Schneider Electric SE

05/22/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/22/2024 06:13

3 ways IoT-sensing technology optimizes commercial and industrial buildings

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The institutional and commercial real estate (CRE) markets face many challenges. In a post-pandemic world, there is rising market demand for 'healthy' office spaces to entice reluctant employees back to the workplace. With these new and uncertain working models, decision-makers seek tangible data to optimize space allocation.

There are also environmental challenges. Stricter environmental regulations, energy prices, efficiency standards, and competitive pressures have made energy conservation a priority for property owners. Further, stakeholders and investors prefer greener buildings for tenancy and investment. However, property owners struggle to coordinate multiple niche vendors-often lacking expert oversight-to ensure comprehensive building solutions.

These challenges can be complex as organizations grapple with existing property portfolios with traditional building services infrastructure that can be difficult to modify and/or replace. However, research shows that 80% of the buildings that will stand in 2050 exist today. Focusing only on new builds isn't practical-the market must address effective retrofits to meet sustainability goals.

In part 1 of our four-part series, we examine how internet of things (IoT)sensing devices can help overcome today's challenges and enhance current building management solutions.

IoT-sensing technology bridges today's and tomorrow's building needs

The concept of smart or digital buildings is familiar; IoT sensors and devices enable multi-system connectivity, giving visibility to building data points that would otherwise be unmonitored.

These small sensing devices can pack powerful business benefits by addressing challenges like air quality control, space planning, and simplifying building operation monitoring.

Today's wireless IoT sensors simplify installation and placement, offer aesthetic cleanliness, and are easily reconfigurable, minimizing total cost of ownership (TCO) and occupant disruptions. They seamlessly integrate into existing building systems to cost-effectively enhance their capabilities and improve overall building adaptability, safety, and regulatory compliance. Leveraging 24/7 cloud-based data collection enables real-time monitoring of environmental conditions, providing insights into space and energy usage and occupant preference patterns, which can be adjusted remotely.

When considering sensor options, flexibility is key in both the physical installation and the overall system - particularly for retrofit scenarios. Look for solutions, like EcoStruxure Building-IoT Sensor Solution, offering wireless communication, long-life battery power, and peel-and-stick sensor mounting options to enable fast and easy installation without needing complex (and expensive) internal networks or systems reworking.

Additionally, evaluate any possible solutions for software connectivity, ensuring flexibility with APIs and protocols required for sensor data delivery. Given the plethora of available sensing options and partial solutions, it can be confusing to know what you need. Find a solution partner, like Schneider Electric, who can act as a single source for integration projects, helping ensure you have the expertise and experience needed for your unique project needs.

Three benefits IoT-sensing devices bring building owners

IoT-sensing devices equip commercial and institutional building owners with the ability to achieve three key long-term benefits, which will be explored further in subsequent posts:

  1. Enhanced occupant well-being- 24/7 indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring and measurement of various environmental conditions (including airborne particulate matter and light and sound levels) can improve the occupant environment and ensure healthy spaces. The provided data can help secure healthy space certifications, like the WELL program.
  2. Optimized energy consumption- Sensors and devices that track occupancy and energy usage in specific spaces to identify reduction opportunities (e.g., lighting, heating, cooling). Energy data analytics and diagnostics can connect to the building management system (BMS) to effectively manage HVAC control and lower energy demand. This factors into green building certification requirements (like LEED) and helps maximize the building owner's asset value.
  3. Improved space planning and efficiency. Real-time occupancy sensor data enables dynamic space management, optimizing hot-desking, meeting space bookings, and other planning applications. It provides space usage data to identify occupancy patterns (e.g., congestion or under-use) so the workflow can be optimized and strategic decision-making for space allocation or lease renewals.

Sensing technology paves a way forward

Whether retrofitting commercial real estate or an institutional building, embracing new technologies and the power of IoT technology can help you meet your operational and financial goals to save money and energy and enhance occupant comfort. Visit our website for more information about Schneider Electric's EcoStruxureâ„¢ Buildings and EcoStruxure Building-IoT Sensor Solution and how we can help. The next post will examine the impacts of IAQ on occupant well-being and how to enhance it using connected IAQ monitoring to foster healthy building environments.