Smart buildings create smarter lives
By Shirley Lai
new concept for smart buildings involves information technology and
two dimensions of this development are intelligent building management and
smart home systems.
former project began in May 1999. It was implemented for facility and
estate administration in Hong Kong.
Management and the Department of Electrical Engineering at the City
University of Hong Kong jointly developed the intelligent management
Dominic Chau is managing director of Intellinet Management.
said that the system unites information technology and property
to him, the new system is a more advanced, network-based management
system, whereas traditional management systems rely primarily on manual
property services providers, the system facilitates building management.
a problem in the facilities is detected by computers, an e-mail message is
sent to their computers or mobile phones, informing them to take remedial
facilitate security control, a remote video surveillance system is used.
video recorders are installed at specific locations of some residential
digital recording function allows
authorised managing staff to retrieve records stored in the
system also benefits residents.
clicking a mouse, residents can check the progress of maintenance with
they can monitor their children playing in the clubhouse and view
shuttlebus schedules and notices from the management office through the
addition, the system uses smart card sensors to identify residents and
smart buildings in Ma On Shan even accept Octopus cards as the residential
Ms. Esther Mak is a resident of Vista Paradiso in Ma On Shan.
said, “The smart card brings convenience to me, since I don’t need to
remember the access passwords for both the lobby and podium entrances.”
value can also be stored in the smart chip of the card.
use their smart cards to pay shuttlebus fares and clubhouse booking fees.
Lawrence Fung has been living in East Point City in Junk Bay, in one of
the smart buildings, for 2 years.
said that there is still room for improvement in the system.
said, “Sometimes the smart card sensors at the shuttlebus malfunction
and not every shuttlebus is installed with sensor.”
not all the residents are used to this system.
paper announcements are still posted on building’s notice board, said
intelligent management system was first implemented in 37 residential
sites and there will be more than 200 at a later stage.
January 2001, it will be applied in all residential buildings owned by the
Sun Hung Kai Properties.
local smart home system is still being experimented with.
applications are limited to using smart card system and buildings’
residents in smart homes are able to use telephones to control the
the future, the intelligent system may apply to medical services and
workers wish to utilise the remote control system to take care of patients
case of emergency, the network-based system will instantly signal for
a planned intelligent toilet is designed for people to test urine samples
the future development of the intelligent house, Mr. Chau is optimistic.
he: “There is a global trend toward automatic operation and artificial
the Internet develops, people will certainly adapt to this kind of
the current system applies only in high-class private buildings.
“It takes time for acceptance and penetration of the new technology.”