What is a Digital Building? / by James Beukelman

What Is A Digital Building

A "digital building" is more than just the connectivity of structural elements.  A well-designed digital building can reduce energy usage up to 30%, improve employee productivity up to 16%, and generate higher operating income by 5% while also increasing the asset value of a building.  By combining building systems that manage light, air quality, and physical security into a single IP network, companies with a digital building can increase energy efficiency, human resource productivity, and improve the overall experience for company employees or building residents.

Why Implement A Digital Building Solution?

Increase Resource Efficiency

Smart centralized management of core building components can improve energy savings.  Building components connected to the network, such as HVAC and lighting, can be deactivated when not in use and activated on-demand through the use of networked sensors.

Increase Workforce Productivity

Recent studies have shown a connection between lighting and productivity in office settings. The American Society of Interior Design found that 68 percent of employees are discontent with the lighting in their offices

"It's important to recognize how lighting can play a part in how alert your workforce is everyday," says James Roux, President of DataStrait Networks.   "Lighting that is optimally managed within a well-designed digital building can positively impact stress and productivity."

A connected lighting system can be programmed to approximate natural light or modeled to suit individuals needs or requirements for specific tasks.  A digital building solution can improve moods, health, and give employees more energy at work.

Automatically Adapt To Changing Conditions

With sensors connected to a digital buildings IP network, movement can be detected to determine when people enter or depart areas of a space.   For example, when a connected HVAC system is alerted to movement within an area such as a ballroom, cool-air can be automatically distributed to that ballroom to ensure everyone remains comfortable.  

Optimizing The Customer or Client Experience

Good digital building design ensures high levels of customization.  For example, the color and intensity of a set of LED lights may be modified to attract attention to a specific item, a specific space, or recognize a particular theme such as a "big game' or holiday celebration. 

3 Steps to Creating An intelligent Digital Building

Step 1: Network Convergence

Unite the building infrastructure within a single IP network.  When everything is connected over a common IP network, it becomes easier to install, manage, and reconfigure components to meet an organization's needs.  This lays the groundwork for the intelligent building.

Step 2: Collect Data & Learn Through Analytics

A digital building or digital campus connected to a common network can provide the ability to collect data on customer behavior, employee behavior, and building usage patterns.  The insight gathered from this data analysis can help organizations better understand which workspaces are being underutilized or over utilized and then modify the space to to make building or campus improvements.

Step 3: Emerge Into A Mature Digital Workplace

The digital workplace lives at the intersection of people, organization and tools.  It combines elements of the traditional physical workplace along with  digital tools.   The objective is to create an intelligent workplace environment for a highly-engaged workforce and a positive customer experience.  Consistent enhancements made based on data can continually evolve and improve an office, building, or campus.


Digital Building Model

Building Envelope
Glass (Capacitive)

Low Voltage Control
Lighting Control
Load Shedding
Standby Power System
High Voltage SCADA
Combined Cooling, Heat, and Power (CCHP)

Base Building Telephone
Public Address & Intercom
Base Building Wi-Fi

Vertical Transportation
Elevator Management
Elevator Display System
Elevator Security Integration
Elevator Communications
Escalator Management


Tenant Improvements
Window Shades
Digital Signage
White Noise Systems
Meeting Room Automation
Audio / Visual System

Sustainability & Wellness
Electrical, Gas, & Water Monitoring Demand Response
Productivity Monitoring
Air Quality

Water Recycling System
Leak Detection
Flow Control & Monitoring
Toilet & Sink Flow

Building Services
Data Access for Services
Plug Load Monitoring


Fire & Life Safety
Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System
BMS Integration
Security System Integration
Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA)
Emergency Signage
Emergency Lighting

Supervisory Control
Room Control
Device Control
Building Management System
Building Energy Management Systems

Physical Security
Close Circuit TV
Access Control Intruder Detection
Key Management

Car Park Systems
Car Park Management
Park Assist
Car Charging Systems



DataStrait's Partner Community For Digital Building Solutions

DataStrait's Partner Community gives you access to the leading
manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and technology partners that are experienced with digital building solutions for lighting, video, security, analytics, and automation.  See the complete list of partners at http://www.datastrait.com/manufacturers.

Superior Essex  |  Legrand  |  PanasonicCommendOberonMHT LightingLencore