A Smart Building is defined as ‘a structure embedded or retrofitted with internet-connected devices and appliances’. Smart buildings have a lot of reported benefits including increased efficiency, reduced utility costs and simplifying daily life for tenants. Smart buildings achieve these benefits by using sensors and actuators to collect and manage data according to the business’ services and functions. The effectiveness of smart buildings centre on the use of interconnected technologies to make buildings more intelligent and responsive which as a result can improve their performance and optimise how space is used.
The electricity that powers appliances and lights homes also generates small magnetic fields that exist everywhere. A research team, headed by Penn State scientists, built a device that delivers as high as 400% higher power output when compared to other advanced technology when working with low-level magnetic fields similar to those seen in buildings and homes. The technology holds major implications for designing smart buildings, which will need self-driven wireless sensor networks to perform things like remote control of systems and tracking energy and operational patterns, the researchers said.
Smart buildings present a set of unique challenges that building managers also have to keep in mind when implementing a solution. Here are a few specific ways connected IoT solutions will continue to drive the growth of smart buildings: creating energy-efficient management solutions; predictive maintenance; and leveraging real-time insights.
The Internet of Things isn’t a separate internet. It’s more like a growing accommodation for the unique requirements of connected devices that are not under immediate human direction, and which aren’t intended to be a human-internet interface. The connections provided to these devices will likely serve new applications. The huge number of anticipated devices requires us to rethink the technical means and economics of connections.
A smart building may contain many Building Automation Systems, which share information and control various aspects of the environment. Striking a balance between connectivity between devices and safeguarding data from leaks or hacks is a big challenge. In a network of dozens or hundreds of sensors, there are numerous opportunities for attackers to break into a system.
Specific threats include malware, which can be used to take control of a computer system that controls automated systems, spyware, phishing scams, and worms. Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky says that at least 40% of smart buildings are at risk of attack.
The internet of things (IoT) widely spans from the smart speakers and Wi-Fi-connected home appliances to manufacturing machines that use connected sensors to time tasks on an assembly line, warehouses that rely on automation to manage inventory, and surgeons who can perform extremely precise surgeries with robots. But for these applications, timing is everything: a lagging connection could have disastrous consequences.
It’s hard to believe but 10Mb/s Ethernet is becoming a very hot topic in the industry again. I get asked “Why are we going back to the 1980s?” There is a simple answer, and to those of us in the industry at that time, it’s very familiar. In that era before Ethernet became ubiquitous, networking truly was the wild west. Everyone had their own protocols, physical layers, connectors etc. However, since then IT has converged a core set of technologies, with Ethernet leading the way, that provides seamless connectivity to billions of people.
The Internet of Things is the future, but it’s also key to the past. Yes, its main function may be to make environments and objects more reactive to our needs through the use of various connected sensors, but increasingly these sensors are being used to monitor historic buildings and structures. And thanks to such monitoring, we’re getting better at preserving the world’s heritage, using future technology to keep us connected to our collective past.
Existing buildings far outnumber any new construction. Statistics show that for every new commercial property being built, there are approximately 100 existing buildings of a similar type. Retrofitting an existing building requires weaving “smart” technology into the existing infrastructure, including WiFi, ethernet, Bluetooth mesh and smart sensors. Once the “smart” infrastructure is developed, a retrofitted “smart” building can return all the same benefits of a newly built “smart” building.
Modern industrial machinery requires an increasing number of sensors to boost their performance, and these devices have to survive in increasingly harsh environments, placing larger demands on the performance of the connectors.