ARCHITECTS and ENGINEERS

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

In order for Internet of Things (IoT) projects to be successfully deployed for a commercial building, there must be a business case that needs to be solved. The ROI may be a financial payback or improved customer satisfaction, but without a clear understanding of the problems to be solved it is difficult to select the right IoT strategy. Customers may want to improve energy or operational efficiency. Energy codes, such as ASHRE Title 24, may mandate reductions in energy usage that will necessitate more intelligent building systems. Retailers, advertisers and many others have an interest in using new IoT data channels for optimizing planning and strategy.

As IoT devices proliferate, their value behaves according to Reed's Law, which states that the value of a network increases with the size of the network. When there are more IoT devices available to interact with each other, there will be more information available to each device that can be used for more intelligent decision making. 

The above pictograph depicts how IoT devices can be used to automate and optimize processes between systems in a commercial building.

IoT technology deployed for enterprise is much different than consumer IoT products used at home. This is partly due to the scale and complexity of commercial building systems compared to their residential counterparts. 

Another major consideration for enterprise is the cybersecurity--not only IoT devices but the entire IoT communication, data retention, and software chain. Each component in the chain must be carefully considered. The IoT may expose more of your organization to the Internet, and that exposure may include physical components that can be controlled remotely, and it's easy to see that IoT security must be a main consideration in your organization's planning. Security cannot be left to chance--security by design must be addressed at every level in IoT system design and implementation.

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

Topics: Technology