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From Smart Locks to Wise Locks

Optimizing energy consumption through the intelligent use of building automation

Energy savings from proper space management and the use of building access management systems can translate into reduced energy needs and annual carbon emissions from buildings, contributing significantly to environmental sustainability efforts. This is the finding of ISEO ‘s Ultimate Access Technologies research carried out with the Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering of the Milan Polytechnic University of Technology, based on a case study with the aim of assessing the impacts of smart locking systems on building energy performance.

The Smart Locks

Smart locks are advanced locking mechanisms designed to provide secure access control through electronic and connectivity features.

Unlike traditional locks, smart locks leverage communication technologies to enable keyless access, remote monitoring, and programmable access permissions.

The integration of smart locks, especially in office building systems, could lead to improved operational efficiency and building management by merging access control systems and operational protocols.

Occupancy management through the functionality of a Wise Locks system (© SEEDLAB, ABC department)

Adaptive Working Models and Buffer Spaces.

In the search for a new management model designed to save energy, the concept of buffer spaces emerges as a strategic component.

These spaces can serve as versatile environments, seamlessly transitioning between collaborative and individual work environments. Spaces with greater flexibility can accommodate higher occupancy and facilitate the redistribution of people when other areas are closed.
Among possible operational strategies, the building manager can:

  • Consider that in case of low occupancy of one or more parts of the building, users can be grouped in a dedicated space defined for this purpose.
  • Shutting down a part of the building if it is the most energy-intensive and subject to uncomfortable conditions at a particular time of the year.

The usage of buffer spaces (© SEEDLAB, ABC dept.).

Evaluation of a Case Study

As a summary result, it was calculated that standardized annual costs and primary energy consumption (estimates for the building under study with simplified building systems) can be reduced by optimally closing half a floor per day.

Equivalent to a 10% reduction in the number of people in the building and with a building closure rate of 11.6% to 13.2%.


(© SEEDLAB, ABC department)