The need for intelligent buildings is constantly rising. By the end of 2028, the smart building market is expected to hit 265.37 billion. The Internet of Things (IoT) plays a massive role in creating intelligent buildings!

What is a smart building?

A smart building is a structure that uses automated processes to control the building’s operations including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security, etc. It uses sensors for feedback, actuators for control, and gateways to connect to the centralized cloud platform.

The Internet of Things (IoT) plays a significant role in creating smart or intelligent buildings. Multiple use cases are driven by IoT such as:

Simply, any building which is controlled through data and automation is a smart building. It comprises three main components i.e.

1) IoT sensors – for collecting the data

2) Actuators – for building automation and controls

3) IoT gateways – to connect these sensors and actuators to a centralized cloud platform, where you can manage buildings better.

The presence of automation needs gap in the commercial building space

There is a requirement in buildings for IoT automation. To get better clarity into the context, we have segregated buildings into two types.

  • Light commercial buildings (less than 100K sq ft)

In smaller size buildings, the building management system (BMS) penetration is virtually non-existent. This technology was developed for large buildings. It doesn’t make any economic sense in smaller spaces. It’s best to use IoT-based building automation, which is an economical solution.

 

  • Large commercial buildings (More than 100K sq ft)

In large portfolio buildings, there is a need for energy and asset management. These are the buildings that either have a BMS, partial BMS, or no BMS implementation.

That’s the point where IoT comes to use. It is a hardware lightweight and software intelligent technology that makes economic sense to be deployed in this white space.

Traditional BMS were classical automation systems. They did a great job for decades but also brought some great challenges. They tend to be expensive and their penetration is extremely low in Indian buildings. In addition to this, it is hard to maintain, especially in the Indian environment.

The new age challenges are coming up. There is a lack of predictive maintenance analysis or BMS from different players who adopt an approach that generally doesn’t integrate everything. So, IoT-powered automation is the best choice as it is cost-efficient and provides faster ROI with a focus on AI-powered predictive maintenance.

Challenges in commercial buildings

There are multiple challenges that commercial buildings generally face. Here are a few important challenges faced by building managers:

    1. Unnecessary equipment operation – Huge amount of energy gets wasted when equipment operates more than required.
    2. Suboptimal comfort compliances – Lack of automation and visibility into compliances like temperature, humidity, etc.
    3. Frequent asset breakdown – Prolonged usage of assets without proper maintenance leads to higher energy consumption.
    4. Poor power factor – It leads to inefficient energy consumption and penalties on the electricity bill.
    5. Efficiency-related losses – Inefficient operation of equipment leads to more energy consumption than required
    6. The maximum load is more than sanctioned load – It leads to penalties on the electricity bill.

Benefits of IoT-enabled building automation

IoT-enabled automation can fix these challenges! The various benefits are as follows:

  • Energy management through centralized monitoring
  • AI/ML-based fault detection and diagnosis (Predictive maintenance)
  • Digital ticketing workflows with real-time push notifications
  • Seamless integrations with third-party ERPs and systems
  • Remote asset monitoring and intelligent controls
  • Temperature and humidity compliance
  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Centralized dashboard

How is IoT disrupting building technologies?

The Internet of Things has the capacity to transform how buildings operate on a day-to-day basis. Here’s understand how:

  1. Hardware light and software intelligent solution – IoT is AI/ML-based intelligent software with minimum hardware. In comparison to traditional BMS, it works in a more advanced way. It comes with actuators and sensors that communicate wirelessly to the nearest gateway. They independently talk to the cloud. There is not even a need to network all the gateways. The IoT is 60% of the typical BMS cost.

2. Wireless technology – IoT systems don’t require physical wiring for connecting assets which makes both deployment and maintenance easier.

3. OEM & Machine Agnostic – IoT solutions can be deployed with equipment of multiple OEMs.

4. A perfect plug & play solution – Fast and easy to deploy in a building

5. Cost-effective – Fewer hardware requirements significantly reduce the deployment and maintenance costs

6. Shorter ROI periods – IoT solutions have significantly shorter ROI periods of 12-14 months

These benefits make IoT a very viable technology. Several organizations are realizing the vitality of IoT and incorporating its solutions to turn their buildings into smarter ones.

Looking for smart IoT solutions to create intelligent buildings? Reach out to Zenatix!

Zenatix is your ultimate IoT solution partner that can help you create an intelligent building in a much smarter way. Getting cost-effective and retrofit-ready IoT solutions becomes easy!


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