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How to turn commercial buildings into green buildings

The role of IoT and BIM in improving energy efficiency and facilities management

January 20, 2020

How to turn commercial buildings into green buildings
In an effort to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, building owners and managers are deploying IoT solutions to connect and automate the various technology and systems within their facilities.
IoT technology turns commercial buildings into data-rich environments. Data about everything from space utilization to airflow is used to monitor and control how the facility works—so everything functions more efficiently.
Monitoring energy and utility usage
With research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showing that businesses waste roughly 30% of the energy they consume, companies are increasingly relying on smart devices driven by IoT sensors to understand, control and automate how they use their energy. It’s been shown that implementing energy management solutions can reduce costs by as much as 25% and cut down on energy waste.
The initial challenge facing any facility that wants to control energy consumption is to understand exactly how and how much energy is used throughout the day, as well as the factors that impact usage, including room temperature, aging infrastructure and occupancy levels.
IoT sensors placed throughout a building capture data about room occupancy and indoor temperatures as well as valuable details about the fan speeds, vibration and flow rates, and compressor run times of critical HVAC assets. These sensors also allow facilities managers to remotely read the energy meters connected to the lighting, heating and cooling systems and computer equipment so they can break down the amounts of energy consumed by the different utilities.

By reviewing data generated from the IoT sensors, a facilities team can develop energy baselines for various building locations, targets for consumption reduction and protocols to improve energy efficiency. To maintain a consistent temperature in various building zones, for example, the facilities manager can implement a machine-learning algorithm that runs every few minutes and predicts appropriate set points for the HVAC in the building. The algorithm factors in several variables that impact temperature such as occupancy and ambient temperature.

Conducting analytics on this data provides insights on problem areas, as well as how to actively manage and regulate energy and utility usage throughout a building. Having ongoing data available about various HVAC assets also allows facilities managers to take proactive measures to prevent emergency outages and eliminate the need for repair costs later on.
The role of IoT and BIM in green buildings
By connecting and providing real-time data on disparate systems within a facility,
IoT technology addresses a key challenge that has hampered the green buildings initiative since the 1970s: the ability to predict, diagnose and proactively address potential problems that can lead to waste. 

But the process of creating green buildings starts with the initial construction phase. Today construction companies use IoT technology to help manage all aspects of the construction process from planning to project implementation. The process often begins with building information modeling (BIM), the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of a structure for use in planning all aspects of its construction and management. BIM models every detail of a building, interior and exterior.

Then, by using advanced commercial construction project management software, project managers and building owners can get detailed specifications and collaborate to create an ideal green building plan. And by using IoT in construction, all parties involved will be able to lessen the carbon footprint by significantly reducing paperwork.
Smart building solutions for your customers
To see the smart building IoT solutions Ingram Micro has to offer, visit our IoT marketplace at https://iot.ingrammicro.com/marketplace/solutions/. If you have a particular solution in mind for a customer or want to talk over specific scenarios and recommendations, reach out to the IoT experts at Ingram Micro or call 1-800-456-8000, ext. 76251.