With the rapidly evolving needs of buildings, campus is one of the fastest growing segments. According to GlobalData (Source: GlobalData construction database, extract April 20th, 2020), the number of campus projects has drastically increased over the last decade, recording a more than double increase from about 342 cases in 2013 to 1,160 cases in 2020. From integrated management to remote connectivity, digitalization plays a crucial role to transform a traditional campus into a smarter one while generating new values to achieve various city targets.
What is Smart Campus?
Despite the lack of a universal definition for “campus”, generally speaking, it is an environment that consists of buildings and land belonging to an organization with any kind of facilities in the area. It can be a space designated for a specific use such as a data center, technology park, hospital, airport, or even a residential district. In cities like Hong Kong, it may also apply to mixed-use projects that combine different uses in the same building or connect at least two high-rise buildings with different forms of use. Counting on data collection, Smart Campus ensures data-driven responses while at the same time incorporating smart technologies like digital twin, artificial intelligence, advanced data analytics, and so on.
Creating people-centric Smart Campus
It is no doubt that people acceptance will determine the success of an innovation. Accordingly, Smart Campus focuses on user experience to improve comfort and safety in addition to making infrastructure more adaptable and accessible. With the advent of smart technologies, it not only manages the current health and operation of facilities, but also predicts future behaviors and needs to tailor make an environment that meets users’ expectations or business targets. Just like an example of augmented reality (AR) navigation applications. It leverages Indoor Positioning Services, Wi-Fi Fingerprint, and AR navigation functionalities to calculate the distance between user location and destination, providing accurate instructions for a better smart living experience. AR navigation apps also allow for indoor mapping and positioning, enabling wayfinding from indoors to outdoors and buildings to buildings.
Space utilization vs comfort, can we have it both ways?
Land shortage has long been a pain point in Hong Kong. Without sacrificing users’ comfort and safety, Smart Campus helps alleviate this issue by maximizing space utilization. Siemens’ Enlighted and Comfy solutions work to create intelligent workplaces that increase employee productivity and building efficiency through utilizing office space. With the help of a centralized platform for the booking of conference rooms and other office spaces as well as IoT-enabled sensors that collect real-time occupancy data, meeting spaces and office facilities can be distributed efficiently and vacant spaces are released in the event of no show. Limited spatial resources within the office are thus maximized, creating Smart Offices that promote efficiency and cater to customer’s needs.
Identifying saving opportunities to optimize building efficiency
Based on advanced data analysis, Smart Campus can drive all aspects of efficiency and reduce risks of the campus by centralizing assets and its performance data in a holistic view. By adopting AI technology in chiller plants, which often accounts for 60% of a building’s energy consumption, it helps optimize operations and identify energy-saving opportunities through machine learning and model optimizing. To enable proactive maintenance and real-time fault detection, AI develops predictive intelligence for the HVAC system, which is particularly important at the time of this pandemic. For cities like Hong Kong with over thousands high-rise buildings and skyscrapers, the adoption of Smart Campus can deliver significant impacts.
Contributing carbon neutrality
To support the Hong Kong SAR government’s carbon neutral target by 2050, Smart Campus could be one of the main contributors, considering that buildings account for about 90% of the electricity used and over 60% of the carbon emissions in Hong Kong. Siemens has been committed to driving energy efficiency and one of its real-life example would be the Multi-functional Smart Lamppost located in Hong Kong. Built with highly efficient solar cells and a direct drive generator, the lamppost can operate under renewable power while supporting power storage for future use with additional functions like an E-bike charging station and crowd control. Its smart lighting technology also features a dimming functions, allowing opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint.
Building a Smart Campus is not just about technologies, but also center around user experience and create an environment that is livable and sustainable in the long run. Given a huge potential of harnessing sensor data, meaningful insights can be generated to achieve various city targets. We see there is a growing form of campus in Hong Kong, serving as opportunities for us to transform many aspects of our lives. Let’s start unlocking this potential at the edge and beyond for a more people-centric smart city.