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How the IoT creates smarter, better buildings

By Max Burkhalter
October 29, 2021

The internet of things, or IoT, continues to cascade across all facets of modern life. From the cars we drive to the chairs we sit in, everything is becoming connected.

The next stage in IoT is already being built — literally. IoT-connected smart buildings are paving the way for a new era of construction and building management. By 2027, smart building automation software will be a $20.5 billion market, according to Environmental Leader.

Automation encourages a new, more efficient path forward for nearly every industry it touches. As populations increase and energy consumption rises, building managers, businesses and other actors are turning to smart technologies to optimize efficiency.

But what exactly are smart buildings? And how can they help?

IoT isn't just making buildings smarter, they're getting greener, too
Smart buildings use IoT to their advantage. Whether it's a warehouse, an office building or an apartment complex, smart buildings use whatever devices are at their disposal to optimize overall performance.

Sometimes, this means collecting data to make certain tasks more efficient. Other devices might help cut the costs of building maintenance. Overall, smart buildings optimize performance.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to building owners are their energy saving capabilities. According to a study from EU Agenda, as shared by Active Efficiency, smart buildings can save up to 23% annually on energy. Not only does IoT help cut the cost of energy consumption, businesses can take pride in knowing their company is taking a greener, less wasteful approach.

Many smart buildings use occupancy sensors to automatically shut off lights in rooms that aren't in use. The same IoT technology can help optimize heating and cooling, so as not to waste energy on rooms that aren't occupied.

In the workplace, smart buildings are a breath of fresh air
Already, automation is helping businesses optimize their work and increase productivity. Smart buildings, however, supplement that technology in quiet, unseen ways.

IoT-connected furniture, for example, can recognize activity, adjust thermal conditions, correct posture and personalize user interaction. Whether it's a lounge chair or a desk, these IoT-connected devices cater to employee happiness. In turn, says Lexology, they also boost productivity. What's more, happier employees are easier to retain and are much less likely to suffer from burnout.

Another technique smart buildings use to support workplace efficiency is by optimizing HVAC systems. IoT-connected air systems can improve the quality of the air workers breathe; an especially important concern since the onset of the pandemic.

The same occupancy sensors that optimize energy can also be used to assign daily workspaces based on employee preference, such as in The Edge building in Amsterdam.

Real-time performance monitoring
Building maintenance is one of the most painstaking parts of building management. But with smart technology, those headaches can be avoided — or, at least, they can be tackled immediately.

Smart buildings are especially good for synergy between devices. For example, if you want to make certain that appliances are functioning properly, you can use a smart building's sensors to monitor performance. Smart diagnosis, says Forbes, makes on-demand maintenance possible. IoT can alert businesses and tenants of water leaks, intrusions and other issues as soon as they're identified.

To get a sense of how Perle can help build smarter buildings, read a few of our customer success stories.


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