Internet of things explained
The Internet of Things (IoT) is considered to be the next revolution in technology, especially when it comes to operations for facility managers. It holds a great deal of potential to give facility managers insights by tapping into data from connected devices, machines, building controls and sensors throughout their building. However, it is clear that there is still a great deal of confusion on the topic, even though it seems we have heard about the future of smart building for a long while. To that end, we will take a look at what IoT is and where you can begin implementing technology in your facility.
What is the Internet of Things
There are several definitions of IoT. According to Gartner, it is defined as “a network of dedicated physical objects (things) that contain embedded technology to sense or interact with their internal state or the external environment. The IoT is an ecosystem that includes things, communication, applications and data analysis.” Simply speaking, it is about automation of different processes through machine to machine (M2M) connections in order to gain operational efficiencies.
Deployment requires the merging of operational technology and information technology with the facility. The operational technologies include things such as those that control electricity, valves, lighting and air flow. Essentially, these are physical assets that perform certain actions in your building and are part of building control and management systems. The information technology refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software and the Internet that is used for the exchange of information.
Fusion Enables IoT
The division between operational technology and informational technology is diminishing. While at the holistic levels, executives are looking at IoT initiatives while facility and sustainability executives have been building automation systems using wireless technologies throughout their buildings—implementing sensors at as many points as possible. Facility leaders are now playing a pivotal role with their CIOs and CTOs to ensure they are achieving savings and operational efficiency.
To achieve IoT, technology can start with something like the control of lighting. Then, by leveraging the same platform, expand to HVAC systems, plug loads, CO2 sensor and other energy and non-energy devices. By implementing a platform built around a monitored network, you can make decisions based on the information being transmitted and collected.
Using IoT and building system platforms with comprehensive data analytics offerings enable facility managers failure detection, multi-site management and smart system alerts. Managers will be able to identify sources of inefficiencies and compare them to other sites using benchmarks based on their own data. This allows for actionable information to improve workflow and response time across entire facilities or even building complex and campuses.
To drive monitoring, control and analytics in a frictionless manner will require using open standard technologies that support all devices (tablet, smartphone, laptops, etc.). You can implement without open standard, but then you may have separate automation systems operating your HVAC systems versus lighting or security.
How to Use This Information
There is no doubt that as IoT grows and expands, facility managers will play a very important role in helping their facilities save money and gain efficiency from all their systems. When it comes to today’s buildings and commercial HVAC systems, we can help. Our team can help design and install systems, including building controls and building automation systems. Call 303-424-1622 or go online to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.