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The Rise of Smart Building Adoption - Why AI, Machine Learning, and the IoT Matter in Facilities Management

8/15/2019
Smart buildings reflect a growing movement across the globe to leverage technology and connectivity through inanimate objects, reports Deloitte.

Any inanimate object can be transformed to provide information and assist people with their lives, and the concept is not limited to a single device. Entire buildings or cities can leverage technology, and as smart building adoption increases, the value of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) will increase. To stay aligned with this trend, facility managers need to understand the limitations with disparate systems, the value of AI, machine learning and IoT, and a few best practices for leveraging these technologies to enable smart building adoption.

The Hurdles to Smart Building Adoption Continued to Decrease

Before getting into the grid to smart building adoption, it is essential to understand the barriers that exist. Facilities managers must overcome the cost objections of shareholders, define their current asset condition, and whether implementing smart building controls is a viable solution. Regardless of what you may have heard, the answer will always be yes. Technology continues to progress, and where facilities management and leveraging new technologies was once viewed as a capability reserved for major corporations, the rise of cloud software and capabilities has leveled the playing field. Now, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) can leverage the same technologies without the steep investment costs associated with those of the past. Also, another hurdle remains. When facilities managers have access to data, they must still act upon it. Failure to apply data correctly could result in inefficient changes that further broaden the gap between current operations and optimum processes.

The Value of Smart Building Adoption

Smart buildings bridge the divide between inanimate objects and people. Any device can take on the name and title of smart, but these technologies can collaborate with people that genuinely define smart buildings. They allow better control of facilities and their assets, and owners can work to conserve resources, including space, energy, water, employees, and even other tenant services. It is all a matter of perspective. Unfortunately, the best-laid plans for Smart building adoption can only go so far with manual application. In other words, gaining access to information about facility assets and condition can help facility managers make informed decisions. However, correlations between data may exist that are invisible to the neck and I. It is in this round where artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the IoT come together. The IoT provides a source of collecting information, and machine learning leverage an ongoing analysis to ensure changes in operation do not adversely affect the desired outcome. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence can take hold to apply these insights, automating the control process and further optimizing facility management.

The flow of information is simple. Sensors connected to the IoT collect data, such as tracking temperature, production on an assembly line, runtime of the HVAC system, and measuring other variables, notes Christopher Weems of High Performing Buildings. Analytics and machine learning comb through data to uncover insights and continuously redefine the maximum runtime and processes for all assets — artificial intelligence steps in to enable the automation of these controls, repeating the process continuously.

Best Practices That Enable Smart Building Adoption

Instead of defining smart building adoption is merely connecting your existing assets to collect data, let’s redefine the narrative. A smart building should be based on actionable data, including a host of analytics and advanced capabilities that leverage AI, machine learning, and the IoT. As explained by Facility Executive, smart building adoption must include the use of these critical factors:

  • Taking advantage of cloud computing technology to move data storage and application off-site.
  • Enabling continuous data growth, such as leveraging wireless technology over traditional, hard-wired systems.
  • Investment in your wireless networks, capable of handling the increased load from

IoT-enabled devices enabled devices.

Remote access and management of facility controls.

Working with an established partner to maximize results.

Renew Your Commitment to Sustainability With Smart Building Adoption

Smart building adoption is an ongoing process that will add new technologies and services to your Facilities Management systems. As new systems come online, they will play off one another, comparable to the harmonized use of the IoT, AI, and machine learning.

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