How smart buildings can help save the world

Posted: 31st May 2022

Infrastructure and technology must play their part to prevent a global catastrophe.

Photo by Richard R. Schünemann on Unsplash

On 28th February this year, an urgent new UN report announced that the effects of climate change are worse than we thought. Once again, the vital need for global action was brought to our attention. 

Alok Sharma, who led the COP26 climate summit last year, said: “We will be doing ourselves and our populations a huge disservice if we fail to prepare now, based on the very clear science before us.”

 And with many countries setting net-zero carbon reduction targets for 2050, the pressure is on to develop strategies to bring down emissions in our cities, save energy, and speed up the transition to renewable energy.

At the same time demand for urban space continues to grow. Right now, 55% of the world’s population – some 4.2 billion people – live in cities. This is expected to rise to 68 percent by 2050, adding another 2.5 billion people into urban areas.

If this staggering demand is to be met, we must start now. And what’s more, we must do it without compromising sustainability. 

Smart cities

Smart cities are one of the crucial ways to tackle the climate crisis and smart buildings play a pivotal role in their development. 

It’s been known for a while that improving the energy efficiency of buildings could dramatically reduce emissions and costs over time. However, due to the high upfront investment required and the slow returns on that investment, the potential remains largely untapped.

Technology and data can optimise building operations, monitor resources and automate energy efficiency into every aspect of the built environment. Not only that, they can also reduce costs and improve wellbeing at the same time. 


Two key components of smart buildings are building management systems (BMS) and a building energy management system (BEMS). Both share many overlapping functionalities but they are fundamentally different from one another. 

A BMS is a control system that enables you to monitor and manage the mechanical and electrical services in a building, such as access control, lifts, lights, heating and air-conditioning. Most importantly, it connects multiple functionalities from different pieces of equipment so they operate as one integrated system. 

A BEMS monitors and controls energy-related building services such as HVAC, power and lighting. It provides the information and tools that building managers need to understand, control and improve energy performance. 

While a BMS controls a wide range of services on a site, a BEMS focuses on energy management, providing metering, sub-metering, and monitoring functions that collate energy data.

This lets building and facility managers gain detailed insight into their building’s energy usage so they can program systems and equipment for optimum energy efficiency.


There will undoubtedly be new innovations that improve sustainability and energy efficiency hitting the market in the near future. The good news is that today’s smart buildings are already built to accommodate them. 

In the majority of cases, implementing a new feature will simply involve installing a new software application into the current BMS. New tech tools can seamlessly integrate into your operations without having to rewire the building. 

Discover how we can help you achieve your sustainability goals

Blacktip Consultancy is helping some of the world’s leading real estate occupiers, owners and developers harness the power of tech to improve their energy efficiency. We can do the same for you. 

Speak to one of our specialists about your project to discover all the advantages tech can deliver to your built environment. 

Email us on or click here to go to our contact form.