Sustainable advantages brought by building digitization

15 Jan 2024

Digitization has been mainly implemented in companies to optimize resources and enhance
competitiveness. It makes it possible to take on more tasks, and to accomplish them in a faster and more
efficient way as compared to other traditional technologies. Over time, we have learned that digitization
can bring many more benefits, some of them are even linked to sustainability when applied to buildings.

What is digitization focused on sustainability?

The expression “smart home” is often associated with private households: by investing in applications
such as home automation, state-of-the-art connectivity and sustainable energy solutions, you can have an
intelligent and eco-friendly home.

This proposal is often the starting point when digitizing buildings – considering that it is performed at a
larger scale due to their size and complexity.

Therefore, we talk about building digitization when we refer to the use of digital systems and tools
allowing to optimize construction, maintenance and management of such infrastructures in a sustainable
way as far as the environment is concerned.

In order to understand why sustainability is linked to buildings, it is crucial to bear in mind two essential

  1. Constructing buildings has a considerable impact on atmosphere and water pollution, as well as on
    waste production.
  2. The performance of the building itself and all the energy resources required to bring comfort to its
    inhabitants is the main polluting agent in cities around the world.

Building digitization must be, therefore, not only focused on construction processes, but also on the
ability to measure and manage their consumption to avoid polluting as much as possible.

Digitization resources for buildings and sustainability advantages

Sustainable buildings mainly based on digitization resources are now a thing. Some of the resources that
are increasingly used for new constructions are as follows:

BIM modeling for building design and construction

As we have already mentioned, the first step to building digitization is the design and construction of an

During this phase, BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology has achieved remarkable success
and proven efficiency. With such technology, a project can be performed faster, safer and efficiently as far
as the materials used in every part of the work are concerned.

Thanks to a coordinated design process and full transparency of the data being handled, it is possible to
fully monitor the building during the operation phase, to plan costs and to take use only the materials
and equipment required, producing the minimum waste.

Built-in IoT in buildings

When applying digitization advances to manage smart buildings, the Internet of Things (IoT) must be
implemented in the best possible way in every comfort and conditioning system.

Every digital device you can find in a building takes advantage of 5G technologies’ speed and bandwidth
for its connections, while optimizing the available resources.

This innovation is enhanced by the essential role of the IoT Node. This development allows all the data
produced by IoT devices in a building to be collected, managed and communicated to a higher
management platform.

IoT Nodes enhance remote configuration and management of buildings featuring such technology. It
also makes possible to create network infrastructures, leading to more efficient. This is the current basis of
the digital-building ecosystem.

By means of these changes, the infrastructure can be practically self-managed, optimizing all the energy
resources and without misusing the conditioning systems (which are one of the main sources of pollution
in cities).

IoT technology integrated in buildings allows for a thorough monitoring of all the available resources to
use them more efficiently, while consuming less energy and achieving savings, which is an aspect
owners might find quite interesting.

As for sustainability, this type of strategies can help buildings decarbonize, which contributes to gradually
improve the city’s sustainability and to take it to the status of “smart city”.

Smart LED lighting

A connected LED lighting installation can involve decisive energy and economic savings thanks to this
digitization advance.

Lighting up buildings and public roads is one of the main expenses a city must meet and also involves
ongoing pollution that must be reduced as much as possible.

LED technology itself contributes to reduce it, in terms of both energy resources and light pollution.

Apart from that, light can be efficiently managed, because only those areas requiring visibility are lit
for the right duration, which avoids inefficient use of energy.

Considering all the benefits brought by intelligent lighting together with the potential of interconnectivity
in buildings, possibilities are even greater.

For instance, a lighting system fitted with sensors can warn managers that maintenance tasks will be
required soon, which reduces the risk of power outages or malfunction.

All these advantages can be also applied to other urban environments: parking lots, industrial
premises and areas, roads and all the lighting of a city. All these aspects will allow to develop a smart city,
meeting the goals in terms of resources, safety, connectivity and sustainability.

We need to bear in mind that digitization should not be proposed individually, but connected to the rest of
elements making up any project. As far as buildings are concerned – as well as any other civil
construction – this technological advance should be combined with the responsible use of building
materials and designs based on the use of natural resources so we can have intelligent and sustainable
constructions across the world.