The IoT is Coming for the Education Industry. Is Your Facility Ready?


The Internet of Things (IoT) will soon be a part of nearly every aspect of everyday life — campuses included. The ability to utilize the IoT is a key component in the safety and efficiency of education facilities. Is your campus ready?

Our everyday lives have become dependent on interconnected data sources, both official and informal. In 2015, there were more than 13.4 billion devices connected globally and that number is expected to triple by the end of 2020. The Internet of Things (IoT) now enables us to connect our built environment to the digital world. This capability can be harnessed by the education industry to create safe, efficient campus environments.

The need to provide data, instructions and time-sensitive notifications to occupants of education facilities is a challenge in an era of accelerating change. It is also pivotal to the ongoing management and future modeling of how education facilities can support learning while ensuring campus safety and driving innovation in facilities management.

The adoption of comprehensive technology solutions that monitor and store data collected from the IoT can empower managers of education facilities. By implementing IoT-enabled devices, education facilities can control operating costs, improve campus safety, track events and resources and provide greater access to information.

IoT’s Impact on Education Environments

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already a permanent fixture in the education industry, through personal devices and connections, and increasingly through the physical components — appliances, computers, HVAC, vehicles — that comprise a school or campus. As long-term strategies for environmental, social and financial integrity expand to all facets of school facilities and programs, the need for comprehensive data solutions becomes more essential.

Advancements in the scale and accessibility of technology over the past two decades have enabled this widespread connectivity of devices. From personal phones to wellness monitors to ‘smart’ vending machines, the convergence of data sources has become embedded in academic settings.

IoT For Campus Facilities Management

In facilities management, the IoT has already been integrated into building systems controls for lighting, HVAC, and other mechanical equipment. It is also used to increase security measures through connected door locks, access control and video surveillance. Facilities that are behind the curve in adoption of IoT will see a widening gap as the campus setting continues to grow more connected.

IoT Solutions for Greener Education Facilities

The rise of green building has set standards for more energy-efficient buildings, creating a roadmap through the construction or renovation phase. However, once high-occupancy buildings and multi-building campuses become operational, efficiency is affected by myriad variables like occupant behavior. This is where the IoT comes in.

Connected technology, such as sensors that monitor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), helps gather and document building data to inform long-term energy strategies that optimize operations, helping your campus run smoothly and more efficiently. Environmental monitoring can be applied at any scale of operation within the education industry, from small K–12 schools to higher education campuses.

One of the top concerns for schools and campuses is safety on a daily basis, as well as in times when an emergency situation makes seconds count. Emergencies may include inclement weather, a building fire, an active shooter or other possible situations where immediate and clear communication can save lives. Connection to the IoT allows critical information to be verified and relayed, greatly improving emergency preparedness on campus.

How to Harness IoT Power on Campus

The growing expectation of school technology is to have the ability to oversee and monitor all aspects of information resources, emergency notifications, environmental quality, occupancy information and even transit data at the touch of a button. Solutions such as Primex OneVue provide facility managers, safety managers, teachers, administrators and students with the information they need. Our Primex OneVue Monitor software allows the various hardware your facility needs to run smoothly and efficiently — such as synchronized clocks, environmental sensors, message boards, and more — to become a part of the IoT.

The system works synergistically with the Primex OneVue Sense suite of environmental sensors so you can monitor temperature, humidity, water leaks and access of buildings and controlled rooms. The automation of tracking allows facilities managers to focus on continuous improvements armed with comprehensive information on how a building or campus is performing.

Primex OneVue is also an ally in effective campus communications. The OneVue Notify InfoBoard can help schools implement emergency response plans with precision. Visual, synchronized displays can be used to alert staff, students and visitors of what to do next in any given emergency. The displays are easily installed and provide fast, effective notifications that can be institution-wide or customized per location using the Monitor software. As a connected device, the timeline of events is documented providing crucial information for reporting and for future improvements.

Through environmental monitoring, data collection, reporting and effective communications, Primex OneVue helps schools centralize information. Connected to the campus IoT, this information hub empowers managers, creates greater staff efficiency and allows teams to focus on strategies to improve financial performance, operational efficiency and occupant experience.

References:

The Internet of Things is Here

Internet of Things’ Connected Devices to Almost Triple to Over 38 Billion Units by 2020

IoT + Big Data – Transforming Green Buildings into Smart Ones

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