To effectively manage a portfolio of buildings, owners need to be able to collect and analyze data from multiple sources and view an actionable representation of that data, from any location. This is now possible, but only if building owners commit to adding required sensors and control, and partnering with those with the expertise to install over legacy infrastructure and make sense of the data.
The potential benefits of this insight may at first seem to accrue only to building owners and managers, in terms of improved efficiencies and cost reductions across multiple facilities. But on closer examination, this level of insight also benefits tenants, through better control of the environment and reliable, predictive maintenance of control systems and utilities.
The Next Generation of Smart Facilities Management
To reap the benefits of data-based facilities management, buildings have to evolve from siloed blocks to fully connected, living entities with data-gathering sensors and actuators at every conceivable point. The days of the simple thermostat are gone: Building owners now need a dashboard view of every aspect of every facility, from basement to roof, globally.
Technically speaking, a smart building can be defined as a structure that uses automated processes to control building operations such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security, and other systems. A good example is the energy savings possible by taking advantage of improved technology and materials in structure, appliances, electrical systems, plumbing, and HVAC. Through an automated process of monitoring and control, a smart building can also add to occupants’ comfort level.
A tool built around Switch Automation’s cloud-hosted IoT building management and automation platform can handle tasks associated with electrical, heat, and lighting systems. This can be a key differentiator when designing a smart building. The Switch Platform is a cloud-hosted solution that empowers building owners and managers to aggregate and analyze building data, while controlling and automating real estate assets in real time. Combined with intelligent hardware modules, the Switch Platform provides an end-to-end infrastructure management solution for any building.
The key to such a system is that it must be able to integrate with multiple infrastructures. The Switch Platform can function with any building’s subsystem that supports integration, including those that are not network or Internet capable, as the connection is provided by the system. Ease of integration is key, as a solution that costs too much or is too much of an effort to implement is no solution at all.