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IoT for building safety

June 25, 2019

A priority for municipal governments
Smart city innovation is growing exponentially in cities and municipalities across the globe. The use of information and communication technology to enhance the quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation and utilities is helping to improve efficiencies and quality of life. In fact, the smart city technology industry is projected to be a $400 billion market by 2020, with approximately 600 cities worldwide participating. Recent McKinsey research predicts these smart cities will generate 60% of the world’s GDP by 2025.
 
Building safety is an important area of focus
Public and government-owned buildings are implementing smart solutions to improve security for employees and visitors alike. Security officials are increasingly turning to IoT technology and AI to prevent unauthorized visitor access. IoT-driven sensors installed throughout a building capture a wealth of valuable data that, when analyzed, yields real-time insights that can be used to initiate a variety of safety measures. For example, self-serve kiosks can capture a picture of every individual coming into a building—if a person’s face isn’t authenticated, that individual won’t be permitted to enter. At the same time, IoT-driven visitor management systems can deactivate an individual’s access to the building’s network and data at any time.
 
Improving emergency response in schools in Houston
The city of Houston is experimenting with an IoT-enabled platform called ActiveShield, which is designed to facilitate and improve emergency responses during a crisis. The technology, being piloted in two Houston schools, addresses communication challenges during emergency events such as fires, intrusions and natural disasters. Based on data received from sensor-based technology such as cameras, motion and sound detectors, the system relays critical information to security personnel, school administrators and first responders. Color-coded smart lights automatically illuminate to warn of an emergency and help people identify safe zones.
 
Various cities in Japan, a country that experiences frequent earthquakes, are also experimenting with IoT-driven rapid-response communication systems to issue warnings in the event of a natural disaster and to identify whether buildings are safe or uninhabitable after a seismic incident.
 
Making building interiors safer by reducing CO2 levels
IoT-enabled sensors connected to HVAC systems can help monitor and control carbon dioxide levels in municipal and other public buildings—and improve the health and safety of employees and visitors. A known pollutant that affects performance in the workplace, CO2 can also become a health hazard. Extreme levels in offices, classrooms and labs can cause respiratory problems, tremors, loss of consciousness—and even death. Using smart technology to continually monitor interior air quality is an important safeguard.
 
To learn more about smart building solutions for the public sector, visit https://iot.ingrammicro.com/marketplace/solutions. If you’d like to learn how your government customers can start implementing them now, reach out to the IoT experts at Ingram Micro.