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What are the advantages of Smart Building and IoT? Conventional building automation vs. smart building assistant

14.02.2022

What are the advantages of Smart Building and IoT? Conventional building automation vs. smart building assistant The term "smart" is on everyone's lips and is used almost inflationarily for everything that can communicate digitally in some way. But what is "smart"? What does it mean for buildings? And are smart buildings and infrastructures really more efficient and valuable than conventionally automated buildings? We explain.

What is a smart building?

Simply put: All of the building's communication interfaces converge centrally to recognise data correlations and are processed via a single point of information (such as Eliona) in a user-friendly manner and made available via UX.

1) On/Off. Isolated systems without control or analysis.

2) On/Off via app. Isolated systems with the ability to control their own behaviour and view their own data.

3) On/Off plus reading of data at a central location. Systems are still deployed in isolation, with integration between them, data extraction, data collection and analytics displayed in a central location.

4) On/Off with UX and bidirectional data exchange. Building UX defines the technology experience, systems are selected for their utility and contribution to the vision. Integration enables two-way communication, providing unified control in the building and via mobile apps, as well as centralised analytics.

5) On/Off with UX and bidirectional data exchange via central data gateway. Building UX defines the technology experience, devices are selected for their utility and contribution to the vision. Data Gateway communicates with a single layer providing a single building interface. Components are designed to be easily upgraded over time.

Let's take a meeting room as a concrete example and the analysis of the parameters humidity, temperature and presence:

Conventional room monitoring - The conventionally wired sensors are connected to the building management system and read out in the expert system. The journey of the data ends in the data silo and cannot be processed further. Roughly simplified, we estimate approx. CHF 2,500 for the sensor, the cabling and the engineering.

Room monitoring via IoT and Smart Building Assistant - The wireless and variably positioned IoT sensor sends the data to the Smart Building Assistant via a central gateway. Roughly simplified costs: CHF 100 for the sensor, CHF 100 for the gateway and subscription costs for the Smart Building software of CHF 100/month.

From a costing perspective, conventional room monitoring pays for itself after around 2 years and is cheaper in the longer term compared to the IoT solution. Theoretically.

In contrast to classic building automation, the Smart Building looks at the big picture and thinks in terms of higher-level business processes. In addition, the concrete benefit for the end user plays a central role. The data does not end up in a silo, but can be passed on to the end user. An employee can now check the comfort of the meeting room and derive measures without an expert system or call up the occupancy of the meeting room (occupied/free).

Indirect monetary added values come into play. Integrated into the entire ecosystem of an infrastructure, many processes can be simplified and the satisfaction of employees or customers can be significantly increased - which in turn increases efficiency and performance.

Room monitoring is just one example among many. Within a smart building, the values of various assets can be significantly increased and applied to target groups in a tailor-made manner. The following graphic shows just a few of the possible examples, which are also mapped in Eliona, for example.