Smart building features

Added value through
coordinated technology

Both new and old buildings have significant untapped potential. A building consists of subsystems, each tasked with controlling and regulating a specific part of the building. This can be achieved through various subcontrollers or different types of programming within the same subcontroller.

These subsystems typically include lighting control, room climate control, sun shading, ventilation, and heating plants. They are commonly programmed according to the building's requirements and functional specifications. These specifications often focus on meeting minimum requirements rather than incorporating smart building features.

Expanded potential with smart building features

Smart building features are measures that provide added value to the building, owner, or tenant by using the already installed systems in a more coordinated and innovative manner. This means leveraging existing untapped potential rather than adding more technology to the building.

From lighting control to cleaning strategy

A very simple example of this is presence detection via sensors in the ceiling. They are likely programmed to control the lights on and off. However, if you also allow the building to learn when respective rooms are used or not used, you can generate cleaning reports that are sent to the cleaning company with detailed information on what needs to be cleaned, what needs a 'light cleaning,' and most importantly, what does not need cleaning.

Added values from this solution (which are latent in every building)

Added value of this solution

  • Reduced use of chemicals

  • Reduced wear of surfaces cleaned/vacuumed

  • More efficient cleaning, saving time and reducing costs

  • Enhances competitiveness for cleaning service providers

  • A cleaning service provider can serve a larger number of clients

Below, we showcase the solutions developed by Gratech over the years, which we offer to our customers

What Gratech has developed over the years in terms of solutions that we offer our customers:

  • User control via QR code

  • Forecasting and demand management

  • Smart overtime management

  • Auditoriums and large lecture halls

  • Needs-based cleaning

  • IoT connectivity and dashboard

  • Information screens

  • Maxvokter

  • Adaptive deviation alerting

User control via QR code

We have developed a solution where users can scan a QR code placed in each room for user control. The content displayed on the mobile device upon scanning is customized for each project and is typically determined in consultation with the building owner/tenant. It is also easy to restrict content in specific rooms if desired.

The content could include, for example:

  • Setting desired temperature

  • Setting desired brightness/light color

  • Override of sun shading

  • Any other desired functions

The solution also contributes to a fully flexible building where a renovation only requires changing the content of the QR code instead of having electricians install and replace components.

By utilizing this QR function in both new construction and renovation projects, the following added values are achieved:

By using this QR function in both new construction and renovation projects, the following added values are achieved:

  • The user gains greater freedom to easily influence their workspace

  • Old equipment without user control will now be perceived as modern for the user, with override capability without the need to replace room components.

To override sun shading:

  • Physical switches on the wall are entirely eliminated

  • The electrical wiring between sun shading and wall switch is completely eliminated

  • The electrician's work is entirely eliminated

To override lighting:

  • Individual physical switches on the wall are entirely eliminated

  • The electrical wiring between the lighting control and the wall switch is completely eliminated

  • Elektriker arbeider utgår i sin helhet

To override temperature/CO2 (during refurbishment):

  • Where room thermostats lack local override, users will now have the option to override via the app, and the electrical installation remains untouched without the need to replace any components.

To override temperature/CO2 (new construction):

  • The simplest possible meters are installed on the wall, which can easily be replaced out of operation without the need for programming assistance

  • The possibility for complete user override will be provided via QR code

The use of QR codes leads to:

  • Reduction of the number of installed components in buildings

  • More flexible buildings

  • Lower CO2 footprint will reduced wiring, components, and labor

  • BREEAM-points

  • A positive contribution to the circular economy

  • A future-oriented building

Forecasting and demand management

Enable smart building control based on weather forecasts and electricity spot prices. There is significant potential for savings by efficiently managing building load based not on current conditions, but on forecasts. Simple examples include snow melting systems in buildings.

Snow melting systems

Traditional systems will use maximum heat when snow hits the ground, resulting in unnecessary thermal energy consumption to raise the ground temperature too late. This leads to energy overconsumption, delayed heating for timely melting, and exceeding electricity tariff levels.

By using a predictive approach, the building initiates low-level heating several hours before snowfall. By the time snow hits the ground, the ground temperature will have reached melting temperature. This reduces total energy consumption and allows the user to melt the snow as it lands. The system will also know when precipitation is expected to stop and can terminate the snow melting system accordingly.

If the building connects to spot prices, the system can easily implement overarching strategies during high or low electricity price periods.

Measures for High and Low Electricity Prices

At high electricity prices, we can deactivate slow thermal heat sources, lower temperature settings in units and heat producers, and generally reduce the building's overall energy profile during peak spot pricing. During low electricity prices, it may be beneficial to accumulate energy within the building for later use when prices are higher.

We also have examples of buildings that accumulate inexpensive energy during nighttime and sell it as thermal energy for snow melting during daytime when spot prices are higher. This allows the building to function as a thermal battery generating returns from energy sales. For customers connected to district heating, it's straightforward to pre-accumulate or conserve thermal energy to reduce consumption during high spot prices and fluctuations in outdoor temperatures

Utilizing weather forecasts and spot prices results in:

Use of weather forecasts and spot prices results in:

  • Reduced energy consumption

  • Avoidance of unnecessary tariff peaks

  • Avoidance of overconsumption during high spot prices

  • Reduced operational CO2 footprint

  • Significant savings for snow melting systems

  • A future-proof building

  • Savings over the entire lifespan of the facility

Override control of district heating

By using our systems, we can connect the district heating supplier to the building, and based on the building's needs/preferences, we can control the thermal heat that needs to be supplied to the building.

