The Leader Magazine

DEC 2018

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F E A T U R E A R T I C L E 48 December 2018 the lea D er The Connected Building: It's time to go far beyond 'smart' by Greg Carter T he balancing act that is building management goes something like this: maintain and/or enhance ongoing building efficiency and performance, but do so without compromising the company's revenue, codes compliance and sustainability goals, or the user experience. It's not an easy job. In fact, millions of square feet of indoor real estate have fallen victim to these divergent demands, and the result is buildings that aren't as energy efficient as they could or should be, and buildings that rate poorly for emissions, air quality, and ventilation, or at simply being an easy, comfortable place to be productive. Building-management systems (BMS) emerged in the late 1980s as the first integrated, computer-based solutions for reducing energy costs associated with lighting, HVAC, security, fire, electronics and other building functions. While BMS took the task past the inconvenience of an analog approach, results were, and remain, siloed. The "problem of the day" is addressed often to the detriment of another system or at the risk of introducing another problem, thanks to the organic diversity of BMS software and controls and their data outputs. Enter the connected building. It takes us several steps beyond BMS and provides us with data that's far more cohesive for making effective decisions. By employing sensors and actuators to monitor real-time activity within the space, the connected building allows building managers to mine and make extraordinary use of data captured from disparate sources and analyzed collectively through intermediary software. The result is a holistic view of how systems work The connected building has, in fact, become the newest frontier in our growing reliance on technology to better understand our world and to improve results of the business that occupies that building. Once connected, a building becomes a strategic operational asset, not just a fixed asset, by providing information that helps us tap into greater process-improving and revenue-generating potential.

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