Currently, traditional systems used to monitor energy consumption are replaced by the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. According toFortune Business Insights, the global market for IoT in buildings is expected to reach $328.62 billion by 2029. The driving factors of such rapid growth are the necessity to decrease excessive water and energy usage across buildings while minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency.
Plus, according to theresearch conducted by the University of West Bohemia, in the Czech Republic, the integration of smart building automation systems led to more than € 20,000 in savings in energy costs annually. In this article, we are going to explain the basics of IoT in smart building management systems, monitoring opportunities, and the technical aspects of data collection so you know the best way of implementing smart technology and the benefits it can bring.
Understanding IoT Smart Building Technology
The IoT building automation technologies are changing the way buildings function. Smart technologies enable remote connectivity that allows service contractors and facility teams to monitor and troubleshoot equipment remotely. In the nearest future, IoT-powered buildings and visual dashboards that gather data will connect building operations systems and provide powerful analytics useful for cost and energy savings and environmentally viable choices.
IoT applications in smart buildings have made it possible to remotely monitor energy usage and building temperature. Plus, with IoT, you can measure the number of people inside the building and the overall power consumption to make facility management adjustments.
What is it?
As its name suggests, IoT Smart Building Technology is a system that uses sensors, cloud connectivity, and analytics software to automate building management processes. It’s a powerful solution that enables buildings to be more responsive to tenant demands while saving money on energy consumption.
How does it work?
IoT is reshaping the entire building management by offering a single system that unifies a variety of smart building functions to simplify oversight and better coordinate responses.
The data is collected by sensors and sent to actuators/gateways, which forward the network server and further on to the end user, for it to be analyzed to generate insights around usage patterns and trends that can be used to build more efficient facility management.
Main components of the Building Automation System
Sensors are the cornerstone of any smart building project, monitoring the environment and sending data back to the system. They may possess features like motion sensing/control, light level measurement, power level measurement, and temperature/humidity control.
TEKTELIC offers a variety ofIoT sensors for indoor monitoring and automation. A good example isVIVID with the help of which you can easily monitor the temperature, humidity, light, movement, and position of the doors/windows. This device will help you keep the optimal temperature and humidity levels in the indoor space based on the indicators. What is more, you will save considerably on energy costs since this sensor will constantly show you where the light is on without any movement in space (so, it is not needed and used without a purpose).
We also have a successful use case foroccupancy monitoring in commercial buildings. With VIVID sensors connected, TEKTELIC was able to solve several problems at once, including covering large office areas and full environmental monitoring of the indoor area. This smart solution allows business owners to optimize existing layouts, reduce real estate needs, and reduce cleaning/maintenance frequency and expense in unused spaces.
The next crucial component isgateways. They act as a data bridge between sensors and applications and allow them to communicate with each other. At the same time, the gateways do not analyze the data but only convert it for transmission according to the relevant protocols.
TEKTELIC provides a range of indoor gateways as well. For instance, we haveKONA Micro IoT Gateway. This gateway can connect all the devices you have in your building into one system, and is very cost-effective. When it is deployed, you can use easily configure it and ensure the coverage with ‘Always On’ connectivity. One of the best features of KONA Micro IoT Gateway, in turn, is its battery backup so it can continue operating even if the main site is out of power.
A successful case example here is the deployment of our KONA Micros in multi-story residential buildings to monitor the health of water pipes and avoid damage caused by water leaks and monitor the ambient environment in the building. TEKTELIC KONA Micro IoT gateway is used to receive data from smart home sensors and send the data further to a facility manager, so in case leaks are detected, the problem will be addressed immediately. A total of 12 leaks were detected within the first six weeks of deployment, which saved millions of dollars for building owners and managers.
Network Server is software used to manage a network architecture of devices using a particular protocol.
It serves as a comprehensive platform for:
Data visualization, and more.
TEKTELIC offers differentLoRaWAN network servers, which work under the LoRaWAN protocol (Long Range Wide Area Network). The physical layer of LoRaWAN uses LoRa modulation to enable long-distance communication between smart devices, gateways, and end-users. For more information on LoRaWAN, you can check outour article on this topic.
Our most popular is theKONA CORE LoRaWAN® Network Server. This software allows for the management of gateways and devices and the secure transmission of data packets between gateways and applications. Plus, KONA CORE can serve as a hosted or on-premise LoRaWAN network server and has customer and end-user profile options for easier access.
Application servers collect information from a network server, process it, and provide it for any process, system, or person requesting it. The application server usually supports specialized portals for users with different roles, including for the development and adaptation of software applications. It can display data on stationary and mobile devices, as well as collective use tools, including the use of geo-applications.
TEKTELIC has a wide variety of applications available, which go as a part of our end-to-end solutions. For example, ourBREEZE Application is an ideal choice if you need to have all environmental measurements fromBREEZE Sensor right in your pocket. This new app allows users to access measurements from BREEZE and BREEZE-V using their mobile phones. Besides, adding new devices to the app is extremely easy, all that’s needed is to scan a QR code or manually enter a serial number. It is designed to simplify air quality monitoring indoors and boost the operational efficiency of facility managers.
What Can You Monitor within a Facility?
IoT sensors can monitor a variety of things within an indoor facility.
Occupancy sensors can trigger the lights, thermostat, or fan, and also monitor how often the space is being used. By collecting data on occupancy levels, facility managers can identify areas where space is being underutilized or over-utilized and, as a result, increase the efficiency of space usage.
