Our smart buildings are like Jumbo Jets

We are committed to environmental responsibility. Find out how our building operating system Smart Core makes buildings more upgradable and longer lasting, contributing towards the fight against climate change. 

Increasing sustainability and reducing our carbon footprints is becoming increasingly important. Here in the UK we all felt the third hottest day on record in 2020, serving as a powerful reminder of the impact of climate change.  

Preventing buildings from becoming obsolete is vital from both environmental and technological standpoints. We can’t just demolish a building and replace it, it’s expensive and bad for the environment. 

We’ve recognised the issue and have developed a solution to this problem.

Jumbo Jets and smart buildings 

The Royal Academy of Engineering stated in the 2013 paper Smart Buildings: People and Performance

“The average working life of a Boeing 747 is approximately 50 years, during which time it is refitted about six times. The necessity of making frequent upgrades to its electronic, communications and other systems requires that the design allows old technology to be rapidly removed and replaced with minimal disruption to the fabric of the plane.” 

The report continues by comparing the airplane to buildings: 

“Buildings could be conceived as similarly upgradeable as technology changes, with elements added in such a way that they can easily be changed as technology and the building’s use develops.” 

It is unsustainable for buildings to become obsolete at all, let alone after 50 years. The environmental and financial impact would be significant but also for the occupants the user experience would be less than ideal as the building’s technology becomes dated. 

However, what if, as is the case with the Boeing 747, upgradability became a key consideration when designing buildings? This would lead to a modular approach which allowed systems to be replaced and removed at will without disrupting the building’s structure. 

Smart Core: Vanti’s solution for building longevity 

Imagine all the systems in a single building. It might have CCTV, heating, air conditioning, desk booking, and so on, many of which will be reliant on connecting with each other to function correctly. 

Standard practice usually results in many of these systems only making the minimum number of connections to function correctly. 

This presents a significant problem. When a system that has multiple connections becomes obsolete or breaks, everything reliant on it will stop working whilst it is removed and replaced. 

Furthermore, there are multiple connections to break, and then rebuild, which contributes to a significantly more complex engineering problem. 

In a worst-case scenario, if enough of the systems became obsolete, or broken, the building as a whole might become redundant and require knocking down. 

To prevent this happening, we developed a solution called Smart Core

What is Smart Core?

Smart Core is a Vanti-developed, open-source operating system for buildings. It helps Systems Integrators create truly smart spaces by connecting technology in a consistent, seamless, and efficient manner. 

It is not a piece of hardware, and it is not a user interface. Smart Core supports a completely vendor agnostic approach, that allows integrators to work with and take advantage of all the different features that their chosen platforms offer, ultimately providing the best user-experience for the end-user. 

From a practical standpoint, Smart Core can be deployed in all kinds of built environment projects. Whether it be during the bricks and mortar stage of base build, or later down the line for fit-out work, in buildings of all sizes, and even floors or sections of floors within a building. 

How does Smart Core prevent buildings becoming obsolete?

Smart Core works by connecting all systems to a common software layer, rather than point to point. 

Integrating systems together like this means that should there be a requirement for a replacement, or upgrade, there is only ever one connection to break and remake. This makes for a significant reduction to downtime but also for a more efficient process overall as the engineering problem is significantly less complex. 

Working in this way extends the building lifecycle. Because the systems are modular, they can be removed or replaced at will without tampering with the physical structure. 

Designing for upgradability leads to sustainable buildings 

It’s not feasible for environmental or economic reasons to have to rebuild our buildings when the technology inside them goes out of date. If we design with solutions like Smart Core in mind, and embed upgradability into the fabric of the structure, our buildings will last longer and provide better user-experiences for longer. 

If you have a project that needs to be sustainable and easily upgradable and want to hear how we can help, please get in touch!