HomeArticleHow IoT Gives Rise to Smart Buildings: A Futuristic Outlook

22 March 2021

How IoT Gives Rise to Smart Buildings: A Futuristic Outlook

Nowadays, the internet of things (IoT) have scaled up the efficiency and effectiveness of so many aspects of our lives. From daily life at home, to our hustle-and-bustle in the city, to our work assignments, all of them have adopted the IoT into their system. Thus, we have come up with labels such as “smart home”, “smart city” and “smart workplaces”. The “smart” systems have been proven to boost not only the productivity but the inhabitants of these places as well.

Now, we also have the terminology “smart building”. Basically, in big urban spaces, buildings are the loci where we spend the majority of our time and activities. Buildings the places we live, the places we work, the places we study and the places we buy the products and services we need. Thus, integrating IoT and automation into these buildings’ operations will also boost the productivity and well-being of their inhabitants, whichever type of activity they happen to pursue in these settings. 

Before we proceed, let us start with a refresher on the basic application of IoT in these “smart” systems. 

The role of IoT in smart building operation

Simply put, IoT and automation simply boost the scale in which any business or system operations run, thanks to their mammoth capacity of data collection and accumulation. Therefore, the analytics will analyze the real-time data -- comprising the human activities inside and outside the building as well as energy needs and expenditures -- that they gather against the context from the data they have collected overtime. With the enormity of data they can collect, the analytics’ advantage lies in its potency of reading any real-time data against bigger contexts over enduring trends. Equipped with such technology, the smart buildings can help decision makers make better decisions and strategies on how they should manage the nitty-gritty details of their operations, covering their human activity, security and environmental aspects. Through such mechanism, IoT and automation will result in what experts call the “hyperaware” smart building, with more contextually precise, efficient and effective management on these aspects.

The future of smart buildings

The McKinsey company has predicted lots of positive things for the future of smart buildings. For instance, it predicts that the smart buildings will increase productivity by 5 percent. At the same time, the human productivity organizational redesign accomplished by such systems can also yield 3-4 percent of productivity increase. Going into more depth in their analysis, McKinsey also predicts that the augmented reality provided by such systems will result in 10 percent productivity gains, while energy monitoring should reduce costs by 20 percent. Finally, the IoT could reduce building security costs by 20 to 50 percent thanks to its efficiency. 

Businesses can also win business competition in 2021 by making their offices smarter. The COVID-19 pandemic has apparently made it clear that businesses which are most adept to survive force majeure situations and changing trends are businesses who can adapt to the new technology. Probably, remote working will still continue be the norm at the end of the pandemic, with lots of workers aspire to become “digital nomads” with more flexibility regarding work placement. In this case, big data-powered IoT will definitely help businesses keep track of their workflow and record all important data as they go by, no matter which part of the country or even the globe their employees or associates happen to be.

The functions of IoT in hyperaware building operations

A paper issued by arubanetworks.com has outlined the functions that IoT serve in hyperaware building operations. The functions include enabling overall business transformation. In the healthcare realm, the IoT can help biomedical device connectivity, non-invasive resident monitoring, hand hygiene compliance to reduce the spread of disease, as well as location-aware patient engagement, compliance and telemedicine, among others.

In the context of COVID-19, the IoT can also help the monitoring of compliance to physical distancing as well as health and hygiene protocols. Finally, in the realms of the environment, the IoT can help maintain air quality that matters in this time of pandemic.

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