ARCHITECTS and ENGINEERS

Using the Internet of Things to Manage Efficient Buildings, Part II

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In my previous post, we learned that Internet of Things (IoT) devices are intelligent sensors and actuators that can connect to the Internet and interact with other intelligent, connected devices. All of these devices will generate a large amount of raw data that must be processed in order to be turned into actionable insight. That means there must be software behind the connected devices in order to make them useful.

IoT providers are applying the techniques of "Big Data" analysis to graphically visualize trends and anomalies that can prompt a person (or machine) to take action. More traditional descriptive analytics rely on past data trends to be reactive. Cutting-edge predictive analytics can use artificial intelligence (AI) processing to make proactive decisions by predicting future trends. Predictive algorithms may factor weather forecasts into building heating/cooling decisions or may use historic utility data to schedule equipment to run when energy is predicted to be most economical. According to decision management expert James Taylor, "predictive analytics turn uncertainty about the future into usable probability."

This incredible insight into energy and operations can be used to benefit building occupants, operators, and owners. Building occupant satisfaction is increased through increased comfort and personalization of the workspace. IoT systems will recognize when the meeting leader enters the conference rooms and adapts the room configuration to their preferences. Applications already allow building occupants to democratically vote if they are too warm, too cold, or just right.

Building operators benefit from visualized building data that acts as a real-time energy dashboard. Analytics software that processes the dashboard data can spot anomalies and automatically generate work tickets that are prioritized based on ROI, optimizing operating efficiency. Energy dashboards also are used to provide awareness of building energy usage that can influence occupant behavior.

Residential and commercial real-estate professionals are among the early adopters of IoT technology. Commercial real-estate professionals understand the potential IoT has to deliver lower rent through energy efficiency, generate additional revenue through new and improved service offerings, and retain tenants as occupant satisfaction is driven by the tenant experience. Commercial real-estate professionals who are already adept at using metrics for decision making are eager to get their hands on the diverse variety of measurement data new IoT devices will collect.

Brad Kult recently presented more details in a panel presentation, If These Walls Could Talk, May 10.

Topics: Technology