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27 Jul 2022 | Industry Insights

Why does my building need IoT?

What is IoT, and how does it work? 

Initially, devices such as desktop computers were the only way of accessing the internet. However, with the Internet of Things (IoT), practically all appliances can now be connected to the internet and monitored remotely. 

An IoT ecosystem is a system of interrelated computing devices that exchange data via the internet. These devices communicate with one another and act upon the information they receive without the necessity of human intervention. 

Processing nodes connected through gateways continue the data chain, collecting intel from the sensors and transferring the information to the cloud. Humans, artificial intelligence or machine intercept the collected data and subsequently transform it into "smart" action.  

IoT devices and compatible software platforms are commonplace within smart buildings. Smart buildings realise the potential of their IoT-generated feedback loop via embedded sensors, processing ability and software. 

What are smart buildings? 

Smart buildings digitally monitor building functions, produce reliable data, and generate insights designed to improve operations and the environment. A facility to be classed as "smart" requires a holistic, integrated system of IoT devices and one central network. 

3rd generation smart buildings bring together operational automation and intelligent space management. With IoT technology at the core, modern smart buildings connect users, provide increased control over building functions, facilitate collaboration and allow owners to conserve resources.  

"Buildings are leveraging technology to create healthy, connected environments." 

-Robert Nieminen, content director.  

What technologies have made IoT possible?  

Not a new phenomenon, the IoT has grown in popularity in recent years due to greater accessibility and affordability. These now readily available technologies continue to meet the needs of a building's lifecycle and its ever-evolving world.   

Technologies that have made IoT possible include: 

  • Connectivity for efficient data transfer- Updates to internet protocols has made connecting sensors to the cloud more accessible. 
  • Cloud platforms- A rise in the number of cloud platforms means owners, managers, and users can access the infrastructure they need to scale up without having to manage and store it all on-site. 
  • Analytics, Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence- The emergence of these allied technologies continues to push the boundaries of IoT devices and the data they produce. 

Why does my building need IoT, and what are the benefits of IoT application? 

Now that we can connect everyday objects to the internet via embedded devices, seamless communication is possible between people, processes, and things. By integrating smart sensors, beacons, microchips and other IoT devices, technology can turn any object into a valuable source of information. For this reason, various industries use the IoT to streamline existing processes and make better business decisions.  

IoT helps people to live and work smarter. 

With what appears to be endless possibilities for building connectivity, leveraging the IoT within the built environment has and continues to be incredibly valuable. 

3rd generation smart buildings made up of IoT technology benefit from: 

  • Improved productivity and consolidated systems– Mundane tasks can be automated, ensuring staff can focus on complex assignments requiring human resources.  
  • Efficient, streamlined operation management– The interconnected nature of IoT devices offers automated control over a range of operational areas, such as inventory management. Technology can also reduce the risk of human error during the many stages of building operation. 
  • Remote supervision- Users can remotely monitor and engage with real-time activity across their building and entire estates.  
  • Better use of resources and assets– Previously, managers have been restricted by the lack of asset visibility due to manual methods. Contrasting, automated scheduling and real-time data generated by IoT devices lead to higher resource and asset use efficiency, such as improved power management and water consumption. Additionally, reactive maintenance can be transformed into predictive maintenance, thus increasing the lifespan of an asset.  
  • Cost-effective operations– By reducing downtime periods with scheduled maintenance, companies can achieve high production rates, which results in more profit.  
  • Reduction in expenditure, energy usage and carbon output- Operational costs, carbon, waste, and costs are reduced by breaking down data silos and applying changes to asset usage based on real-time data insights. 
  • Improved safety– Scheduled maintenance is incredibly advantageous when complying with safety and operational regulations. Environments promoting safe working methods can make a company more attractive to stakeholders.  
  • Space optimisation- IoT-based building management systems can help efficiently manage the spaces. A facility manager can use a smart building system to learn how spaces function and how often they are in operation. As a result, more bespoke decisions can be made based on each unique room.  

What are some popular examples of building sensors, and what value can they bring? 

  • Track and change CO2 levels with Air Quality Monitor devices- Collected air quality information can be fed into HVAC systems to automate providing fresh outdoor air in areas where it is needed most. 
  • Temperature and humidity management via counting sensors and thermal imaging cameras - Both work together to understand occupant experience. These sensors and cameras help create comfortable in-building temperature and humidity levels whilst boosting energy efficiency.  
  • Protect your building and equipment from water leaks with water detection sensors and flow meters- These IoT devices detect when and where a pipe burst or leakage may occur.  
  • Gain space usage information via surveillance cameras with built-in people- detection and motion detection systems- With these systems, you can obtain information on numbers per room, numbers per floor, average duration in the space and movement around the building. This recorded information can create accurate space management reports highlighting the most used departments.  
  • Door open and close detection devices boost building security- Installed sensors at critical doors, entryways, and cabinets can monitor open/closed activities, using built-in facial and behaviour recognition to identify safe users in real-time. Therefore, smart IoT security systems have the power to detect suspicious activities or intruders all while recording and storing access information.  

Unlock the value of IoT technology with Twinview 

How can Twinview turn your estate into a 3rd generation smart building that optimises the latest in IoT technology? 

Building Management Systems (BMS) are an established industry feature that can enhance building performance and improve portfolio and liquidity management when integrated with IoT technology. Integrating IoT with BMS reduces energy consumption, maintenance, and operational costs.  

Twinview utilises sensors throughout a building, enabling property owners to collect data at the building level to regulate systems such as air conditioning and lighting in real-time, optimising the environment. 

Twinview continuously monitors and predicts outcomes by pre-empting repair and maintenance issues allowing facility managers to act before tenants notice any problems.  

Using sophisticated artificial intelligence ensures building operators can learn when assets are due to break down, enabling them to arrange maintenance on multiple assets at once when it is most cost-effective and convenient.  

IoT will play a pivotal role as our world becomes more digitalised. Harness the power of innovative technology. Request a demo today or get in touch using the form below. 

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