Must-have smart sensor technologies for commercial buildings

19 February 2019 Admin Leave a comment Blog

According to the International Energy Agency, buildings account for more than 40 per cent of global energy consumption. The IEEE, a professional organization for engineers, says that a significant portion of that energy is wasted due to malfunctioning building equipment and wrongly configured systems.

McKinsey, a management consulting firm, estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will have a global economic impact of up to $11 trillion by 2025. Much of the growing demand for IoT-based systems is fueled by the commercial property sector’s hunt for technologies that save energy, reduce inefficiencies, and comply with health, safety and sustainability objectives.

Here are some ways that property managers are using smart sensors and IoT technology to better manage their portfolios.

Intelligent systems for safe, comfortable and cost-effective buildings

The Internet of Things can help reduce waste and inefficiencies by providing connectivity and intelligence between key buildings systems, like waste management, HVAC, security and access control, fire and smoke detection and alarms, lighting, and air, water and energy management.

IoT-based building systems use smart sensors to capture data from a range of sources (from motion, to temperature and air quality) for a healthier, more comfortable in-building environment. By using smart sensor systems to control temperature and other building processes, property managers can also identify efficiencies and make more informed decisions.

For example, once motion sensing equipment has identified portions of a building as underused, the heating, cooling or lighting in those rooms, or even on entire floors, can be shut off or set to standby, reducing maintenance and utility costs. Leading automated temperature control systems can also leverage local environmental data, like weather forecasts, for greater comfort, and cost savings.

The level of carbon dioxide and indoor air particulates in a building directly impacts the health and well-being of occupants. Smart environmental sensors that keep an eye on these factors and efficiently manage a building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can significantly improve air quality, with commensurate health impacts.

Predictive maintenance

Generally speaking, scaling back on the need for human involvement in different aspects of building operations and “handing off” day-to-day operational responsibilities to machines leaves employees to focus on a business’s more vital aspects without distraction.

That’s why smart sensor systems that report on and respond to diagnostic information can be a real game changer for building managers, reducing the frequency of service disruptions and increasing system uptime.

Today, cutting edge building systems use machine learning to predict when building assets require maintenance and can even auto-schedule maintenance, creating purchase orders without human intervention.

Sensa Network’s IoT-based smart sensor systems provide real-time remote diagnostics on compactor performance. By tracking compactor/machine performance over time on a multitude of parameters, you’ll know precisely when to schedule your next service call.

Big data, better decisions

Property management companies and prospective tenants can leverage big data from cell phones to make more informed site-location decisions.

AirSage and companies like it gather and process anonymous geo-location data from billions of cell phones each day. These data harvesters use the information they gather to model and forecast traffic flow and consumer behaviour. Findings are then made available to outside businesses so they can make more informed decision-making when planning for growth.

Smart sensor reporting on footfall and other metrics can be used to generate productivity gains: Employee tasks can be more thoughtfully designed, processes streamlined, and interactions between employees and customers optimized. Data from motion sensors can also be used to boost productivity through better employee scheduling.

Meet and measure sustainability objectives

While helping asset managers by automating their mundane, often repetitive tasks, and providing them with unparalleled tools of analysis, the Internet of Things is also boosting world-wide sustainability efforts: After reviewing over 640 IoT deployments around the world, the World Economic Forum estimated that 84 per cent of those projects can positively address the United Nations 2030 sustainable development goals. 

Organizations and companies measure their environmental and social impacts through sustainability reporting, a rapidly growing new field in financial accounting. Globally, thousands of companies and organizations now publish annual sustainability reports as part of meeting their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals.

Sensa’s Insights Reporting allows its customers an unprecedented view into their waste management practices, measuring and quantifying the impact of CSR initiatives on waste streams, and providing recommendations on how to turn sustainability goals into reality.


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