Developing the next
generation of smart buildings

The buildings we currently use must communicate and learn from each other and make suggestions for improvements.


“The construction industry often sources technology from multiple suppliers, making it difficult to obtain well-functioning, integrated solutions. We can see that the ‘brain’ of the building is sometimes delivered by a plumber or a ventilation supplier. This would be a bit like letting a car mechanic upgrade your mobile phone,” says Ingebjørg Foss Daae.

As a business developer in innovation and digitalisation at Siemens Building Technologies, she believes integrated solutions provide completely different opportunities and benefits.

“Innovation and development of new solutions and services require an integrated and well-functioning base system. The truly innovative projects are where we get involved from day one and can work closely with the end customer throughout the project. The customer then gets a comprehensive solution where everything works together, and at the same time we can run the development together,” she says.

Business Developer Ingebjørg Foss Daae from Siemens Building Technologies believes integrated solutions provide completely different opportunities and benefits. Photo: Private

Self-learning building

Siemens has developed solutions for sharing information so that similar buildings can learn from each other.

“Worldwide, we collect data from over 75,000 buildings and compare the buildings with each other. Among other things, we set up solutions for hotel chains and shopping centres to compare energy consumption, operating costs and other parameters across the building stock. Such analyses help optimise the operations,” she says.

She also says that Siemens is working on systems that learn to detect deviations and generate notifications of recommended measures.

“Some of the systems can detect deviations in energy or water consumption and diagnose faults on valves or other technical equipment. The solution provides warnings for what may be wrong and reports what can be rectified. We are on our way to automated, self-learning buildings.”

Empower the guest

Currently, Siemens makes data available to the operating organisation in a building. Now, they want to make the data available to third parties too via MindSphere, an open Cloud-based analysis platform.

“In Trondheim, we are developing solutions for a hotel that allow guests to control everything via their mobile phone. The hotel will offer access control via Bluetooth so guests can control light, temperature and ventilation directly from their mobile phone. In addition, we use indoor positioning for navigation and smarter evacuation,” she says.

Here, the system for building management will also be integrated with the hotel’s booking system.

“The purpose is to assign hotel rooms next to other occupied rooms so that the hotel fills up wing after wing. That way we can control the indoor climate where the guests are and avoid having to heat the entire hotel,” says Foss Daae.

Automates new headquarter

Not only in the hotel industry are buildings becoming more innovative. Another example is the new Veidekke corporate headquarters. Here, you talk to the rooms to control the light, heat and ventilation.

“We want to automatically assign office space so that you can fill up buildings in an energy-efficient manner. In addition, the cafeteria will receive information about the number of people in the building so that they can offer the right amount of food and reduce food waste,” she says and continues:

“Motion detectors should also be able to track space use so that housekeeping staff can streamline cleaning. In the long term, such data can be used to control housekeeping robots.”

Making information available

Foss Daae believes we have only seen the beginning of building automation and that the sharing of data will create more efficient services in the future.

“The next-generation construction automation will build on indoor positioning and move towards IoT (Internet of Things). For example, cleaning and maintenance will be more effective when sensors warn about the need for waste disposal or the filling of soap dispensers. We also look at how the fire department can extract data about where people are located, where a fire is raging and what the temperature spread is. We will see a lot of ‘Facility Management on Demand’ in the coming years,” she says.

Siemens’ overall strategy is to make the information available to those who may benefit from it.

“We want to use the data we collect to improve security, streamline operations and create value for others,” she concludes.