5 ways a building can use smart tech to improve sustainability | IoT and sustainability
June 28, 2022
What does IoT do?
Implementing a smart building platform can help to make buildings more intelligent and responsive, ultimately improving their performance. IoT technologies can monitor performance, detect inefficiencies, make automatic adjustments, and facilitate better decision making. By digitizing your space, it can become more efficient and ultimately more sustainable.
Buildings and construction are responsible for 37% of global carbon emissions, and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) have noted that reducing energy waste is critical to meeting the US and UK’s net-zero emissions target for 2050.
On top of these existing emissions, the global building floor area is predicted to double by 2060 to accommodate urban growth. With energy prices continuing to skyrocket, it’s more important than ever that existing and new buildings are as energy efficient as possible.
Read on to discover how IoT can transform your space’s efficiency and sustainability.
How can smart sensors increase energy efficiency?
Understanding occupancy levels through the use of IoT sensors in your space is key to improving efficiency. Having access to real-time data can enable you to understand and optimize how your building is being used. Occupancy data can also be used to inform energy usage, ensuring that energy is not used unnecessarily when areas are unoccupied.
By implementing environmental sensors, heat maps can provide a real-time snapshot of your current environment, so that you can easily identify areas that are outside of the optimal range. This not only improves your building’s efficiency, but also optimizes occupant health and wellbeing.
Smart alerts can notify you when environmental parameters deviate from their optimal zone. Remedial action can then be triggered via your BMS. This way, any issues with wasted energy can be resolved quickly and efficiently, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Intel’s building in Israel, known as PTK1, is fitted with 14,000 sensors that generate up to 100 terabytes of data per day. They claim it is 40% more energy-efficient than a normal office building and that the water systems consume 75% less water.
How can smart lights save energy?
Lighting alone tends to account for 17% of energy consumed in commercial US buildings, meaning that smart lighting solutions have an important role to play in making buildings more energy-efficient. IoT platforms allow buildings to manage light sensors and determine the optimal use of energy at certain times of the day.
Smart lighting can also enable buildings to control the luminosity level of LED lights for specific areas at specific times, depending on usage. The Edge is a 40,000 m2 office building in Amsterdam with a smart lighting system, installed by Signify. Nearly 6,500 connected LED luminaires create a digital lighting infrastructure throughout the building, reportedly creating an annual reduction of €100,000 in energy costs.
How can smart lifts increase efficiency?
IoT technology can make traveling between high-rise building floors more efficient in terms of both time and energy. Instead of a regular lift with buttons that go up or down, passengers can type in the floor they wish to go to and are directed to the lift that will take them there with the fewest number of stops. By stopping at fewer floors, smart lifts consume less energy, thereby making the entire buildings more energy efficient.
The new headquarters for Bee’ah, is packed with ‘contactless pathways’, whereby employees rarely need to touch the building with their hands. Technology has been implemented to enable lifts to be ordered from a smartphone, streamlining employee experience and optimizing energy usage.
How can smart sensors improve occupant health and wellbeing?
Indoor air quality monitoring is all about assessing the quality of the air in your office to optimize employee health, wellbeing and productivity.
Smart sensors monitor key air quality parameters, including temperature, humidity, CO2, total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) and particulate matter (PM2.5).
Key benefits of improving indoor air quality include:
- Preventing Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
- Reducing absenteeism
- Future-proofing your space
- Attracting and retaining employees
- Uncovering inefficiencies
Want to become an expert in all things air quality? Check out our article explaining what these parameters actually are and how they might be impacting you.
How can adopting IoT improve talent attraction and retention?
As well as achieving significant cost savings and a reduction in CO2 emissions, making your building more sustainable can also be extremely important in terms of talent attraction and retention.
Millennials became the largest generation in the labor force in 2016, and they will make up 75% of the global workforce in 2025. A recent study by Cone Communications showed that 87% of millennials ‘believe that companies should address urgent social and environmental issues’. By making your building greener with IoT, you can demonstrate that you are committed to environmental sustainability.
- Read this article to learn more about how IoT can improve sustainability efforts in the wider world
There's a pressing need for the buildings we occupy to become more efficient and sustainable. IoT technology has the potential to digitize the entire built environment, making the spaces we live and work in more responsive and efficient.
Are you ready to integrate more IoT devices into your workspace and improve the sustainability of your office? Book a demo.