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Author: Mukund Setlur |09/11/18

6 signs you need connected smart buildings

While technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and mobility hold a lot of promise, is it a magic pill for all your building management goals? Here are 6 signs that indicate you need a connected smart building.

Six Signs infographic

1. Occupancy comforts at paramount importance

In today’s digital world, end users want their surroundings to be extremely sensitive. They are quick to provide feedback on how they are feeling. So, if you are a retail business, a non-functional AC unit could mean loss of business. Similarly, research shows that increase in the Co2 levels increases fatigue and causes productivity loss for the employees. Therefore, experts are finding links between productivity and aspects like Co2 levels, circadian rhythms etc. Gladius Connected Buildings makes it easy to set temperature, humidity, and Co2 levels ensuring greater user comfort, either at a mall or an office building. You can adjust and monitor areas of low comfort, impacting business productivity directly.

Smart buildings often are ahead of the curve in ensuring interaction between the facilities and the end user. Users can directly send their feedback through their mobile or company’s IT network which can reach the facility team on a real-time basis. So if you want your building to respond quickly to your customer, smart connected building is your answer.

2. Multiple buildings – Making controlling, measuring and monitoring these systems easier

  • Companies are more distributed geographically within cities and sometimes even across oceans. In the manual mode, management and control of thousands of assets and sensors would be very difficult. Investments in terms of manpower deployment, errors prone to the manual methods of data collection would be difficult. Increasing demands to consolidate energy consumption and labor spends makes it extremely necessary to have a system which can help you control, measure and monitor systems.
  • Every building would have tens of equipment and hundreds of sensors. Are you spending too much of time monitoring it physically? Is it integrated with your enterprise system, to alert you in case it fails? Can you find out which equipment is running in auto mode? If you want to control and manage these devices from a single point such that you can implement learnings from an incident that has occurred in one part of the building to a string of buildings, then a smart connect building is the solution.

3. Multiple systems – At different times and types

Not just the old ones but even buildings that are merely a decade old have multiple systems due to organic growth. Some systems were built only to manage HVACs or just perform energy management, while some were exclusively built for access control or fire alarms. Often, these systems don’t talk to each other, since they could be having different protocols. With increasing demands to improve energy efficiency and increase asset life, facility managers are realizing that the ability to integrate these different systems will help them control the entire BMS system. Apart from that, analyzing data from these diverse systems are will help understand the pain points that are preventing them from achieving their cost effectiveness.

4. Unpredictable energy bills

  • The largest chunk of building management spend is the energy bill. The budgets are provisioned based on anecdotal memory rather than historical or predictive models. Even variations by 10% to 15% can impact ready stressed facility budgets! High energy bills due to assets running on 24x7 basis or fluctuating energy bills!
  • Using GCB, you can set intelligent controls and program assets to run in ambient conditions or prevent it from running for 24 hours. Continuously monitor energy consumption levels using the digital console. These variations could be due to seasonal variations or due to malfunctioning devices which have gone undetected. For example, a malfunctioning chiller can impact your energy bill by as much 8%-10%; if you multiply that impact across 10-15 buildings, you can imagine the cost implications. A smart connected building with a network of monitored sensors and control points set remotely makes asset management proactive, so that you can diagnose faults early and avoid fluctuations in the energy bill. In-built analytics in a smart connected building can provide you patterns of energy fluctuations.

5. Over dependence on ground staff

A combination of multiple buildings and multiple systems automatically means that it requires a large contingent of ground staff to physically maintain and manage a complex network of assets. Moreover, finding ground staff with the right kind of skills is difficult in today’s world. If routine jobs like – assigning people tasks on a daily basis, monitoring their effectiveness at work, collating manual recording of measurements and converting into digital format by entering them in a excel sheet – is taking a lot your time and effort, smart connected building solution helps you automate most of these processes, reducing error and management systems.

6. Sustainability

Companies/tenants are now beginning to understand the importance of being seen as company that cares for the environment. Sustainability is slowly becoming a part of compliance and regulations wherein companies are being asked to submit sustainability reports. Ideally, Green buildings are a result of bottoms-up planning that includes everything from the construction materials used or the amount of renewable energy. But it is impossible to progress towards sustainability without smart connected buildings, by a series of retrofits and impact areas of energy consumption towards a cleaner, greener nature.

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