Today’s smart buildings aren’t just smart, they’re intelligent. By utilizing integrated networks, wireless, IoT sensors and monitoring technology, modern-day buildings are capable of maximizing efficiencies while minimizing costs. In addition, these technologies also provide a better experience for building tenants and owners with user-friendly interfaces and easy to understand data for better safety and control, especially while occupancy rates are down, and resimercial integrators should take note on it.
According to John Nemerofsky, COO of SAGE Integration, the current building automation trends point towards a market centered around energy efficiency, space utilization and security technology.
“Many buildings have older cable plants that are being converted to IP networks, including full-scale wireless, creating building-wide networks that can be utilized for many different systems. Older, hardwired BMS systems are being replaced with smart IoT devices and Cloud-based control software. These new platforms give customers a single pane of glass to see security, fire, BMS and other integrated systems.
“Buildings are all about increased efficiency and as they expand their IT and wireless infrastructure, smart devices can now be deployed virtually anywhere, creating more flexibility while reducing installation costs. The new platforms gather data from all systems allowing for better predictive maintenance and increased efficiencies,” Nemerofsky states.
Filling the Space WFH Creates
What drives this need for efficiency comes from the amount of space these buildings have now. In a 2015 study by CBRE, 40% of office space worldwide sat empty, with energy and potential resources being wasted to maintain those unoccupied spaces. In the U.S., true vacancy rates currently sit at more than 18%. But coming out of the pandemic and facing increased work-from-home scenarios, smart building owners are creating strategies to increase space utilization and cut down on unnecessary energy expenditures.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 19% of the nation’s total energy consumption is attributable to buildings, of which 44% is used for HVAC-related operations like space heating, cooling and ventilation. Utilizing smart building management systems (BMS) and enhanced energy management systems in tandem with space utilization technologies like occupancy detectors, electronic access devices and BMS software overlay can then help provide significant cost reductions.
As the cut costs make their way onto everyone’s bottom line, it is expected that the market will in turn generate greater demand for these technologies and integrators who are able to install them. In some cases, regulations may even be set in place where such energy and occupancy management technologies are mandatory.
Another version of this article originally appeared on CE Pro.