend serving guest) and save on energy.
A smart building automation case of versatility for building owners
This smart building case study is interesting for various reasons on top of the guest experience and benefits for the hotel managers.
It shows how smart buildings can be realized with various potential purposes in mind whereby the actual smart building technologies and infrastructure can be leveraged and adapted, depending on any future use and with the addition of services that are valued by occupants, whether they are hotel guests, tenants of a luxury flat or office workers.
For the forward-thinking building developer that means versatility and building asset value indeed.
You can read more about the case and how it evolved as a project here. An illustration of the benefits and added value for the Goralska Résidences hotel – and its guests are in this success story video.
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Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts on the IoT and Smart Building evolution.