Mobile technology has taken on a critical role in building automation, but connecting products and systems within a commercial building through what is being called the Internet of Things (IoT) is pushing building automation to the next level. Within the context of the commercial real-estate market, this means using cloud-based computing and networks of data-gathering sensors that allow products within a building to communicate with each other within an interconnected system. The result? Intelligent buildings that can gather data and adapt without human input.
While implementing the latest technology solutions is a given for new construction, the real opportunity lies in intelligently retrofitting existing building stock, especially since it’s estimated that 80 percent of current commercial buildings will still be in use in 2050. It’s not too soon to get smarter about how we’re using them. We need buildings and we need cities, and the more optimized and the better performing they are, the better it is for owners, occupants, our economy and the environment.
There is already a tremendous proliferation of smart, connected devices, products with integrated sensors that input data to the internet themselves, a suite of technology and applications that equip devices and locations to generate information and then connect them all, capturing data and providing instant analysis about building performance. The Internet of Things is going to accelerate the growth in this building automation market; by 2020, it is estimated there will be as many as 200 billion connected devices across the globe, which translates to roughly 26 smart objects per person. Many of these will be in our buildings.