College and university campuses by their very nature have a
difficult challenge of housing, educating and employing thousands of people at
a time. Many are looking to smart technology to help them run more efficiently,
reduce costs and better serve staff and students.
Have your cake and eat it too – with flexible funding for Smart University spaces
All campus buildings can be made more efficient and more
comfortable through the use of automated heating and cooling technologies. As
well as measuring and adjusting the temperature of specific spaces, these
systems can also take into account the weather forecast and occupancy levels in
order to heat and cool the buildings in the most energy-efficient way possible.
Occupants can digitally provide feedback on comfort levels and influence
changes in temperature.
Similarly, lighting levels can be localised according to use
of a particular space. A study space benefits from a different kind and
strength of light compared to a shopping or relaxation space, for example.
Light can also be adjusted according to levels of natural light outside and automatically
switched off when the space is unoccupied.
As well as temperature and lighting, sensors can also
monitor occupancy and usage to ensure spaces are being used as efficiently as
possible. With a real-time data dashboard providing an overview of usage,
universities can save energy, while also monitoring where key assets such as IT
equipment, for example, and even personnel, such as technicians, are required.
Smart technology can also help contribute to the effective
maintenance of campus buildings. Sensors can report waste bin levels to
optimise collection, for example. Sensors can also detect when equipment might
be in need of attention before it fails allowing for predictive maintenance.
Information on the exact nature of the maintenance required can be sent to
mobile devices in real time.
Campus security and safety is another area where smart
technology can be deployed. Automated technologies, such as video surveillance,
access control and, mass notification systems can improve safety by controlling
who can enter which buildings and sending notifications if security is
breached, therefore enabling fast responses.
Now, at the very forefront of technology, smart buildings
are being linked to smart learning in order to optimise the student experience.
Intelligent timetabling, for example,means
systems can select rooms appropriate for lessons based on what the lecturer is
planning to teach, helping to maximise student comfort and therefore
engagement. Wayfinding via mobile apps can help guide students to classes and
adjust routes to take account of special needs such as wheelchair access and,
when they arrive, facial recognition can be used to monitor attendance. This
can then be taken a step further through the use of emotion recognition
software which can help identify disengaged and struggling students, allowing
for early intervention. The software can gauge a student’s level of interest by
analysing body language and movement. This data can then be used to influence
teaching techniques and content to ensure that students are stimulated and
However, higher education budgets continue to be put under
pressure and pioneering finance managers are looking to optimize their capital
deployment by moving tangible investments – such as smart-building conversion –
away from capital expenditure (CAPEX) on the balance sheet and into operating
expenditure (OPEX). Effectively, the supplier of a “service” such as
smart-building conversion deploys financial techniques and solutions that
remove the need to devote own capital, bundling the smart-building conversion
into a monthly fee across an agreed-upon contractual period.
In other words, finance managers are increasingly looking
for ways to pay for outcomes – in this case energy savings and other
smart-building advantages. There are a variety of modern financing models that
allow this to happen, but the most attractive of these involves smart solutions
partners that are able to do this at low or zero net cost for the building’s
owner – public or private.
Using smart financing techniques, the integrated solutions
provider introduces technology and systems to create intelligent buildings that
deliver a clearly predictable level of energy savings. The reduction in energy
costs is then harnessed to effectively fund the cost of conversion.
The building owner has kept traditional lines of credit open and conserved funds for strategically important development activities.
To find out more, visit our website