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IoT for Real Estate and Facility Management

IoT is probably one of the most discussed phenomena these days. But what is the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT)? Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, defines it this way:

“The Internet of things is the network of dedicated physical objects (things) that contain embedded technology to sense or interact with their internal state or external environment. The IoT comprises an ecosystem that includes things, communications, applications and data analysis.”

With the introduction of meters, sensors, building systems, and devices that measure actual behavior and can communicate and interact with other systems, there is a broad spectrum of applications for IoT within building and service operations.

What you need to know about IoT for building and service operations

Now that familiar operational technologies are becoming internet-connected, these assets can deliver increasingly more detailed information to create new business insight and intelligence. Data collected by these meters, sensors, building systems, and other connected devices provide real-time guidance for the decision-making process, and allows for instant feedback. This data also provides unprecedented insight into the workplace, helping organizations better understand how to unlock employee satisfaction and productivity.

For Real Estate and Facilities Management there are five potential areas of application for IoT technologies.

  • Experience of the users: Because conditions are monitored in real-time, reduce the need for users to reactively ask for things to be fixed or experience failing facilities
  • Climate parameter sensing: Monitor climate conditions and automatically adjust building systems to meet the needs of individual occupants within the space in order to create a consistent healthy working environment.
  • Consumption/connected metering: Gain better insight into when and where possible waste takes place, and use this data to drive improvement efforts for these activities.
  • Condition/electrical and mechanical parameter sensing: Monitor parameters of actual behavior of many types of assets by measuring vibration, temperature, pressure, sound, production hours, and more. This way you can implement just-in-time operations for maintenance.
  • Demand/desk and space occupancy sensing: Detect and monitor actual occupancy and usage, and provide availability data to users, as well as track actual usage of facilities, detect and manage no-shows, and analyze occupational patterns of workspaces and meeting rooms.

Building IoT and Integrated Workplace Management System

Unlocking new business value from the Internet of Things goes beyond connecting devices. It’s about gaining new (big) data-driven insights that drive actions from IoT data, which enables your business to deliver innovative services and make quicker, more informed decisions.. When it comes to Building IoT, the focus is more about the behavior it can enable rather than the technology component itself. In order to keep building data from becoming overloaded, massive data acquisition and interaction must be actionable.  IWMS systems have created a link between Building IoT components and management reporting tools within the IWMS platform. An IWMS allows for the abstraction and analyzation of this massive amount of building IoT data in order to drive automated processes and analytics.

How technology disrupts Real Estate and Facility Management

Evaluate and select IoT solutions that meet your needs

The journey to effectively utilizing IoT is different for every organization. When beginning your IoT project, it’s important to define and focus on the information you want to optimize and the business goals that need to be achieved, instead of just implementing the technology for technology’s sake. Because organizations can start utilizing IoT from very different perspectives, the following principles are important in selecting Internet of Things solutions:

  • Simplicity: The process of implementing sensors, giving them purpose within your system, and adding rules and maintaining them must be simple and intuitive.
  • Scalability: It is important that this new data stream does not lead to performance drops for the users of the IWMS system or the general IT network, despite thousands of new sensors operating in real time.
  • Security: A thousand sensors can potentially lead to a thousand security issues. By choosing the right network and sensors, you can reduce these risks. For example: using non-IP based networks.
  • Speed: Today’s solutions are old tomorrow, so IWMS providers must keep up with the speed of the developments of today.
  • Diversity: There is great diversity in the type of technology and solutions around the portfolio of buildings. Think of elevators, escalators, HVAC’s, building management systems, smart bins, smart desks and so on. 

LoRa to support the Internet of Things

One of the major developments in IoT networking includes LoRa. LoRa is an innovative networking technology that is becoming the industry accepted standard for wireless IoT data connections. With LoRa you create a completely separate IoT network in addition to existing data networks. IT networking professionals, therefore, do not need to provide specific access for IoT data over the business data networks, which makes installing and connecting via LoRa easy.

Learn more about the Internet of Things

Articles & white papers | 07/23/2015
Article - The Quantified Building

This article from the Facility Management Journal tackles the question of what is actually happening in Internet of Things-related technology and how can you plan for its adoption? The “Quantified Building” is one result of IoT. 

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Articles & white papers | 10/23/2014
White Paper - Agile Workplace Management

The average workspace costs around $13,000 per year, with only 50% of spaces used on a typical working day. Facility and Real Estate Managers are constantly looking for solutions to maximize occupancy, match supply and demand of spaces and services, as well as reduce costs and energy consumption. Agile Workplace Management helps meet these challenges by optimizing the utilization of your space and services in a continually changing working environment. 

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Webinars & videos | 03/26/2015
Webinar - Internet of Things - Opportunities and Challenges for CRE and FM

In this webinar Planon looks at developments in IoT and how they relate to buildings. Can we leverage IoT technologies today and what value will they provide? Will buildings become “smart?” And if so, what does "smart" really mean? 24:23  

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