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07. December 2016
Smart Building Design ›

The »Apartimentum« in Hamburg is a residential development of technically sophisticated luxury apartments behind a late nineteenth century (Gründerzeit) façade. The investor Lars Hinrichs is offering fully networked »Flat rate Living« – at monthly rents in the four-to five-digit range with Nest thermostats, IP-controlled water faucets, push notification when mail is deposited in the letter box and a front door which is opened via bluetooth from the smartphone. There is also talk of energy saving of »up to 30%«, but it is comfort, security and exclusivity which is in the foreground. The message is ambivalent because it encourages the latent prejudice that smart buildings are a luxury which we can do without.

Everyone has heard of BIM (Building Information Model) and everyone talks about it. Yet not everyone knows what it is exactly nor do we know that it will mean for planners and their work in the future. Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions about BIM. BIM is not a software; BIM is not a data format; BIM is not new; BIM does not work only in buildings; BIM is not a solution to all problems in the building sector; and yes, it is possible to construct buildings successfully without BIM.

At first glance it seems that again a great deal of fuss is being made about a new topic, this time BIM (Building Information Modeling). However, this topic is marketed mainly with the aid of a mock argument to push the players in the building industry into being proactive: BIM will come - because BIM must come.

What happens when a midcap company decides to erect a new building? All the conditions for the building have been fulfilled: land has been purchased, an appropriate allocation of the space available has been made the building costs have been estimated and the budget required for the building is available. Now the next step should be the planning of the building.

To start with let us address one common misconception: A building is not »smart« if it is operated by using a smart device such as a smartphone or something similar. Quite the contrary: what is smart about taking a device out of your pocket, swiping across the screen, entering a four-digit code, starting the building app, opening the light menu and finally calling up the light scene »Everything on«. Compared with this any conventional light switch is smart.

24. February 2016
Smart Building Design ›

Precise planning of the incidence of daylight in a building is one of the oldest and most important tasks of all forms of architecture in the world. It is not just coincidence that the most influential architect of the 2oth century, Le Corbusier, claimed that the history of architecture is also a history of windows. The designer nowadays faces the complex challenge of integrating the incidence of light in the design of façade.

What is it that makes a building »smart«? The key feature of a »smart« building is certainly not that the end user simply utilizes »smart« consumer electronics. Rather it is that in a really smart« building all those involved in the building sector apply intelligent technologies professionally: the architects and engineers who design the building, the companies who implement the design and those who operate the building.

11. November 2015
Smart Building Design ›

It is no secret that the global requirements for primary energy are increasing, that fossil energy resources are limited, that there are huge risks involved in the use of nuclear energy for civilian purposes and that global warming has a negative impact on the environment. All of these factors confront the globalized world with previously unknown challenges which also affect the building sector in Germany.

The boundaries between architecture (design) and building technology (configuration) are now so fluid that a new design philosophy for buildings is required. Modern information technology is developing extremely fast and the requirements for integrating this new technology successfully into today's planning and building processes are constantly increasing. The individual subsystems in building technology are not only becoming more and more versatile and complex but are increasingly linked with one another and automated.

Rating Code AA or trash level E? The way to efficiency, safety, comfort and convenience. We apply these criteria almost unconsciously when buying a car. And there is hardly anyone who would wish to forgo the benefits resulting from this. But how do we achieve efficiency, safety, comfort and convenience? In the automotive sector digital technologies are already in use and nobody questions whether this makes sense or not. In the building sector, however, there are still heated debates about the sense and nonsense of intelligent building technologies. fficient buildings with the eu.bac system.

Every building project starts with a basic conceptual design process during which the needs of the user are analysed carefully. It is, in the final instance, human needs and their fulfilment which are decisive for the technical configuration of an intelligent building (smart building).

The potential of intelligent buildings is still underestimated. Even accepted procedures in building processes have not yet fully integrated the wide array of opportunities offered by »smart buildings«. In contrast to a few years ago, intelligent buildings are developing more and more into highly dynamic building systems. But what »high dynamics does« a real building actually need? And what are the benefits for the user?