Traditionally, district heating suppliers deliver thermal heat to buildings based on an outdoor compensated curve, which often exceeds the actual needs of the building. Whether the building uses this thermal energy or not, the building owner pays for the delivered heat in addition to the actual consumption. Our systems communicate with the district heating supplier and order precisely the amount of thermal energy needed by the building. This way, the building owner only pays for the actual consumption.

The use of this solution leads to:

Implementation of this solution results in:

  • Reduced costs for transported energy that is not consumed

  • Enhancement of capacity for district heating providers, enabling them to serve more consumers

  • A future-ready building

  • Savings over the entire lifespan of the facility

Smart overtime management

In commercial buildings where overtime work occurs or where evenings transition into a more social profile for employees, there are savings to be realized in how this is organized.

Strategic organization of overtime spaces

Strategic organization of overtime spaces, for example in a building where a tenant occupies three floors with workstations, can involve either free-seating or assigned desks. The building management can locate where employees are situated and request them to gather at a specific designated area set up as a free-seating overtime space or where the majority are already working. This approach enhances the social experience for employees during overtime, as opposed to them being scattered across a large area.

Through such strategic organization of overtime spaces, the building can optimize energy consumption by turning off ventilation systems in unused areas, adjusting lighting controls, and relaxing comfort temperature requirements in unoccupied rooms. This proactive approach helps significantly reduce overall energy consumption, avoiding the scenario where extensive technical systems remain operational due to a single individual occupying a separate office wing or floor.

Implementation of this solution results in:

Implementation of this solution leads to: (Smart overtime management)

  • Reduced energy consumption for technical systems that can be shut down and lights that can be turned off

  • Extended equipment lifespan and reduced service intervals.

  • A more social workplace

  • A future-proof building

  • Savings over the entire lifespan of the facility

Auditorium and Large Lecture Halls

In larger rooms where attendance and use of laptops for note-taking can vary significantly, the room's temperature can fluctuate rapidly compared to smaller spaces. Additionally, such rooms can experience increased CO2 levels due to the number of occupants. In traditional setups, the room's heating, cooling, and ventilation systems are often controlled based on readings from local temperature or CO2 sensors that detect high values. The challenge arises because by the time these sensors register elevated levels, it's often too late for the system adjustments to compensate effectively. Many lectures and meetings typically last 60 minutes, during which time occupants may experience the room as stuffy or uncomfortable due to delayed responses in regulating the environment.

"Boost" function for improved indoor climate

Gratech provides solutions that continuously analyze temperature and air quality, proactively adjusting room conditions to ensure participants always experience optimal indoor climate. We also offer a "Boost" function commonly used in buildings hosting typical 60-minute lectures. The "Boost" function can be activated during short breaks, maximizing air exchange capacity to reduce CO2 levels, before automatically returning to normal operation.

Need-based cleaning

 Gratech provides cleaning solutions where the building itself detects the cleaning needs. The system compiles a room-level report and can automatically send detailed cleaning requests to a cleaning company.

The implementation of such solutions doesn't need to be costly, as they utilize the building's existing sensors.

Additional benefits of using these solutions include:

Additional benefits of using the solutions:

  • Reduced waste by cleaning only where needed

  • Reduced cleaning time and lower cleaning costs

  • Reduced chemical consumption

  • Reduced wear of surfaces being cleaned/vacuumed

  • Cleaning service providers can serve more customers

IoT integration and dashboard

 To make informed decisions regarding energy efficiency or to uncover weaknesses/energy drains in a complex system, it's essential to gather information and real measurements. This includes temperature readings, pressure measurements, energy consumption data, among others. This approach allows us to pinpoint parts of a system that contribute significantly to costs.

Gratech provides sensors that can be easily deployed in buildings or systems. These sensors capture, store, and transmit measurement data to a system where customers can analyze trends, historical data, and anomalies. With this solution, which doesn't necessarily require permanent installation, building or system owners can make informed decisions to reduce costs, consumption, or potential failures.

Awareness of energy consumption

 As part of continuous improvement, awareness plays a crucial role in fostering change. This involves raising awareness among employees, management, tenants, and customers. We achieve this by presenting trends and accumulated data on information screens that are frequently accessed daily. This could include energy consumption compared to other days, how tenants utilize their spaces in relation to energy and water consumption, adjustments in room temperatures, and more. With simple measures, it's possible to transform corporate cultures by promoting awareness to reduce waste, focus on goals, and achieve them effectively.

Digital signage

 Gratech provides digital signage solutions tailored to our customers' needs. Our screens come in various sizes and display customized content, including live data such as weather forecasts, news, transportation information, as well as detailed data from customers' ERP systems, building automation systems, energy consumption, and solar energy production overview. 


The energy demand in buildings and facilities fluctuates with the building load and ambient temperatures. If the load is unevenly distributed, this can lead to consumption peaks, and energy providers may adjust energy prices accordingly. Low and steady consumption is therefore preferable.

Customized measures for energy optimization

 Typical peak loads in a commercial building occur in the morning when all employees arrive, when ventilation systems start, when the heating system ramps up, and during cold weather which exacerbates energy consumption to a peak. Gratech offers a solution that actively monitors energy consumption within a building. As energy consumption rises, it triggers various steps to reduce energy usage. Actions vary for each building but typically involve adjusting setpoints, disabling slow-reacting energy sources like underfloor heating, deactivating snowmelt systems, shutting down systems that have minimal impact on users, and halting electric vehicle charging.

With such a solution, building owners and tenants avoid significant unnecessary costs. Clients perceive these measures as straightforward yet highly effective in achieving substantial savings.

We want to hear from you

Interested in improving indoor climate at your workplace? Gratech AS can help. Contact us for more information.

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