Maxwell Stephens

The rise of 'Smart Buildings' - 5 of the world's smartest buildings

A room that knows what temperature you prefer? Windows that tint on demand? Robot Security guards? These may sound like features of the Star Ship Enterprise, however these are just of the few amazing technological advancements that are becoming more commonplace in modern ‘Smart Buildings’. Here we look at some of the most impressive smart building that incorporate new technologies to drastically improve energy efficiency as well as having a huge impact on employee experiences.


122 Leadenhall Street, London


The Leadenhall Building features a plethora of intelligent energy saving features. Key to the building’s sustainability is its triple-layer glass ‘skin’. The outer layer of glass is separated from an inner layer of double-glazing by a cavity containing blinds that respond to the sun’s movement, keeping the office space comfortably cool throughout the working day.


The building has 293 energy meters installed to monitor light usage. The square-mile ‘hot-spot’ also boosts low-flow water fixtures and fittings and the external glazing features vents every seventh floor to let air circulate freely, reducing the need for AC systems.


Cisco Canada HQ, Toronto


This shiny glass and metal edifice has a touchscreen in the lobby that registers your requested floor, then directs you to the lift that will both minimize your wait time and maximize energy efficiency. It takes customization of your work environment beyond adjusting lighting and temperature to actually adjusting the height of your work desk. Another radical feature is the conference rooms that can be melded together by lifting the walls that separate them electromechanically into the ceiling. The pool and ping pong tables aren’t bad either!


Capital Tower, Singapore


One of the oldest-modern smart building in the world, the Capital Tower in Singapore has been setting trends for the past 15 years. With construction completed in 2000, the building features a state-of-the-art fully integrated intelligent building management system (IBMS) for its services and facilities. The 254 meters tall Capital Tower boasts a highly intelligent car park management with real-time status display at the entrance of the car park.


But that’s not all, if you catch a lift to reach any of the 52 floors, you’ll be given real-time news bulletins on dual LCE panels. Energy was also taken into account, putting CT at the front of other skyscrapers due to its eco-friendly system management.


The Crystal, London.


Amongst this building’s main features, it is most noteworthy that it consumes 45% less energy than any other conventional building and it adds 65% less CO2 to the atmosphere. This building, besides harvesting and reusing 100% of rain water, heats its facilities due to the fact that two-thirds of the building are covered by solar panels which generate approximately 20% of the total energy The Crystal needs to use to be self-sufficient.


The Edge, Amsterdam


Known as the world’s smartest office building, ‘The Edge’ was designed for the global financial firm and main tenant, Deloitte. The building uses the big data collected from 40,000 sensors to look at human patterns of behaviour, then make on-the-fly decisions about heating, cooling and even what spaces people should work in each day.


The clever structure even knows when your car is approaching, and will open the parking lot doors for you, before guiding your vehicle to an available parking spot. Cleaners know when you have used the bathroom and disturbingly which cubicles you used – all in the name of cleaning efficiency. The sustainable, green building also produces more power from solar cells and exercise bikes in the gym than it consumes and uses reclaimed rainwater to flush toilets and keep the garden nice and green.


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