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Smart Buildings and IoT
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Smart Buildings and IoT

Posted by IoT Now MagazineSeptember 24, 2018

Martin Walder

Building management is getting easier, more powerful, and more innovated – thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). Over the next decade or so, billions of devices will be installed and connected, generating trillions of dollars in revenue in buildings and other applications. Data generated by sensors will be combined with new control capabilities to make buildings smarter, more efficient and comfortable, allowing occupants to be more productive.

To make smart buildings and the IoT a reality you need to:

  1. Understand the size and nature of the opportunity
  2. Comprehend the value of integrated building management software and systems
  3. Realise what is implied for hardware
  4. Take advantage of applications, analytics and services

In general, the opportunity is immense, as buildings will soon have massive sensor and actuator arrays installed. But, this also means that software must be designed and built to put these capabilities to use. Hardware, for its part, must deliver as well as facilitate innovative features. Finally, applications, analytics and services that exploit new functionalities must be implemented and deployed.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is getting a lot of attention these days. There are some eye-popping reasons for that – billions and trillions of them. The first is how many devices are going to be connected – 50 billion by 2020. The second reason is the size of the economic activity generated – as much as $11.1 trillion by 2025 in an analysis from the McKinsey Global Institute.

According to McKinsey Global, the IoT economic impact on factories, retail settings, work sites, offices and homes could total as much as $6.3 trillion by 2025. Some of that impact will be in the form of sensors and other hardware that goes into buildings. Some of it will be building management software, applications and services. This makes buildings more efficient, which in turn makes people more productive.

IoT helps make enterprises smarter. Think of it as today’s building management system, a BMS, made more intelligent and more powerful. Some of those billions and billions of connected devices in the IoT will show up as advanced sensors and meters in:

  • Networked lighting
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Security and access control, and
  • Electric meters

But beyond the smart building itself, there will also be data available from weather monitors and financial information – like the price of electricity, other utilities, and even commodities. That data can factor into how buildings are managed.

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