The world’s seventh largest country is headed toward a greener ESG profile in terms of workplace automation and intelligent building management

Smart offices are some of the biggest drivers of productivity and operating-cost reductions in India and the world.

With automation and IoT, tasks such as lighting, temperature control and even security can be managed remotely. The integration of AI and ML into building management systems is paving the way for smart buildings and carbon-friendly practices even within offices that are not fully outfitted with smart technology.

According to Hardik Pandit, Director, APICES Studio India: “Real-time data on energy consumption, occupancy and other metrics are available for easy monitoring and decision making. While there are some challenges to overcome, the benefits of smart offices steer out the disadvantages, and it is likely that we will see even more companies in Asia embracing this technology in the coming years.”

Hardik Pandit, Director, APICES Studio

Hardik added that, in addition to helping to reduce costs, the technology causes smart offices to be ecologically less carbon intensive, summarizing:

    • Automation: Smart building management systems and intelligent automation can be used to optimize energy consumption. Smart lighting systems can automatically vary operating brightness based on ambient light levels; sensor-controlled windows can open and close automatically to maximize natural ventilation.
    • IoT devices: IoT devices such as occupancy sensors and temperature controls provide real-time data on energy consumption, occupancy, and other metrics. With the help of IoT, one can track the usage of equipment’s and devices in order to eliminate inefficiencies and wastage of energy.
    • Green technology: The use of sustainable technology helps to save cost in the long run. With green technology, energy consumption and carbon footprint are reduced substantially.

One architect in India, Tushar Mistry, Tushar Mistry Design Studio, even calls IoT a game changer: “One of the key growth drivers will be adopting IoT for business solutions. Organizations are relying on connected IoT devices and sensors throughout their facilities to identify and enact steps that allow them to heighten their efficiencies and reduce the carbon footprint — all while increasing occupant comfort.”

Mistry cited as examples the increasing use of security sensors, smart lighting and furniture programming to adjust to users’ preferences, adding that smart office technology will provide managers with richer data on how the office is being used and how a space can reconfigured to suit individual business setups and changing workplace ergonomics requirements.

VR and AR in smart building design
With the help of AI-enabled heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, building occupants can adjust the temperature and airflow based on the number of people in the room, while ML algorithms can predict future occupancy patterns to help schedule cleaning and maintenance tasks.

Additionally, building/office planning and design tools enriched with Virtual Reality and Augmented Realty features can speed up the process while improving the quality of virtual walkthroughs and other simulations needed for more-informed decisions.

According to experts, the natural evolution of smart offices will bring with it notable changes. An example in point is that smart visitor management systems will eventually remove the need for reception areas altogether, while facial recognition will take over human identification; smart access kiosks and connected cameras will be used for tracking visitors’ activities in open areas within the premises.