Integral planning as the key to smart buildings

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Integral planning as the key to smart buildings

At the same time as the demand for efficiency, comfort and sustainability in buildings is constantly increasing, the planning process is also changing dramatically - and becoming integral. A look into practice shows what integral building planning can look like and why all players in the construction process must work closely together at an early stage.

Today, intelligent buildings are directly connected to users and technical applications such as renewable energy generation systems, charging stations, production machines and electrical storage systems. This holistic networking can only be realised with the help of integral planning. Thus, buildings today are much more than just a roof over one's head.
Architect Florian Brandstetter, who specialises in industrial buildings, reports on his experiences with the latest "Building 60" construction project at Phoenix Contact.

Away from chronological to integral planning

For Florian Brandstetter, the holistic consideration of economy, ecology and social culture forms the core of integral building planning. In order to achieve this, he abandons "chronological, conventional planning". Instead, Brandstetter speaks of a planning process "that brings all building participants to one table" from the very beginning. "This clearly differentiates the cooperation compared to the past." To date, the architect has not been able to detect a tussle of competences in his field of activity, but he has noticed a change in the role of his own professional image. "We still have the obligation to coordinate a building project. However, we also have more and more wheels we can turn in the implementation process. And we need to know more in order to be able to discuss at eye level as an architect." Here Brandstetter is talking primarily about the technical building equipment (TGA), which is becoming increasingly important in sustainably designed buildings such as Building 60 in Blomberg.

"If I want to build and use an energy-efficient, intelligent building, this can only be done with integrated planning," emphasises Matthias Unruhe, Group Manager Technical Engineering in Facility Management at the Blomberg site. Therefore, "the interaction between architecture and technology simply has to fit". He also reports that his company has gone one step further in integration beyond technology.

Focus on people

Phoenix Contact actively involved the future users in the planning. "We asked for wishes and really good ideas came to light, which are now being implemented."

After all, people spend more than 80% of their time indoors. Consequently, creating a healthy environment is crucial. A healthy building not only promotes the physical and physiological needs of its users, but also their mental health and productivity, for example through intuitive control of light or room temperature.

The integral planning approach of Smart Building Design illuminates each individual building project from a 360° perspective. This makes it possible to create new design freedom for the planning, realisation and operation of buildings, and ultimately to enter completely new dimensions of building. For here the user is taken into focus and the life cycle of the building is considered even before the planning stage.

The bundling of very different individual disciplines in a common planning process results in buildings that are sustainable, flexible and clever. You can find out more about the integral planning process here.

Contact: buildingtechnology(at)