The Internet of Things in Building Management

The invasion of the Internet of Things (IoT) is well underway. Interestingly, some of the electronic gadgets enabling this new wave are common household and office items. Thermostats, lightbulbs and even door locks are items that have been augmented for digital communications over networks and the internet.

A very practical example of the IoT’s usefulness is found in building management. Tools like predictive monitoring technologies gain value when they are enabled with sophisticated internet-based communications. Three notable areas of large building management that may benefit from the IoT include energy management, security systems and environmental monitoring and control.

Energy Management

Large buildings consume and often waste significant amounts of energy. Monitoring the use of that energy by deploying smart sensors allows for data collection and analysis of usage patterns. The installation of control systems enables real-time efficiency gains and savings. Additional benefits include the ability to accurately identify the causes of energy waste. These causes often stem from needed equipment maintenance or repair. The results of data analysis can also inform decisions about routine maintenance priorities.

Security Systems

Some businesses require a degree of control over access to proprietary information or equipment. Healthcare and insurance providers are legally bound to observe strict privacy laws that limit exposure of patient information. IoT systems enable a wide range of security protocols from smart door locks to biometric fingerprint or retina scanning that support effective security while avoiding unnecessary workflow interference

Environmental Monitoring and Control

Heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are excellent opportunities to leverage the IoT. Installations of thermostats using adaptive control strategies that are enabled by internet connectivity maximize both comfort and efficiency. Likewise, interior lighting control systems can identify the sweet spot of optimum light levels with minimum energy use.

Concurrent advances in computing hardware, software and communications have produced a synergy of technological tools being expressed as an internet of things. These wired and wireless threads of data reveal previously hidden perspectives and new opportunities for improvement. Continued innovation and a willingness to see and seize opportunities are good omens for the internet of things to come.