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Buildings get smarter thanks to IoT, data

Buildings get smarter thanks to IoT, data
Thanks to connected devices under the Internet of Things (IoT) scheme and the data that they generate, a new generation of smart buildings has emerged. That’s the argument presented by Siemens in a recent whitepaper.
With real estate prices soaring, companies and building owners are looking for ways to save cost and optimize efficiency, at the same time providing a great environment for employees. Thanks to connected devices under the Internet of Things (IoT) scheme and the data that they generate, a new generation of smart buildings has emerged.
That’s the argument presented by Siemens in a whitepaper called “The digital building: transparent and autonomous.”
The paper begins by stressing the need for balancing between reduced office space and providing great comfort for employees. “Real estate prices in cities around the world are exploding. In London, one of the most expensive places in the world, a workplace already costs up to 27,000 euros per employee per year. Meanwhile, businesses are cutting back on the amount of space assigned to each employee,” it said. “The daunting task of balancing between designing long-lasting buildings with an affordable cost structure, and providing the highest level of workplace comfort, lies primarily with architects.”
The study argues that thanks to connected devices in buildings and the data they generate, buildings have become smarter than ever. “Siemens estimates that by the year 2030, there will be 50 billion networked devices. According to further predictions, 65 percent of Siemens customers will require access to their data at all times,” it stated.
So what good does IoT and data do in buildings? According to Siemens, their biggest benefit is ensuring greater transparency and automation.
In terms of transparency, the building owner will have greater oversight of the overall status of the building. “There are KPIs for energy consumption, for general costs, for CO2 emissions and for costs per square meter. Therewith building owners can analyze service provider performance while implementing a broad range of measures in real time,” the paper said. “Heat mapping of offices and occupancy detection give building owners valuable information on how their buildings are being used throughout the day and how usage changes with the seasons.”
Besides transparency, buildings will also get more autonomous. “In the past, companies managed their buildings rather reactively. Thanks to the information they collect through digitization, they are now able to act proactively and take advantage of the benefits of predictive analysis,” Siemens said. “The advantages of digitalization are already evident in the management of building performance – for example the reduction of CO2 emissions, which is a high priority. Businesses are already cutting CO2 emissions by as much as 10 to 15 percent, and achieving energy savings of 30 percent is no longer uncommon.”
The paper concludes by saying IoT and big data will lead to a building that manages itself, detects any need for service on its own, communicates with its environment and adjusts to its users and their requirements. “The advantages for property managers are obvious: this type of building means less effort for facility management and maintenance, lower energy consumption, and guaranteed performance. At the same time, the building supports the persons working in it, because it supports the optimization of their work processes, increasing not only their productivity, but also their creativity,” it said.

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