HVAC and Lighting Systems
IoT sensors offer an inexpensive way of monitoring the indoor environment. By collecting data on important metrics like temperature, humidity, air circulation, and pollution levels, IoT devices can help facility managers identify and address air quality issues before they become health hazards. For example, if the temperature in a room is too high or too low, the HVAC system can be adjusted to maintain a comfortable temperature. The same goes for humidity levels and CO2 levels.
Lighting systems can be triggered or adjusted manually following the same pattern. By collecting data on lighting levels, property owners or facility managers can identify areas where lighting can be reduced to save energy.
For example, sensors can detect leaks and send an alert to the facility manager. By monitoring this parameter, building managers can identify areas where water is being wasted and take steps to reduce consumption or even prevent huge damage by addressing water leaks as soon as they occurred.
Fire safety sensors are one of the most popular in building management. For example, smoke detectors can detect smoke in any area of the building and send an alert to the building manager or even all the occupants. By monitoring fire safety systems the building owner can ensure that they are working properly and that occupants are safe.
How Can Smart Building Automation be Helpful for Buildings?
Smart building automation can be helpful for buildings in many ways, such as:
Improve operational efficiency
Reduce energy and water consumption
Improve lighting control
Increase overall user experience
Smart appliances related to building management can greatly reduce the costs of repairs and maintenance. In the abovementioneduse case, the company we have partnered with reported that the building they were managing before without the IoT technology, suffered $12 million in water damage with a few apartments needing to be demolished and rebuilt. The interesting fact here is that with IoT these figures can be reduced significantly, which was proved after the integration of LoRa technology.
Another example is howMorgan Sindall Group has launched a new technology that can save housing landlords up to £550m per year. This figure may sound unrealistic to you but their goldeni platform can provide tenants and landlords with real-time information about internal environmental conditions such as temperature, air pressure, light levels, humidity, carbon dioxide, heating condition, water leaks, and gas consumption. TEKTELIC also have a mutual case with them, which was aimed at monitoring the indoor environment to create proactive facility management and a healthy working environment.
With the help ofCOMFORT Sensor, home and office environments can be continuously monitored, empowering landlords and building operators to reduce property disrepair and improve energy efficiency.
Improved Operational Efficiency
For example, smart building technology can determine space utilization, which can then trigger schedules to focus on cleaning only where needed. TEKTELIC together with Soobr Ltd.has successfully established a solution to optimize cleaning schedules and routes in accordance with space usage and occupancy. It became possible with TEKTELIC VIVID, KONA Micro IoT gateway, and the Akenza platform, which visualizes data gathered by sensors.
Smart building automation can help increase sustainability in many ways. For example, smart building technology can help buildings reduce carbon emissions and even achieve zero-carbon certifications through energy consumption tracking and analysis. In this context, theconsistent use of building automation alone could save about 12% of our total energy consumption and 10% of our total CO2 emissions
Many are also turning to smart building technologies to better monitor water usage. For instance, inone of our use cases, we’ve provided KONA Micro IoT Gateway to:
prevent water losses
reduce unauthorized use or tampering with meters
avoid mistakes when an agent takes readings of consumption meters manually
Connected building technologies can help prevent unnecessary disruptions and save energy while improving occupant comfort and building controls. Additionally, an IoT implementation can optimize wireless utility submeters, maintenance schedules, and (Building Management Systems) BMS functionalities, which include:
Voltage, current, and temperature control and measurement
SOC (State of Charge) and SOH (State of Health) assessment
What data needs to be collected?
The data that needs to be collected for smart building automation depends on the specific application. For example, to reduce water consumption, you would need to collect data on water usage and leaks. To lower energy consumption, you would need to collect data on lighting and equipment performance. Or if you need to monitor air quality, you need to have measurements on CO2 levels, humidity, and temperature.
TEKTELIC providessensors for each case, so you can find a device, which is needed for your particular use case with ease.
How is the Data Collected?
We are going to explain the process on the example of LoRaWAN technology, which our devices and gateways are based on.
So, the gateways get the data from the communication with sensors, which send it wirelessly using LoRa protocol. Gateway uses Ethernet and/or Cellular backhaul to communicate the information to the network server, and then it is transferred further on to the application and end-user.
The Role of TEKTELIC in Reshaping Building Management
TEKTELIC is a company that specializes in the design and implementation of IoT-connected sensors for buildings. Our sensors are designed to help building managers reduce their energy consumption, improve air quality, and conserve natural resources. TEKTELIC sensors can collect data from anywhere in the world, which allows building managers to have a global view of their buildings and makes it easy to identify and solve problems.
A smart building technology program can be an effective tool in a facility. This type of technology also allows you to automate many key functions in your facility, including lighting and HVAC systems. However, you shouldn’t start monitoring each part of a building system because it can overwhelm you. Start with something small – monitoring the performance of an air handler or lighting fixture – and gradually increase your efficiency as your experience with this system grows. Following this scheme, you will be able to create a building automation system and integrate your building into the IoT ecosystem.
TEKTELIC, in turn, is committed to helping building managers reduce their environmental impact and improve the quality of life for their occupants based on automatically gathered data. So, our sensors and gateways are the perfect solution for reshaping building control and can help facility managers save energy, conserve resources, and improve air quality. That is why, don’t hesitate to get to oursales and support team with any questions and inquiries and create a sustainable space with us.
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