How to bridge the gap between buildings of today and BIoT?

How to bridge the gap between buildings of today and BIoT?
Needless to say, the so-called building Internet of Things (BIoT) has a lot of growth potential. Yet there are still smart building challenges that need to be overcome, and systems integrators will have a large role to play in this regard.
 
According to a recent blog post by Memoori, to achieve smart buildings there is a need to break down the silos between all the building services and integrate with the enterprise IT services in buildings, but there have been two major obstacles to achieve progress in this arena.
 
“The first one being that the traditional contractual procedures in the design of building services separate the contracts for the different services; particularly the IT enterprise services. More recently in new construct contracts integration in Smart Buildings has been implemented by major controls conglomerates, through using IP and adopting a common communications protocol but not always using the same standard and having limited integration with IT enterprise services,” the post said.
 
“The second roadblock to achieving BIoT is that it will require a two-way communications network that will join all the sensors controllers and actuators in the building. There are a number of major communications network manufacturers that are offering this capability but none that we are aware of that yet have a proven 100 percent reliable solution,” the post added. “That is not to say that some major contractors cannot offer a fully connected building solution but sadly it is not likely to be a fully ‘open’ one.”
 
While the post cites research organizations as suggesting that IoT will rapidly grow at around 18 percent per annum over the next decade, the reality is that there is still a large gap between the buildings of today and BIoT buildings.
 
“The majority of facilities teams today are constantly in firefighting mode, lacking the actionable information needed to take an active operational stance let alone go all-in with BIoT. Operations executives are flying blind, struggling to find the insights needed to make data-driven decisions that meet financial objectives and promote future growth,” the post said.
 

Bridging the gap

 
How, then, does the industry bridge this gap? According to the post, this will be decided on how quickly a two-way cyber resistant communication network is adopted, changes in contractual procedures and strengthening the routes to market. This last requirement is especially important for today’s systems integrators who will need to acquire new skills, particularly in networking technology, when setting up and commissioning BIoT systems, the post said.
 
“Software platforms will make this operation less tedious but understanding the fundamentals will be important when ironing out the bugs. Those SI’s that have embraced VSaaS, ACaaS and cloud services will have an important contribution to make because projects must overcome issues of IoT adoption by designing systems meant to work in close harmony with cloud computing and AI from inception,” it said. “The advantage with new construction projects is the ability to embed capabilities of cloud-based optimization into the DNA of the building and integrate secure cloud-based control, testing, validation, and commissioning as a new build paradigm.”
 
According to the post, these sophisticated buildings will still require fine-tuning in the commissioning process – for example, in a pre-commissioning situation, the cloud can make sure all the “nuts and bolts” are in place and that sensors and devices work digitally and can be accessed remotely. Then during commissioning, the cloud can send commands, measure the efficacy of those commands, override units into a specific mode for all zones on a floor, see that the units responded, and look to see if the data correlates with the action, it said.
 
“All of this means that systems integrators will need to take on larger, more complex and higher value-add projects, and this will require more investment; but will increase the size of the System Integrator business,” the post concluded.


Product Adopted:
Building


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