We spend 90 percent of our time in buildings. Buildings influence how we live, work, and play. When buildings become “smarter”, they perform better, enhancing our experiences while inside them. Connected buildings drive energy efficiency, reduce costs, and increase safety and security for occupants.
Today, most communication between buildings and their tenants seldom extends beyond the occasional press of a button to call an elevator, or the flip of a switch to light up a room. Change is on the horizon, though, with a focus on features and data that evolve the ways occupants can benefit from their surroundings.
Data and Improved Experience
Connected buildings are able to collect granular, area-by-area data on everything from occupancy and light levels to humidity and temperature. The data is aggregated in real time, with analytics parsing the information into actionable intelligence that helps improve the occupant experience, save energy, and reduce operations and maintenance costs.
For instance, in connected buildings, office and conference-room temperatures adjust to correspond to occupancy levels and user preferences, while overhead lights brighten and dim and blinds open and close according to the amount of sunlight present. These tangible benefits will unlock significant value for infrastructure suppliers across the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, IT, security, and safety sectors. Employees can even engage with this type of intelligent infrastructure through smartphone interfaces, providing location awareness and wayfinding, real-time occupancy of meeting rooms and collaboration areas, workspace vacancies and assignments, and dynamic control over lighting and environmental settings.
Each of these improvements helps increase productivity in the office and safety at home. As buildings become smarter and communicate more, people will see an overall uptick in security and efficiency in their everyday lives.
OCF Smart Commercial Buildings Work Group
OCF continues to progress to address the needs of the ever-evolving IoT, including these new needs and challenges for smart commercial buildings. The OCF’s recently-launched Smart Commercial Buildings Work Group aims to connect building automation devices on enterprise managed networks. As more and more internet devices are added to an enterprise network, building managers have the job of ensuring that they are safe and connected. The Smart Commercial Building Work Group is developing a new set of requirements for devices, including more stringent device control and management. OCF Smart Commercial Buildings builds upon the work completed by the Fairhair Alliance which recently designated OCF as their successor.
This new set of requirements helps building managers answer questions such as:
- Is this device secure enough to put on my network?
- If yes, what are the security conditions required to use them?
- Should they run on a physically separate network, or as a secure virtual segment on my IT network
- Which employees will have access to the building systems, and for what purpose?
The answers to these questions will translate into tangible benefits for occupants and building owners alike. While most of these considerations are not visible, they make the experiences in the buildings more appealing, comfortable and secure.
And with buildings accounting for up to 70 percent of the energy use of a smart city. OCF Smart Commercial Buildings scales beyond the scope of building management, paving the way for interactions with tomorrow’s smart cities.