What is a Smart Building?

A.H. Buckman (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
M. Mayfield (Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Stephen B.M. Beck (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Publication date: 9 September 2014



Within the building sector a lack of clarity in terminology does not help designers, clients or researchers. Non-domestic buildings have shown rapid increases in the use of advanced technology and control systems with varying drivers, many of which are labelled as intelligent. The term smart has been used interchangeably with intelligent without any clear distinction between the two. If the term Smart Buildings represented a separate, more advanced grouping, it would provide an opportunity to focus the future progress of non-domestic building development. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


Drawing upon academic and industrial literature and experience, this paper reviews the scope of Intelligent Buildings and the current available definitions of Smart Buildings to form a clear definition of both smart and Intelligent Buildings.


These definitions define the border between the intelligent and the (more advanced) Smart Building. The upper bound of the Smart Building is defined by (the future development of) the predictive building.


This work provides a clear focus which will allow the progression of the non-domestic building sector by providing guidance and aspiration, as well as providing a platform upon which a large amount of technical work can be based.



Buckman, A., Mayfield, M. and B.M. Beck, S. (2014), "What is a Smart Building?", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 92-109. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-01-2014-0003

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Authors

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.