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Cloud-connected smart buildings: The benefits




Today, smart building systems are emerging as the standard of modern building control. The need to transform living and office spaces is increasing as operating costs and occupant experience is clearly enhanced with cloud-based technologies.

Smart buildings are not the traditional static and inert structures that use disparate systems and devices. Rather, they are living organisms connected to a network with intelligent and adaptable software, able to automate processes and control the operations of their entire complex. They are constantly changing, striving to improve asset reliability and performance, safety, and resources utilization.

The Cloud

The cloud makes it all possible. It allows building owners and operators to avoid the expensive costs of on-premise data storage and offers exceptional flexibility, scalability, and functionality as the needs of the building change. Unquestionably, organizations’ priorities can fluctuate, as demonstrated by the current pandemic. For instance, COVID-19 accelerated the necessity for facility managers to offer safer environments, as employees returned to work.

Smart technologies help enable automation processes. Particularly, cloud-based physical security solutions provide significant advantages compared to their on-premises counterparts, specifically when cutting-edge cybersecurity strategies are implemented and VPNs are not used.

Further, with the cloud, it is easier to back up critical data across a range of servers in multiple locations to boost redundancy. This is a sophisticated way to get a holistic view of building safety and performance; an efficacious approach to allow systems to “communicate” with each other. Disparate systems, on the other hand, lead to unwarranted complexity and inefficiencies due to a lack of proper connectivity and communication.

The cloud is a key element for smart buildings. Besides the cloud, these are four components required for proper interoperability.

  1. Internet of Thing (IoT) sensors to detect parameters (e.g., motion, contact, occupancy, temperature, proximity, smoke, and more) and send collected data to analytics platform.
  2. Communication Technologies through wireless solutions, Li-Fi, Wi-Fi, and mobile devices.
  3. Analytics software, which provides insights, automation opportunities, advanced diagnostics, alerts, and reports.
  4. Integration to facilitate management of multi-site businesses with one interface and a unified system.
The Benefits
  • Smart technologies increase building safety and security, by monitoring air quality, controlling building access, and maintaining optimal lighting and thermal conditions for occupants.
  • Potential issues can be detected before they become serious problems. In addition, automatic adjustments can be made to restore peak performance.
  • Energy costs are reduced. IoT sensors can identify large energy-consuming devices, monitor energy usage, analyze spending patterns, set optimal schedules for flexible appliances, and control energy wastage.
  • A notable advantage of cloud-connected smart buildings is the availability of critical insights into building conditions, security, and performance.
  • Cloud solutions diminish the hardware footprint needed to integrate building control platforms.

Smart buildings increase the comfort and security of occupants, lower operational costs, reduce the environmental impact, and make employees more productive. Evidently, the cloud is an essential component of these futuristic multi-site enterprises, as it has the ability to provide great functionality and scalability and create dynamic and interoperable networks that unify heterogeneous systems.