Building managers and real estate investors aren’t the only ones who have a vested interest in reducing building operating costs and improving related efficiencies. Any business owner or operator looking to reduce the amount of money spent on utilities and maintenance costs can profit from employing Internet of Things (IoT) based platforms to transform their properties into smart buildings. Automating processes related to energy efficiency, temperature control, security, and even sanitation can improve operations in ways that directly impact the bottom line.
But, before we dive into the benefits, what exactly is a “Smart Building”? Though it’s not quite as futuristic as the home in the Jetsons, a smart building is a structure with functions that have been automated based on owner or manager specifications. Tasks that have traditionally taken time to carry out and mental power to keep track of can now be performed automatically by IoT-connected technologies. These tasks can be scheduled in advance, adjusted or rescheduled remotely, and monitored through related technologies.
Though the automation of certain maintenance tasks has been possible for years, the costs associated with automation often made it prohibitive. Luckily, the ever-dropping costs of IoT sensors now make smart building upgrades an obvious decision for anyone hoping to invest in business efficiency.
A variety of smart building trends are popping up on the market, and property owners are increasingly turning to IoT tech to automate many of the normal, everyday functions of their properties. Here are just a few of the ways a smart building can improve your bottom line:
IoT for HVAC and Lighting
Optimizing the lighting and HVAC in your building can dramatically decrease your electricity bill. HVAC and lighting make up 59% commercial energy use. In a study conducted by Texas Instruments, advanced HVAC and lighting IoT solutions were found to cut energy use by 40% - and that’s just the savings from sensor control. Savings increase when you upgrade outdated lighting solutions from fluorescent to LED.
By using sensors to heat or cool specific rooms at specific times, the costs of thermal comfort will decrease. In addition, the same Texas Instruments study found that optimizing thermal comfort increases human productivity by 3%, an effect that will also improve your bottom line.
Increasing the air quality of your building will generate increased happiness and productivity for the building occupants. But, even more importantly, IoT sensors that monitor a building’s air quality might catch something that might take a human more time to identify (i.e. carbon monoxide and other volatile carbon emission detection). When a sensor can sniff these threats out and fix them before a property or its occupants are at risk, your bottom line is already on the upswing.
TechTarget notes that as the market for Smart Buildings is set to increase fourfold over the next ten years, enterprises in particular are implementing IoT solutions to manage office security. Systems including security cameras, movement detectors, digital identification devices, and access management stations represent a massive boost to safety and security in any building – and by employing a digital solution that you can centralize and toggle yourself, you save money on additional security aspects that would be rendered redundant.
Connecting sanitation devices with sensors is just another way smart buildings can reduce cost. Imagine the ability to control water flow, paper consumption, air flow for hand drying, and aroma or cleaning chemical sprays on a timer that can be controlled by a single source. Restricting access to certain facilities while they are cleaning or controlling the temperature and lighting of facilities while they are not in use can significantly reduce costs and improve your bottom line.
Improving operations, productivity, and efficiency with ever-evolving sensor technology will have positive impacts on the financial and interpersonal sides of your business. Mundane tasks can be automated, occupants rendered more comfortable and productive, and your bottom line optimized to account for the added competencies.
To explore how you can begin the process of making your organization’s real estate smarter, one of our qualified representatives. As pioneers driving the field of IoT to new heights, we’d be happy to assist you in driving your business forward and your expenses back.