With climate change accelerating and built environments accounting for nearly 40% of energy use worldwide, energy efficiency has become a key objective for building management. Smart building technology offers tools for achieving optimal energy efficiency using IoT sensors that generate comprehensive data on equipment functionality and environmental conditions. With the assistance of automated building management systems (BMS), analytics software, and big data, energy consumption is more easily controlled and occupant comfort is improved.
building analytics (3)
When building owners are looking to cut costs, the first place they often look is energy spend. And that makes sense: energy is an enormous expenditure in commercial buildings. But energy savings aren’t the only way to reduce costs. What’s more, many of the same mechanisms and tools used to reduce energy use—including system integration and advanced building analytics—can be used to identify other cost reduction opportunities.
Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, and the air we breathe when inside a building can have a big impact on our health. Airborne pollutants indoors can occur at up to five times the concentrations of outside air, leading to the development or aggravation of respiratory health conditions like asthma, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pneumonia. Several studies have even found that buildings may even concentrate contaminants present in the air from their immediate vicinity.
Going green is a top-of-mind strategy for many facilities managers today, and for good reason. While it’s essential to hit and maintain standard business norms concerning occupant comfort, not to mention preserve status levels for electricity-dependent services of all kinds, it’s also essential to minimize energy costs. Without the right tools, finding a balance between these goals is far from easy.
On July 18, 2015, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shut down. It happened on a Wednesday, lasting nearly four hours, from 11:30 in the morning until 3:10 in the afternoon. All trading came to a halt, leaving traders on the floor twiddling their thumbs until just before the closing bell. On the same day, the Wall Street Journal’s website crashed and United Airlines grounded flights globally for nearly two hours due to technical problems, with many suspecting a coordinated cyberattack. Though the cause turned out not to be malicious, the root of these failures was no less troubling.
The best way for building owners and facilities managers to make Internet of Things (IoT) technology effective involves thinking first about what this technology can accomplish for their particular situation. When looking at creating a smart system with advanced automation, IoT devices should be chosen with careful consideration of the problems they are meant to resolve and the practicality of any possible solutions in each building. By identifying specific objectives, you can make better decisions about which technologies to introduce.
A 2015 Rutgers University study looked at whether green building tax credits and compliance with certification programs contributed positively to improving indoor air quality in green buildings and its relation to occupant health. Over the course of five years, researchers measured indoor air quality at a residential high-rise complex, using an industrial hygiene contractor to conduct annual air quality assessments. It compared these measurements to conventionally-built residential buildings, following New York’s Green Building Tax Credit (GBTC) and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) requirements.
In August 2020, Toronto-based TD Bank Group announced its intention to become a leader in sustainability by helping other businesses finance their own transitions to a low-carbon economy. This decision followed its 2008 commitment to become carbon neutral, which resulted in an asset portfolio that included 100 LEED-certified locations as well as two branches and an administrative building that require zero net energy. Now, TD plans to dedicate $100 billion to lending and financing low-carbon projects, internal asset management, and corporate programs to support these efforts.
In Australia, aerosol scientist Lidia Morawska works with a device the size of a shoe that measures carbon dioxide in the environment, visiting restaurants, offices, schools, and other buildings to determine how well-ventilated they are. Outside, the monitor typically reads just over 400 parts per million (ppm), though areas with more traffic or industrial activity tend to have somewhat higher levels. When indoors, her readings sometimes shoot up to as high as 2000 ppm, even in buildings that seem well-ventilated.
A minor history of technology could be written from a study of what amenities hotel signs used to boast about. Signs used to brag about having “air conditioning”, “color TV”, “HBO”, “Internet access”, etc. You may still see some of those around the country but they seem old-fashioned and out of place. Why? Because with all of these things, the novel became the day-to-day. Ubiquity transformed once-rare amenities turned into expectation.