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Smart Buildings

The University of Groningen (UG) has many buildings to support education and research. One of the ways in which the university is optimizing this support is by working on Smart Buildings.  

What are Smart Buildings?
In our university’s buildings there are many systems and sensors, for example motion sensors, reservation systems, temperature meters, energy meters and access points for wi-fi. These systems and sensors provide data. Data that we convert to useful information and insights. 

Data from various sources can be used for automated actions, such as targeted heating and ventilation of rooms based on the occupancy. The way in which these data are combined makes it ‘smart’. For example, data on indoor temperature and air quality, the presence of people, and schedule of meetings or reservations. By combining these data, we can better tailor building systems to the usage.

In short; we use the term Smart Buildings when we combine data from buildings to create ‘smart’ solutions.

Future vision
As a university, we can use these smart applications to improve our buildings.

For example, by monitoring and adjusting the indoor climate, Smart Building solutions contribute to a healthy working and study environment. By offering live insights into the occupancy students and employees are able to find a suitable work and study space more easily. And by dynamically adapting escape routes to the occupancy the safety-level increases. 

It is also important that buildings are used sustainably and efficiently. Various Smart Building solutions can support this. For example, by releasing reserved rooms when no one shows up, tuning the climate system to the use of the buildings and gaining better insight into the facilities and services needed in a building. 

The university also serves as a living lab, where real-life experiments are carried out and collected data is used for research. 

Smart Buildings programme
The Smart Buildings programme was set up as a first step to achieve our future vision. Within the programme, we are working on, among other things:

  • Energy & Occupancy: The first year is focused on using our real estate more efficiently and reducing energy consumption. 

  • Pilots: Several pilots are conducted to gain experience in optimally measuring occupancy in different types of spaces. These pilots contribute to achieve savings.

  • Dashboards & reports: Data and insights are shared with stakeholders via dashboards and reports. A dashboard is an overview that shows important information at a glance using numbers and charts. 

  • Learning community: Developments are going fast, so we learn together about Smart Buildings in a learning community. A learning community is a group of people who help each other, share knowledge and experiences, and together go through a learning process. 

Last modified:17 May 2024 12.05 p.m.
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