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Commercial property management is an expensive endeavor and the internet is full of articles offering insights into how owners and managers can reduce maintenance and operation costs. As we’ve written before, fiber optic networks give building owners and managers the best possible starting point in this regard. Why?
Simply put, the rapid evolution of computer chips and wireless technology has made it possible for almost any aspect of a building’s systems to be connected and governed by a central management system enabled and supported by the building’s network. This level of connectivity, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), can turn conventional buildings into intelligent ones where these connected devices can collect data, respond to stimuli, and communicate alerts. All of this culminates in a physical space that is more cost-effective, more energy-efficient, and more productive. It’s the transformation of a workspace into a digital information system.
Around one in four businesses are already utilizing IoT technologies, while the global number of connected devices is in the midst of tripling over a seven-year span to 43 billion in 2023. Some predict the IoT industry will be worth $3 trillion by 2025. What are these devices, and how do they help building owners/managers? Here are five examples of how you’ll see connectivity transform office buildings.
Electronic sensors collect location-based information to allow for data-driven decision-making. In many ways, indoor sensors are the building blocks of an IoT-connected workspace, as many other technologies use data gathered from them, applied to specific purposes. By better understanding where people are in a building throughout a given day, mapping and occupancy data can be made relevant for everything from personnel and meeting scheduling to custodial work and building maintenance.
Because empty rooms don’t need to be lit, connected lighting helps leaders manage utility bills by automating for maximum energy efficiency. Some smart lights can even adjust the lighting throughout the day for aesthetics and comfort.
Using microcontrollers and contaminant detectors, devices examining air quality are designed to measure different benchmarks and transmit the data to a server in real-time. By accurately and reliably measuring indoor pollution, leaders can ensure improved air quality anywhere and anytime. Air quality has been made even more relevant these days with government agencies and scientists advising that air cleaners and HVAC filters should be part of a building owner or manager’s strategy in reducing occupant risk of inhaling contaminants such as viruses.
IoT-connected cameras allow managers to observe entrances to rooms and buildings easily and remotely because they don’t need to be connected to an internal CCTV system. Moreover, the beauty of smart cameras is that there is no need for a human operator to constantly check the recordings at all. By connecting smart cameras to an artificial intelligence-led software system, leaders can even receive automated alerts and instructions when specific incidents are detected.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning can all be controlled centrally and remotely with IoT technology. This means leaders can manage energy usage precisely by scheduling thermostats based on temperature pre-sets or even external temperature responses. Connected systems can even be automated to control climate based on room occupancy. Technology now offers building owners and managers a clear pathway for greening building operations to reduce operating costs.
The new wave of IoT technology on the horizon will usher in a new era of smart buildings. Automated technologies will provide a huge boost in efforts to reduce spending, improve work safety, maximize resources and manage them efficiently. And it’s not only building owners and managers that can benefit. The businesses that lease space within the buildings can also leverage IoT technology to streamline their operations and see results.
There are some prerequisites for initiating an IoT-connected building. Because a fully connected building requires major bandwidth for the huge amounts of data being produced, a supporting copper or DSL network won’t cut it. Because fiber can transmit so much more data quickly, it’s the only choice for commercial property owners looking to create a smart building. Are you ready to take the next step into your digital future?