Smart Buildings

What are Smart Buildings?

A Smart Building is an office building or commercial complex with enhanced environmental and economic performance. The building achieves this by producing, storing, efficiently managing, and optimally controlling energy.

Energy waste can be eliminated by obtaining location information for individuals while ensuring building security, automatically controlling air conditioning and lighting, and visually representing energy usage. Such measures can also help ensure the security of the entire building.

Buildings that make building management more efficient and curb energy consumption, from the building overall down to an individual level - those are Smart Buildings.

Supporting Smart Buildings: BEMS and Storage Systems for Buildings

Building Energy Management System (BEMS*) plays a vital role in Smart Buildings.

It is difficult to significantly reduce CO2 emissions by simply monitoring energy consumption to save energy. First, we must identify energy waste as well as inconsistencies in energy supply within a building. Then, we must come up with solutions. These could involve looking at the hardware side and updating to highly efficient equipment and devices as necessary, or applying individual equipment solutions to PCs, lighting and air conditioning.

Linking building automation systems that perform integrated equipment surveillance, security systems, and systems to monitor energy usage can provide locational data on individuals and enable automatic control of equipment like air conditioning and lighting, eliminating wasteful energy usage.

Storing large volumes of electric power within the building is also critical for optimizing the balance between power supply and demand. This requires energy storage systems with a long lifespan that do not take up a lot of space when installed in buildings. Installing the energy storage system used for Electric Vehicles (EV) in office buildings also fulfills the dual function of providing a charging infrastructure for EVs.

*Building Energy Management System (BEMS)
This system collects and analyzes data from networked offices and commercial facilities, provides users with useful information, and supports business while maintaining comfort.

NEC's Initiatives

As Smart Buildings become more prevalent, NEC is developing and providing building management solutions like the visual representation of power consumption and large-scale energy storage systems that utilize sophisticated lithium-ion battery technology.

Advances in “Visual Representation”

Today, “visual representation” does not just apply to the building as a whole. It has spread to floors and departments, and even down to single pieces of equipment like individual PCs. NEC provides unified management through “visual representation” of PC usage status and CO2 emissions in an office. Wasteful PC power consumption can be automatically reduced in accordance with user activity patterns and by setting CO2 reduction targets.

Extending “visual representation” and autonomous control to lighting, air conditioning and other devices allows for more precise operation. It also enables tenants to understand and control power consumption for each piece of equipment.

Development of Energy Storage Systems using Lithium-ion Batteries

NEC is developing large-capacity energy storage systems using lithium-ion batteries that are capable of meeting the demands of buildings on any scale. This is being achieved by drawing from highly efficient charge-discharge characteristics refined for electric vehicles, the stability of our car-mounted quality and our long-life lithium-ion battery technology.