The Future of Facility Planning with the Internet of Things
Rapid development of smart technologies is creating an IoT that can provide robust data and operational understanding to the world of facility planning. Understand just how impactful it could be to your next build in this article.
Manual record keeping, occupant notifications, and monitoring of indoor spaces are increasingly giving way to automated systems and processes. Such “smart” systems and technologies, often connecting separate spaces or even buildings over the internet, are becoming a normal part of building and campus operations.
This Internet of Things, the universe of linked devices and the spaces they intertwine, is playing a major role in facility management and planning in the 21st century, and the benefits of the IoT can help facility planners in their goals of achieving operational efficiency, high productivity, informed growth strategies, and occupant satisfaction.
Benefits of IoT in Facility Management
The value of the IoT can be seen in myriad aspects of facility planning and management, from energy management and indoor environmental quality to asset control and overall operational savings. A fully IoT-equipped facility can track building and room occupancy along with temperature and indoor environmental quality, collecting robust datasets that provide insights into which parts of the facility are occupied at certain times and how well the air management system is meeting the comfort and air quality needs of the individuals therein. Beyond the comfort of these occupants, such precise monitoring and management can also result in saved costs, as unused spaces require reduced lighting and conditioning loads.
Particularly pertinent to the events of 2020, vaccine supply chain management, and other cold chain product maintenance can benefit from IoT technology as well, with automated temperature monitoring, which helps to maintain optimal supply efficacy. Maintaining the integrity of this process is important not only for meeting the needs of suppliers and customers (often patients) but also for minimizing the costs associated with assets lost due to inadequate monitoring or potential human error.
Benefits of IoT to Building Occupants
The benefits of a facility fully plugged into the IoT are enjoyed by occupants as well. By enabling more occupant-aware lighting, heating, and cooling, IoT technology can ensure that visitors and workers enjoy spaces responsive to their presence. In more private spaces, they can tailor settings to their own personal preferences. The future of IoT may enable such personalization far beyond lighting and climate control , as occupants may be able to customize an entire space to their liking for maximum productivity at work or relaxation when needed.
An entire network of time and information displays can keep everyone on schedule and fully aware of important updates, such as weather notifications, timed bells, and public health and safety alerts. And on educational campuses, where students are arriving already fully versed in the latest technologies and trends, such connected systems are responsive to their educational technology and needs.
Facility Planning in an IoT Future
The sheer volume of customization and data available through modern connected technology is stunning, and future developments promise to enhance this even further. Facility planners are now able to make use of this data to better understand facility usage in rapid fashion, enabling the kind of building- and campus-awareness that can inform many important functions.
Daily and weekly facility usage and understanding of temperature trends can enable rapid adjustments to short-term trends, supporting an agile monthly facility planning that provides energy and cost savings as well as optimized campus performance. By reading weekly and monthly trends in space usage and system performance, annual operational budgeting can be leaner and more precise, offering more dialed-in projections for the year. And longer-term growth strategies are improved as building usage is better understood and as widespread campus needs are based less on conjecture and more on accurate data taken by these “smart” technologies embedded within the campus itself.
And as the IoT further evolves in the future, developments like improved “smart” technology and artificial intelligence will provide greater linkages between users and facility planners. This is expected to allow for such improvements as environments immediately responsive to users, instantaneous feedback mechanisms driving data and performance, and facility-wide communication allowing for rapid performance optimization throughout multi-building campuses.
The future of facility planning is certain to be guided by technological developments, and by embracing these technological systems and incorporating them throughout buildings and campuses, planners can ensure that they are steering the ship based on what they learn rather than on being blown about by the winds of technological change. Smart campuses and IoT-connected facilities will allow planners to fully understand the spaces they manage, adapt quickly to any changes that arise, embed efficiencies into their systems, and drive excellence in building usage, budget control, and occupant comfort and well-being.
Primex is at the cutting edge when it comes to adapting environmental monitoring, mass communication, and precise timekeeping solutions for to IoT-enabled facilities. Reach out today to learn how we can help take your next build into the future.