By Allan McHale
Building Automation Article Use Policy
The manufacturers and suppliers of technical services in commercial and industrial buildings have deployed web-enabled technology, smart systems and sensors, and integration across the different services as part of their solutions for some 25 years under a banner of “Intelligent Buildings,” “Smart Buildings,” or “Building Automation.” But now they have adopted a new nomenclature called Building Internet of Things (BIoT) for their future solutions. Building owners and facility managers are left wondering if this is really different and whether it can deliver against their value propositions.They are, not surprisingly, cautious because they have invested heavily over the last 25 years in smart/intelligent buildings, and few have realized the benefits promised. The problem is that they have been locked into proprietary systems that lacked robustness and were expensive to operate and difficult to scale up once installed. Smart buildings have evolved painfully and slowly over the last two decades, but at last we are now on the threshold of realizing a fully automatic system that, like the flight controller of an aircraft, does not require the intervention of humans. All aspects of the building’s technical performance, together with improving the performance of the business enterprise within many of the verticals, can now be brought together. This has been made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT), which allows one common IP platform to link all the sensors and devices together to interchange information and through analytical software, commonly called Big Data, optimize the controls automatically. The terminology applied to buildings to describe this is called the Building Internet of Things (BIoT), and the process of morphing all the BAS services into one whole system is now underway.A BIoT system will overcome the present deficiencies and with time will be less expensive to install and operate and will allow the system to expand by simply adding new sensors and devices onto the network. Needless to say, building owners with large real estate portfolios can’t wait to get their hands on these new toys. Some 10 years ago, IT convergence — the joining together of the enterprise business in buildings with the BAS services — began through using IP communications technology. This has proved to be a winner for building owners, and it has been a major driver in bringing about the birth of the BIoT. And so we now have the possibility to connect any device on the network to any other of whatever functionality and through IoT services and Big Data analytics to make sense of it and immediately fine-tune and automate the process without the need for human intervention.
Why the Building Internet of Things Will Enable Smart Buildings
Transition From BAS to BIoT Is Underway