The Leader Magazine

DEC 2018

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Page 48 of 55

y the lea D er December 2018 49 together, including the impact made when one or more components are changed in any way. Most important, in a connected building, enhanced building performance – better energy management, better use of equipment and the space itself, and better productivity of the building-operations staff – is achieved by measured and methodical analyses of all-inclusive building data. The extensive analyses accommodated by a connected building allow you to: • understand your building assets and their expected performance • connect and monitor those assets and their current conditions • integrate data flows pulled from disparate sources, whether people or processes, into one place • identify patterned behaviors, anomalies, outliers, and other revealing statistics that can help you anticipate or solve problems • prioritize solutions and trade-offs based on unique business strategies or goals • collaborate on real-time findings with key decision makers • automate any process that reveals repeated behaviors This holistic approach to building management is made simpler, too, by the modern usability of software platforms for the building industry, platforms that expand data access and interpretation to more people in the organization. Complex data is presented in ways that allow people to discuss building-management strategies and collaborate on desired outcomes. When a building is connected, it is the building that does the heavy lifting. The building-management team, and others, are freed from non-value-add work and can spend more time doing what they're there to do. l et's talk entire portfolios, other potential But perhaps the strongest argument for connecting a building is the information and insights that can be used well beyond your efforts to promote energy or operational efficiencies within the building. The data provided can be used to analyze equipment- specific proficiency, whether that equipment lies within a single building, or it is distributed across a portfolio of properties within a geographic area – or across the world. A review of energy consumption by one single piece of equipment, for example, might also reveal that the same unit has required three times the number of repair-service calls than similar equipment throughout our property portfolio. The advantages, then, are exponential. These new insights give you the ability to determine the total cost of ownership for certain assets, to learn why some buildings are performing better than others, and to apply best practices enterprise-wide. It's a transformation of building management, with the buildings themselves providing new sources of data not just within their walls, but from the outside, in. Really, the connected building is an operating system of sorts, where sensors and controllable devices work together to provide information that can be acted upon. Today's building-management technology has evolved to the point of changing an organization's entire value stream as companies find new uses for the broad spectrum of data made available by connectivity. 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. Consider that the 3-30-300-dollar 1 model of energy, space and workforce costs per square foot is accurate but incomplete. What's missing is the fact that when your building is connected, productivity is optimized. The big bang for the buck is to go past the energy, past the space, and tackle not just the costs but what's being produced in the building. If you can improve the productivity of that business, if you can pursue new business opportunities, you can go up another 10-factor, realizing, as the example goes, some $3,000 per square feet in additional revenue generated simply from the connected building. Connecting has the potential to impact every one of those metrics, and there's no better time than now to tap into it. 1. a natural progression of technology The evolution toward IoT and the connected building indicates that today's building is being recognized as an extension of an organization's IT infrastructure – as part of the computer systems that run the business. And that evolution, along with global adoption, is rapidly under way now, thanks to a number of important advances in technology: • the proliferation of mobile devices and related technologies, such as mobile- as-a-platform and mobile workforce systems • the availability of low-cost bandwidth that accommodates real-time transmission of tremendous amounts of data all around the world and into the cloud and back • the relative ease for providing technology services through low-cost cloud infrastructures and platforms • the new affordability and flexibility of cloud- and container-based app development through microservice design • the increased edge-computing capabilities supported by powerful gateways paired with smaller, more powerful devices • the proliferation of low-cost, low- power sensors with long battery life • the wide adoption of the Bluetooth low- energy (BLE) protocol for lightweight, low-power and wireless "last-mile" connectivity Greg Carter is senior vice president, Connected Buildings Software at Acuity Brands, Inc.

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