Although smart building initiatives have been underway for some time in commercial real estate, the movement has really gained traction with the proliferation of IoT technology. Construction and facilities management professionals are realizing the cost, efficiency and energy-saving benefits of installing IoT sensors, switches and analytics to make buildings digitally “smarter.”
Here are several ways IoT innovation has begun to impact smart building:
Make your construction customers smarter about IoT
- Asset digitization
The ability for IoT sensors to capture data in real time about critical HVAC assets such as chillers, cooling towers and rooftop unit (RTUs)—critical information about fan speeds, vibration and flow rates, compressor run times, and total energy consumption—can facilitate the monitoring of these assets as well as cost analysis.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data
The potential for inexpensive wireless sensors to produce actionable intelligence that can be used for predictive maintenance has vast implications for building managers and owners. Having ongoing data about various HVAC assets, for example, allows them to take proactive measures to prevent emergency outages and eliminate the need for repair costs down the line. It’s a welcome change from reactive maintenance that can save businesses anywhere from 12 to 18%.
- Energy efficiency
IoT-enabled monitoring of electric, water and gas meters is not only a vast improvement on manual meter reading, it provides the ability to remotely control energy usage throughout a building. And the energy savings can be enormous. An IoT-enabled smart office building created by Intel in Bangalore, India, for example, is estimated to be saving $645,000 per year in energy and water costs.
- Indoor air quality (IAQ)
Studies show that poor air quality in an office building can have adverse affects on workers’ concentration and productivity. It can also impact their health, causing nausea, headaches, nasal irritation and breathing difficulties. By enabling IAQ monitoring in real time, IoT sensors allow building managers and owners to evaluate temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 levels in different points of a facility so they take immediate steps to improve them.
- Workforce/workspace optimization
Data derived from occupancy sensors embedded in lighting fixtures can provide valuable information about how occupants actually use building space as well as insights into how to reconfigure the space more efficiently, not only to reduce leasing costs but to improve employee productivity. A win-win for building management and tenants alike. With space at a premium and rents astronomical in many major cities, companies today are looking to optimize occupancy and use the least amount of space possible. One way to achieve this is to follow the “hot desk” model, in which workers aren’t assigned permanent desks but rather use a desk on demand. But first the occupancy of each desk needs to be measured and recorded—an ideal assignment for occupancy sensors.
- Cloud-based building controls
With its high degree of scalability and agility, the cloud is particularly well suited for the high volumes of data generated by IoT sensors, which now facilitate the remote management of HVAC and lighting systems as well as offsite visualizations of building premises. Building and facility managers can now be anywhere and still have control over the assets for which they’re responsible—lowering maintenance costs, reducing time to repair and improving service to tenants.
If you work with customers in the building, facilities management, hospitality and/or retail industries, it’s time to make them aware of how IoT-driven smart initiatives can improve efficiencies and save them money. Then contact the IoT experts at Ingram Micro
to start mapping out a smart building strategy.