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Operations in commercial buildings are complex. A building management system handles these operations well and performs the automation of equipment in buildings. Still, there is a scope for automation and advancement. 

loT technologies give rise to modular, low-cost, intelligent, and cloud-connected systems that allow facility managers to leverage large volumes of data being collected from within the buildings. 

To get deeper insights into the matter, let’s discuss building management challenges into consideration and how IoT solves it. Let’s get started with challenges and opportunities in the journey of digitization infrastructure.

Digitization Infrastructure  – Challenges and Opportunities

  1. Operations in Commercial buildings

Facility managers face a lot of discrepancies in building operations every day, including: 

  • Large commercial buildings have complex operations with varying requirements in different areas. 
  • The occupancy rate varies throughout the day 
  • Complex assets like HVAC, lighting, and refrigerator/cold rooms are manually operated 
  • High energy consumption and no visibility into asset operation 

These are the prime reasons buildings waste a lot of energy. 

2. Challenges in Commercial buildings

Apart from operational discrepancies, there are some other challenges as well:

  • Equipment operating when not in need wastes a high amount of energy 
  • Poor comfort compliances lead to a lack of automation and visibility into compliances like temperature, humidity, etc. 
  • Poor asset management and maintenance result in a higher energy consumption  
  • Poor power factor that leads to inefficient energy consumption and penalties in the electricity bill 
  • Efficiency-related losses due to which assets consume more energy than required
  • The maximum load is more than the sanctioned load that result in penalties on the electricity bill 

3. Automating Operations with Building Management System (BMS) – Challenges

The building management system also comes with its own set of challenges such as: 

    • Suitable only for large buildings – Even in developed economies, only 2% of buildings with less than 50k sq. feet area can afford BMS. 
    • Dependent on wired communications – BMS is a largely wired system, difficult to install and maintain. 
    • High upfront Capex – Lack of transparency into which components are critical and which ones are “good to have” 
    • Mostly on-premise deployment – Lack of centralized visibility into the operations 
    • Difficult to maintain – Lack of visibility into malfunctioning components. It requires expensive & skilled manpower for installation and service 
  • Threshold-based control – Source of a wealth of data that can possibly be used for intelligent controls and predictive maintenance 

IoTbased connected building infrastructure comes as a perfect solution!

IoT technology helps facility managers to overcome these challenges. It offers a wide range of benefits such as: 

  1. Temperature & humidity compliance 
  2. Energy management through centralized monitoring & intelligent controls 
  3. Digital Ticketing workflows with real-time push notifications 
  4. Artificial Intelligent (AI) /Machine Learning (ML) based fault detection & diagnosis 
  5. Data-driven risk detection 
  6. Seamless integrations with third-party ERPs and systems 
  7. Web-based dashboards for on-the-go management 
  8. Intelligent control of exhaust units to maintain optimum levels of fresh air 

Leverage IoT-based full-stack solution

The Internet of Things (IoT) challenges the wired notion in buildings. It comes with powerful full-stack solutions like: 

  1. Wireless sensing & control platform 

  • Battery-powered sensors (Temperature, humidity, etc.) 
  • Smart wireless control node 
  • Extensible to support different field devices  

2. Industrial grade gateway 

  • Connecting a zone within a building (or a subset of assets) independently 
  • Local edge intelligence 
  • Extensible – Modbus, Low Power Wireless, and Wi-Fi 

3. IoT stack on Cloud 

Better to have someone who can provide end-to-end IoT solutions rather than breaking down devices and IoT stacks. 

4. Plug & play platform 

  • End node commissioning and testing 
  • Issue framework 
  • Ticketing system integration 
  • OEM Agnostic 
  • Cloud-based device management 

Incremental Journey in Digitization

 

With IoT, facility managers don’t need to plan everything upfront. They can live this journey in an incremental way. Let’s understand how: 

Step 1: Basic Sensing with Analytics 

Starting with only monitoring solutions, IoT starts with basic sensing. In this step, advanced systems are deployed namely:

  • Smart energy meters 
  • Ambient sensors 
  • BMS Integration  

With the implementation of these advanced devices, facility managers start getting valuable data. Based on this information, they can ensure:  

  • Fault detection & diagnosis in the building
  • Visibility & automated alerts for current imbalances and poor power factor to reduce any current losses or penalties
  • Real-time monitoring & control of chilled and hot water valves to avoid energy wastage by overcooling or overheating

Step 2:  Staged Smart Automation  

The next step is to put automated control over complex building systems, including: 

  • Airside central HVAC control 
  • Lighting 
  • Smaller HVAC units 

The outcomes of this step are: 

  • Anomaly detection 
  • Ticketing workflow 
  • Temperature and humidity compliance 
  • Predictive maintenance 
  • Better occupants’ safety 

After this step, facility managers can take step 3, i.e connecting the entire portfolio on one platform using IoT based platform

Step 3: System Integration

Once you have leveraged energy savings, you can now integrate the following complex systems.

  • CAFM Integration 
  • Access control systems 
  • Occupancy detection 
  • Surveillance systems 

 

They ultimately allow for improved algorithms, integrated asset view, and better control policies. 

Transform your facility into a connected building hassle-free with Zenatix’s powerful IoT solutions! Reach out to us today.