Smart technology is changing more than how we live at home it is changing our work place, too.
Designing smart buildings helps to improve efficiencies, such as optimizing building operations, which leads to controlling costs.
Universities, governments and large commercial facilities/campuses have understood the value of these efficiencies for many years. In large environments, a full-time operator identifies operational problems and dispatches maintenance help. But, most stand alone commercial buildings do not have the luxury of staff dedicated to monitoring potential problems or concerns.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, has changed how buildings are managed. As discussed in the October column regarding smart home technology, IoT refers to anything with an on/off switch that connects to the Internet.
All smart buildings are connected through IoT. Because of IoT owners are able to monitor and control building comfort (indoor temperatures), lighting, security, fire safety, predictive maintenance and energy efficiency.
Below are some of 2018’s most notable smart building trends.
Comfortable indoor temperatures
The primary complaint in most buildings is that some offices are too hot and other spaces are too cold. The Comfy App is just one of a number of new technologies that are changing the never-ending cycle of hot-cold calls. Comfy App gives occupants control over their environment while offering building operators data to understand the comfort level of occupants.
In fact, smart technology allows the data generated by building automation systems to be monitored and analyzed consistently and constantly. Hot and cold problem areas, broken valves, equipment failures and other operational problems can be found quickly. This is a huge time saver for building engineers who do not have time to watch over a traditional automation system.
In commercial buildings the most important impact of IoT is energy efficiency. Networked sensors can control temperature and even can take into account weather forecasts, which in turn can reduce energy costs. Sensors can offer information to help building engineers/managers to control their assets better and reduce harmful waste in the environment.
IoT sensors and other hardware devices provide valuable information related to the physical state of a commercial building and its equipment. The data actually can offer a maintenance schedule or predict when a piece of equipment will need to be serviced. The end result is fewer unknowns that are common in the world of maintenance. And, there are fewer interruptions when maintenance adheres to a predictive schedule that is generated by real time information about the equipment.
Improved air quality
Indoor air quality and work productivity are directly related. According to an Environmental Health Perspectives study, the better the air quality is the better work environment. For this reason air quality management is a trend in smart buildings.
IoT devices connected to specific air sensors can check and measure air quality and carbon dioxide levels in the air.
Data tracking and applications
IoT allows commercial facility managers to track information, measure and collect data and report it quickly.
Sensors can be installed in areas that have been inaccessible in the past, allowing building engineers and managers to obtain valuable information. These interconnected systems with sensors also allow for the collection of real-time data. The data can be analyzed and used to improve goals such as energy conservation.
Because building managers receive information much faster than ever before due to IoT devices, they are able to react quickly to emergencies or building concerns (a pipe bursting or a HVAC issue).
IoT applications give facility managers the tools they need to conduct various experiments to check the result of optimization. It also gives them room to use IoT devices in monitoring buildings systems using one panel.
Speaking of applications, another trend is the use of complex applications. These applications can assist in the detection of needed maintenance. A good example is thermal imaging. The application provides a look at the temperature range of specific equipment, and when the temperature becomes too hot maintenance can be scheduled before there is a problem that causes the system to go down.
Green building movement
Smart buildings are designed as environmentally friendly and energy efficient. System failures are detected earlier, which in itself optimizes the use of natural resources. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are monitored at all times with sensors for the best use of ventilation, lighting, fire and security, too.
Murfey Company is committed to environmentally responsible and resource efficient construction in its commercial and residential projects from start to finish. If you are interested in learning more about our construction and real estate development projects, please visit www.murfeycompany.com.