Automated solutions are poised to dominate smart building technology growth on a global scale. A smart building is comprised of a number of systems and sensors that include automated infrastructure management systems, security monitoring and sensors, and in-building wireless systems. As urban planners and facilities managers work to meet the demands of an increasing population, they are exploring new ways to improve the experiences of building occupants and visitors. As smart buildings become more pervasive, we are starting to see an array of connected sensors and technologies coming together to help address the common challenges. By combining traditional and non-traditional equipment such as CCTV and drones with cognitive services like visual recognition, a host of user services and experiences are likely to improve dramatically.
With artificial intelligence integrated into building systems and IoT devices, buildings become more than their brick-and-mortar shells. They begin to operate in new ways, creating personalized experiences for their occupants, and providing energy and cost savings for their owners. In the report'Building intelligence into buildings', the Institute of Business Value (IBV) explores the potential of buildings that think for themselves. Below are some of the key learnings and action points. What if buildings owners could see exactly how their building is being used at any given time?
The trifecta of IoT, Cloud and Analytics have been transforming many aspects of our lives and business. Cities, healthcare, transportation, farming, fitness, home, manufacturing and utilities have been the key beneficiaries of this fast-emerging paradigm. While consumer devices like Fitbit and Amazon Alexa get lot of attention from the media, the commercial buildings have been quietly turning into Software Defined Buildings (SDB). By doing so they are not only lowering the operational cost of the building, but also foster smarter cities, better safety, and occupant comfort. As such they have become an important market segment in the IoT space.
Traditionally, there hasn't been any reason to connect the internet to building automation systems. The HVAC, lighting, fire protection, and other systems work on their own. They directly read inputs (sensors) and directly control the outputs (valves, dampers, fans, locks, lights, etc) to keep a building comfortable and secure. Why should a facility manager care about the "Internet of Things" when virtually all existing buildings operate just fine when not connected to any external network? So are IoT and "Smart Buildings" all marketing hype or can they actually provide value to building owners and operators?
Sensor technology is not new to smart buildings. Millions of office buildings around the world today are equipped with sensor-based systems designed to conserve energy, performing simple tasks such as automatically turning the lights on and off when someone enters or leaves a room. But this is just the beginning of the smart building revolution. A truly smart building will know how the office space is being used at every single moment: how many people are in each room, how long the line is in the cafeteria, where there is a free desk, and many other aspects of the building usage. This awareness will be translated into a more cost-effective and productive working environment for the building inhabitants.