Enterprises spend a lot of time thinking about their business process, but considerable less on how they offices, factories and warehouses operate. All that is set to change as companies turn on to smart buildings. Why?
70 percent of the global population will be urbanized by 2050. This poses critical problems for municipal authorities who must apply intelligence efficiently to manage everything from traffic congestion to mass transit to energy and water supply as infrastructure stretches to breaking point. We talk about smart cities elsewhere, but smart buildings form part of this response.
Frost & Sullivan in Opportunities for Internet of Things (IoT) in Smart Buildings, says rapid urbanization, global connectivity, and ongoing digital convergence are driving the evolution of smart cities and the smart buildings within them. Memoori expects the smart buildings market to reach $155 billion in 2020.
For enterprise users, the tangible benefits of building automation systems (BAS) should include lower overall operating costs and energy consumption.
Connected intelligence and IoT span obvious and less obvious deployments. Smart lighting; climate control; entry systems; waste disposal; bandwidth allocation; energy management; intruder and fire alarms: even building maintenance and parking control.
Integrated smart building management systems will handle facilities management tasks, in order to make them all visible and controllable within a single user interface (kind of like the building management solution you see in Minority Report, or the recently announced Honeywell Command Wall).
Each of these connected systems promises other advantages. Take a smart lighting system designed to switch off lights in unoccupied rooms or to change lighting luminosity in response to natural light. Such systems use various sensors including natural light sensors, occupancy sensors and motion sensors – and all these sensors generate data and your building will gather this information.
The capabilities of the platform are further expanded through the implementation of fault detection, diagnostics, analytics, and advanced reporting applications. Connected cars will contact office parking control systems to book a place, or heating systems will self-diagnose faults and request maintenance.
“We are entering an era where the data collected and disseminated by building services equipment should be regarded as a valuable element of what the building services sector provides. There may come a time when clients are looking as closely at the data output of a product as they currently examine its performance,” states Karen Fletcher of Keystone Communications.
"Interconnected devices from various departments in a building generate huge amounts of data that must be processed and analyzed," said Frost & Sullivan Energy and Environmental Research Analyst Anirudh Bhaskaran. "This demand for enhanced analytics support plays a pivotal role in driving the adoption of IoT in smart buildings."
The mixed retail/residential development, Liverpool ONE is a great example of how all this data can help optimize the structure. “For example, a combination of CCTV analytics and footfall statistics recognizes the entrances and exits with maximum pedestrian traffic. This innovation has led to the creation of targeted advertising in those areas, generating additional revenue and increasing real-estate rental values in and near those localities,” reports Modern Building Services.
Looking ahead, as big data analysis, robotics and automation advance it makes sense to anticipate increased autonomy in terms of predictive servicing and maintenance requests. Those Roomba carpet-sweeping robots deployed in some people’s homes today will eventually become nighttime cleaners in use at offices worldwide.
We are M2M experts, which is why Eutech Cybernetic chose Orange Business Services IaaS solution to manage its innovative smart city services platform.
I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.