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The Proving Test Laboratory, "Smart Life Office®," Ensuring both Pleasant Working Conditions and Energy Conservation, Is Installed at the Takenaka Research & Development Institute

—The first step in placing building facility management in the cloud—

November 1, 2011Takenaka Corporation

Takenaka Corporation (President: Toichi Takenaka) has installed the proving test laboratory, "Smart Life Office," in the Takenaka Research & Development Institute (Inzai City in Chiba Prefecture) where it will prove technologies developed to place the management of facilities of multiple buildings in the Cloud and to simultaneously create pleasant work space (space friendly to people*) and conserve energy.

* Definition of "space friendly to people"
This means research conducted since 2007 by transforming the established perspective on space creation to build work space which improves productivity and creativity. For example, providing a daily cycle to the setting of the daily air-conditioning temperature matched to the circadian rhythm (human biological clock) encourages a healthy biological rhythm. Its impact on physiological, psychological, and intellectual productivity in actual offices has been scientifically proven. (Web page: Space friendly to people)

"Smart Life Office" has three unique effects: [1] creating space friendly to people by considering the biological rhythm of workers, [2] conserving energy by personalizing air-conditioning and lighting control, and [3] placing the facility management of a building in the Cloud. The technologies whose effectiveness this laboratory will prove include circadian air-conditioning and lighting control technologies, air-conditioning and lighting systems incorporating the task ambient method, next-generation motion sensing technologies, and energy conservation control technologies. Operating the laboratory as an office in which researchers perform day-to-day work will clarify its energy conservation effectiveness at the same time as formerly impossible long-term measurement of physiological data (brain waves, deep body temperature) will be performed, confirming that it is possible to create space which is actually pleasant to work in, improving health and intellectual productivity.
To prepare for the Cloud, at the end of the current year, the "Smart Life Office" control server will be installed and operated linking with the Tokyo Main Office and TAK E-HVAC Shinsuna Headquarters building. Future linkages with buildings owned by Takenaka and its other business offices are also being studied. This will help develop technologies to save energy and to use and circulate energy more efficiently, and at the same time, achieve greater productivity and comfort, contributing to energy conservation in work activities. When a disaster has occurred, it will allow the function of the control server to be transferred to another server in a damage-free area, ensuring the enactment of more reliable Business Continuity Plans (BCP).

Takenaka is applying technologies it has developed as a general contractor to create space which maintains or improves productivity and protects the environment based on corroborative data obtained by the in-house deployment of these technologies.

[New technologies introduced by "Smart Life Office"]

  • Next-generation motion sensor
    This can detect people who are not moving to clarify the locations, numbers, and directions of motion of people within the sensing area. Based on these types of information obtained by motion sensors, lighting and air conditioning are controlled meticulously according to peoples’ absence or presence at their desks and their density, preventing the unnecessary consumption of electric power.
  • Energy conservation control technologies (demand-response, etc.)
    When it is necessary to conserve electric power, "Smart Life Office" automatically changes settings for air conditioning or lighting according to electric power consumption targets. It also proves Demand-Control Technology: controlling electric power load while considering the quantity of natural energies (photovoltaic power, wind power) generated at the Research & Development Institute.

Proving activities using "Smart Life Office"

1. Circadian air-conditioning and lighting control technologies

1.1 Circadian air-conditioning technology
To regulate circadian rhythms, room temperature settings are rhythmically and synchronously controlled. During the afternoon when the room temperature is set high, it can contribute to greater comfort and energy conservation.
1.2 Circadian lighting technology
Changing the overall office lighting throughout the day according to present time, from cold colors to warm colors and from high luminance to low luminance, induces awareness and calmness of workers, encouraging healthy biological rhythms.

2. Air-conditioning and lighting systems incorporating the task ambient method

2.1 Task Ambient Air Conditioning
Ambient Lighting, which permits a feeling of brightness throughout a room, even at low luminance, ensures energy saving properties. By allowing individuals to control luminance and color temperature of task lighting, it ensures the productivity and satisfaction of each worker.
2.2 Task Ambient Lighting
Ambient Lighting, which permits a feeling of brightness throughout a room, even at low luminance, ensures energy-saving properties. By allowing individuals to control luminance and color temperature of task lighting, it ensures the productivity and satisfaction of each worker.

"Smart Life Office" will accelerate research and development to achieve next-generation workplaces friendly to both people and to the environment through, in addition to verification of its effectiveness at the TAK E-HVAC Shinsuna Headquarters Building also in progress at this time, the continued introduction of new technologies such as next-generation motion sensors and demand-control technology, and at the same time, proving links between a variety of applications in systems now operating from the Cloud.