Internet of Things (IoT) Improving Building Performance
July 15, 2019 in Industry News

What is IoT:

The savings that result from using IoT to improve building performance is real, and can result in as much as 35% HVAC utility savings. IoT is an acronym for the “Internet of Things”, where machines are connected via a network (the Internet) to share data and ultimately create complex machine process automation schemes.

For building owners with multiple facilities: HVAC, water and lighting equipment – IoT means all sorts of utility devices connected to the Internet for the purpose of information transfer or process / automation control.

Today, the industry is struggling with imminent disruption brought about by information technology, specifically the “digitalization of everything” the Internet of Things (IoT). Internet-delivered products and services are making our lives easier, more productive, and more enjoyable.

This technology is currently being applied to buildings to improve the efficiency of energy and water usage.

Savings as a Strategy:

Institutional and private sector building owners continue to seek opportunities that provide utility reduction strategies, that can guarantee cost savings to pay for new equipment and upgrades. These types of contracts need real time controls, measurement and verification processes / tools. This is where IoT plays a major role for monitoring and control.

IoT for Managers and Operations:

The relationship between building owners and building vendors is currently broken, especially in the area of how building automation systems and rapidly growing IoT devices are used to improve the value and utility of facilities. By enhancing this relationship, both enterprises and people who occupy buildings will reap significant benefits.

The considerable growth of technology in the recent decade, driven by the consumer Internet, is providing a wake-up call for the buildings industry.

Facility managers deal with on a daily basis the “hot and cold calls,” occupant complaints with the temperature of their indoor environment. And similarly, businesses that spend a significant portion of their Operating Expenditures on facilities have little visibility on the comfort nor on the waste of energy and water.

Since the same technology used by the consumer tech market is also available to buildings, therefore buildings can be made more intelligent / smart and realize the immense value to owners and occupants.

Many building owners have not had the opportunity to learn how these technologies can benefit them by making their building more intelligent, efficient, and of greater value.
Technological advancements have changed the way legacy mechanical equipment is monitored and controlled and how the indoor environment is controlled . New IoT technology is replacing the manually adjusting of heating or cooling systems and/or standalone building controllers that reside in mechanical rooms. Out of sight, out of mind!

IoT for BAS:

The Building Automation System (BAS) vendor community has a challenge. The new IoT Energy Management vendor offers open products and service transparency, where we are seeing an increased level of business, and the loyalty of the owners who appreciate the transparency. This transparency also applies to the serviceability and maintainability of a facility. In other words, the owner has more insight into the workings of their building versus relying on the BAS vendor.

Working with an IoT Energy Management vendor will provide a better relationship between the vendor and the facility owner where they can both openly review the data and their decisions. Service transparency is a must have for facility owners today to allow quick access to information to make informed decisions to address hot or cold calls in support of their tenants. It’s all about leveraging information technology to enable transparency which leads to quality of products and services that customers receive.

IoT for REITs:

For REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust) the capital and lease value of their buildings are their core focus. REITs are motivated to ensure that their properties are well maintained and that tenants get the promised value from their lease. REITs will benefit from this technology as a way to create consistency across their facilities, and to aggregate service and maintenance to increase the profitability of their assets. IoT technology also helps with environmental impacts by reducing Green House Gases (GHG) which enhance the value of their properties and contributes to sustainability goals.

Projects that implement a more integrated model focused on all building utilities ( ie, Gas, Electric and Water ) often have as one of their key objectives long-term operational, maintenance, and ownership efficiencies leading to lower costs and more competitive solutions.

IoT for Construction:

The contracting and construction markets are changing, due to the influence of IT. As more devices in the building are connected to IT backbones and to the cloud for providing application services, a requirement for a solid IT infrastructure is paramount. Applications such as fault detection and diagnostics, system analytics, Computer Maintenance and Management Systems, and others require access to building data.

Larger Commercial Building owners have started investing in intelligent building technologies and leveraging these data-driven solutions to reduce costs, improve operational and energy efficiencies, and achieve broader corporate objectives like asset sustainability. Small and medium building (SMB) owners, on the other hand, often struggle to maintain profits and sustain slim margins with more traditional approaches. Most of these smaller buildings lack the technology to generate the kind of data that ties energy consumption to operational and bottom-line performance. As a result, there is a lost opportunity for these business owners.
The Internet of Things will allow focus on all the components in a Building that could be connected to the network (the Internet) for the purpose of creating operational efficiencies, reducing energy (utility) consumption, improving occupant experiences, achieving sustainability goals, and effectively optimizing financial performance.