The Smart Buildings transforms facilities into connected platforms, serving occupants and managers.
Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), all building components can now be connected inexpensively.
The majority of the services offered within the framework of the Smart Building aim to improve the comfort and safety of occupants. Often, these same services also facilitate the work of managers and service providers responsible for maintaining buildings. Finally, they help reduce operating costs.
Ensuring the well-being of occupants, the primary objective of IoT in property management
Transforming a facility into a Smart Building makes everyday life easier for occupants. It becomes possible to automatically adjust the temperature, lighting or shades according to outdoor conditions and occupants' preferences, without having them to think about it. In buildings, everything can be connected, even garbage cans or toilets. Bins equipped with sensors facilitate the collection, while providing users with a clearer view of the volumes of waste they produce. Connected washrooms help housekeepers know when to intervene, improving overall hygiene standards.
Connected systems also make it possible to detect equipment that threatens to break down, in order to trigger a preventive maintenance intervention. Such a solutions make it possible to detect incidents before the occupants even notice them, such as:
deterioration in air quality
Energy management, the other major target of connected buildings
The energy consumption of buildings represents a high-cost service for facility managers. Heating, air conditioning and lighting put together to take a heavy toll, especially since they run in empty rooms sometimes.
Thanks to the IoT, new solutions have emerged that allow the intelligent use of energy, based on building frequentation rather than on time slots. For example, it is thus possible to activate the heating of a meeting room only when it is occupied.
Another category of services concerns the analysis of energy consumption. Often, the invoice provided by distributors remains quite opaque and difficult to understand. The challenge is to identify whether it corresponds to the needs of the business. Thanks to the IoT, it is possible to connect directly to the meters, to collect detailed data on energy consumption. This helps to understand precisely how this resource is used, to detect energy-hungry devices and other sources of wasted energy. Ultimately, the goal is to optimize the company's consumption, based on precise data that can be understood by all without changing existing equipment.
Better security with the Smart Building
Ensuring the safety of buildings and their occupants is an important issue. Current technologies make it possible to go further than traditional solutions.
Thanks to the IoT, all access to a building can, for example, be equipped with sensors to detect whether they are properly closed. This information can then be viewed on a remote monitoring platform, at a much lower cost than devices that existed before.
Smart video surveillance cameras, in order to facilitate the work of security teams, in particular on sensitive sites.
Connected locks can also be set up: unlike physical locks, these can be reconfigured as needed, to allocate or deny access to an identified user using different devices (smartphone, IoT chips, etc.)
A final emerging use case concerns energy storage. More and more companies are choosing to equip their premises with energy production systems, such as solar panels, or reuse the heat produced by data centres to heat their premises.
These positive energy buildings often produce more electricity or heat than they consume. If connected, they can intelligently redistribute energy where it is needed in their vicinity, using conveniently placed sensors.
We will look at all the connectivity aspects, ''what connectivity and what type of network to choose according to your need?'' - optical fibre, cellular technology, LPWAN, Wifi, NFC, RFID or even the 5G network.