The building industry is centuries old – and for the most part, its ways of doing things have remained unchanged. After years of stagnating productivity and efficiency, new IoT technologies are now being adopted to improve and maximise the performance of buildings.
You may be wondering what the future of the built environment looks like.
When you consider how rapidly the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is growing, which can connect any machine, any system or any site to the Internet to know at any time what’s happening, the range of applications for the building and construction industry are vast.
Let’s take a look at a few practical examples of how the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart sensors are changing the building industry, and offering better construction, building controls and even greater comfort.
Building Information Modelling
To start with, we can take a look at Building Information Modelling. In the past, builders relied mostly on 2D drawings (plans, elevations, and sections) to share project information. Now 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM) can help to provide a more complete picture of a building project, and it can enable professionals to finish projects faster, more efficiently and within budget.
3D models also offer the advantage of going beyond the planning and design phases of the project, through to the building life cycle, including cost, construction, and project management, as well as facility operations.
Smart Building Sensors
Smart (IoT) building solutions come in the form of sensors, gateways, and switches that interconnect systems, to enable facility managers to continuously monitor building conditions and overall system functionality.
With the help of smart sensors, systems can measure temperature, humidity and air flow throughout an entire building. These sensors allow managers to better control the light, temperature and comfort of the building both on-site and remotely, and adjust it according to occupancy levels.
When it comes to equipment servicing and repair, smart sensors help facility managers to manage HVAC equipment in real-time, by transmitting information about equipment status and any need for service or repairs.
A major benefit of a connected IoT system within a building is that it can also detect a change or issue and send a notification within minutes, to alert facility managers to unusual equipment behavior or a system failure. This allows for quicker response times and the ability to avoid potentially devastating problems.
IoT systems also contain apps for both analysis and visualisation of data, which can help managers to track factors such as wasteful energy expenditures.
Using IoT, buildings can transmit information based on the amount of energy used, so that items such as after-hours lighting can be adjusted for energy-savings. Equipment sensors can also send back information on equipment idling time so that on and off periods can easily be adjusted.
IoT systems are also enabling buildings to adapt to their external environment like never before. With the help of smart sensors, systems can determine external factors such as the weather forecast and even current utility rates to help make necessary adjustments to internal operations.
It is clear the uptake of IoT systems technology is helping to make buildings easier to manage with greater controls. For the HVAC industry in particular, the future of IoT means better connected, better managed, and maintained systems.
To learn more about how new IoT technology can benefit your building, contact our Design team today.