Zerv Team Jan 14, 2022 6:11:41 PM 6 min read

Smart Buildings: 5 Essential Technologies to Know in 2021

A new vertical of the technology world, Property Tech, emerged to transform and serve one of the oldest industries on the planet: real estate.

PropTech startups and future-looking companies are using building connectivity to deploy solutions and software services that satisfy the changing consumption patterns of tenants in the digital landscape.

Recently, advanced sensors and devices with billion-dollar energy savings potential have begun to surface. They exist in technologies such as sensors, lighting equipment, thermostats, systems, and more. They are more affordable than previous generations of hardware. Most importantly, they can connect to the internet and the BMS to make deploying smart buildings affordable.

The building management industry is looking to catch up with the tech industry by introducing its popular flexible consumption model "as a service." Innovative asset management companies looking to transform their properties into smart buildings are moving from traditional hardware and software ownership to the BMS as a service model.

The Benefits of Building Management Software

When you own the hardware or software, you have a bigger resistance to change and tend to use it for a long time just to stretch out the ROI.

With BMS SaaS, you can change plans according to what is working or not.

Flexibility is vital for emerging opportunities in the smart building sector.

Instead of buying expensive software and hardware for each building you want to digitize, with the BMS as a service, you can easily extend a solution to as many infrastructures as needed.

Embracing modern access technologies can bring long-term benefits above and beyond keeping workers safe in the wake of COVID-19. Today’s access software can leverage the data provided by the same access control technology to switch air conditioning or lighting on and off as an occupant is using or leaving a space. According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), “Integrating access technologies with real-time energy management systems can reduce costs by an average of 15%, as well as increase the bottom line by creating an environment that reduces energy waste and encourages employee productivity.

Smart Locks

Smart locks are an essential piece of equipment that acts as the link between building management systems (access, air supply, heat and cooling, lighting, and more) through cloud connectivity and allows buildings to connect individual systems to occupants, enabling them to leverage important traffic and occupancy insights to improve efficiencies.

Modern access systems place authentication within the user’s device. By migrating physical security to a complex cloud-based system, modern access systems make it harder for bad actors to hack entry points and effectively reduce physical security vulnerability, effectively improving occupant and building safety.

Emergency Notification Systems

Integrating IoT with building management systems (BMW) allows property managers to signal through multiple channels simultaneously, using building intercoms, alarm systems, as well as messaging systems to send SMS or make calls to occupants for updates, and even shut down specific areas or entire sections of a building.

Track patients in long-term care units and help respond faster to patient risks or injuries by using RFID or BLE bracelet or mobile technologies. Traditional pull cords usually release a loud audible alarm that disturbs other tenants who may be resting. So it is possible for today’s nursing home residents to take advantage of RFID Wristband Tags.

All a person needs to do in a potential health hazard situation is press a button to alert medical staff. Nurses can be notified via messaging to a smartphone or desktop computer in such an emergency. By applying the principles of our Personnel Tracking System, we can explore ways to increase average response times. RFID technology may be able to establish peace of mind for residents and their families that any potential life-threatening position will be handled expediently, a great selling point for new prospects.

Cloud-Based Property Management Software

Enable both tenants and property managers to have the ability to create bookings using an amenity calendar, and you will no longer have mistaken double bookings or confusion of appointments. Having an aesthetically pleasing calendar for booking amenities online ensures a happy user experience and results in the proper organization of time slots. An online calendar will also inform tenants of booking availability at a glance.

Connecting property management systems to the cloud also allows property management to take payments or deposits directly on the portal or even take payment for a guest suite or any booking that requires one


The combination of emerging technologies such as 5G, BLE, IoT, the Cloud and AI will facilitate the task of smart building managers who can automate multiple processes and can also achieve lower energy costs for building occupants, among several other capabilities. The combination of these three technologies still faces technical implementation challenges, and building owners and managers have yet to learn more about the advantages these technologies can offer in the design of smart buildings.

Re-thinking your property tech stack systems?

Connect with our team directly at contact@zervinc.com and we’ll work with your team to create a project plan that fits your facility’s needs.