The Internet of Things (IoT) plays an increasingly influential role in how companies improve their business, employee satisfaction and facilities, especially when utilizing smart buildings solutions. Best described as a network of devices, equipment and sensors that can communicate with each other, the IoT allows facilities managers and business owners to make informed decisions and improve their building operation practices. Throughout this post, we will look at how the IoT is revolutionizing smart buildings and the positive impact that it can have on a business.
Applications in Smart Buildings
Although smart buildings are not new, they are becoming more in demand and more intelligent than ever as they utilize the IoT to provide many benefits (1). Common applications in smart buildings range from energy efficiency tools to space optimization protocols, all of which are supported by sensors or other technology.
Some of the applications of IoT technologies include the following:
- Building automation
- Centralized data storage
- Facility maintenance
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
- Lighting control
- Occupancy counting and space optimization
- Real estate
- Security measures
The applications available in smart buildings have been designed to make the buildings run more efficiently and enable personnel to work in a comfortable and safe environment. Business managers can make informed decisions based on the data collected from the smart buildings IoT systems, to improve their business performance and sustainability.
Live room and space occupancy data can be used to trigger alerts in the event of overcrowding. Cleaning schedules can be effectively managed to ensure best hygiene practices when hot-desking or adjusted to avoid time wastage.
There are numerous benefits to using people counting sensors and platforms that support live visualizations of traffic data. At the top level, a real-time occupancy management system can help you reshape your workplace and workforce in a way that promotes better health, wellness, safety, and sustainability, all while preserving your bottom line.
Benefits of IoT Smart Building solutions
Harnessing the power of the IoT to make the most of smart buildings applications has numerous benefits for stakeholders. Whether those stakeholders are building managers or employees, smart buildings solutions can help with cost reduction through better allocation of resources based on peak and off-peak demand, energy consumption, employee comfort and safety by using artificial intelligence, data reports, remote monitoring and other features.
By analyzing data from HVAC, lighting and water systems, and occupancy sensors, decisions can be made regarding how the above are controlled. Additionally, occupancy sensors provide data on which rooms are occupied and how many people are in a specific area. This data allows building management systems (BMS) to manage HVAC settings and lighting, based on usage data. These IoT solutions help a building to become more energy efficient as parameters can be set to turn off lights or HVAC when a room is empty. Overall, the data obtained from the implemented smart buildings solutions will help to reduce costs for both businesses and building owners.
Using smart building solutions will improve a building’s energy efficiency and can also be used to provide optimal comfort levels for employees and building users. If employees have a comfortable working environment, this can help increase their productivity levels and support the development of the business (2).
The aspects of smart buildings that can be managed to support employee comfort include air conditioning or heating settings, lighting and workspace availability. Occupancy sensors can support decisions regarding these settings, improving air quality.
Installing IoT-enabled devices can be used to increase sustainability and support relevant business decisions. The data obtained from these smart building sensors can be used to determine how often specific systems should be used and for how long, which will contribute to improved sustainability and energy efficiency gains.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to accurately and quickly monitor vast amounts of data that will support business decisions. AI software can conduct analysis much faster than humans, allowing personnel to use their time more effectively. One key point to consider about AI is that if the systems are not carefully programmed, errors are possible (3), but this issue can be overcome by working with an experienced partner.
Terabee IoT Smart Buildings people counting solutions
We have mentioned the importance of implementing occupancy sensors as one of the smart building solutions. Knowing how many people are in a space at a given time can help make decisions that directly relate to occupancy comfort, systems efficiency, and real-estate expenditure. Real-time occupancy monitoring is integral to proactive decision making that ultimately makes your buildings more comfortable, efficient, and safe.
Terabee has developed a range of people counting products to be used alongside our People Counting IoT platform. These products are IoT sensors used to monitor the occupancy and people flow, and the data obtained will be sent via the IoT platform to your installed systems. Our IoT platform is the ideal solution for managing the people counting devices and analyzing counting data per building, per room or specified area. It utilizes LoRa technology which allows data to be safely transmitted over long distances and works optimally within buildings.
Working with an experienced IoT platforms and IoT devices partner allows you to focus on running your business without worrying about system integration or maintenance of smart building IoT solutions. Instead, giving you time to focus on data analytics and real-time monitoring.
References and further reading
- Forbes (2021). Why Smart Buildings Are A Breath Of Fresh Air?
- Prof. Dr. Michael Krödel (2020). The influence of Smart Buildings upon the wellbeing and productivity of office workers
- BuildingsIot (2020). 9 Smart Building IoT Trends for Easier Management