Smart Building Use Cases 1

Smart Building: 30 Use Cases You Can Implement Immediately (Part 1)

Everyone is talking about the Internet of Things and smart buildings. But often it is about distant visions of the future, technical details or abstract savings potentials. The topic of smart buildings remains less “vulnerable” and theoretical. That’s exactly why we’re starting our blog series on concrete smart building use cases in practice. They are easy to understand, bring concrete benefits and most of them are easy and quick to implement, even with small budgets.

So let yourself be inspired by this overview – maybe there are two or three use cases that are exciting for you right now and offer real added value.

And one more thing: Reception problems or high cabling costs are a thing of the past with modern wireless technologies such as LoRa. A compact base station can easily cover an entire building – from the basement to the upper floor – or the entire company premises.

Finding energy guzzlers and reducing electricity costs in smart buildings

Electricity prices are rising and rising. This leaves its mark on the annual operating costs, whether in office environments, warehouses or in the production environment. But it’s pretty easy to counteract this: Monitor both the total consumption and the sub-consumption of individual systems as well as load peaks with radio-based sensors and measuring devices. The first aha moments and starting points for optimisation are quickly discovered and implemented, so that the return on investment is not long in coming.

  • Identifying and eliminating individual energy guzzlers
  • Creating the basis for a professional energy audit
  • Even more meaningful results through combined consideration, e.g. with room climate, open doors, etc.

Endless possibilities with a simple button!

Do you need to clean it? Elevator malfunction? Too few staff in the customer area? Warehouse is empty and needs to be refilled? – Simply press the button and the information finds its way to the person responsible.

In this way, employees, but also customers or visitors can easily communicate any need for action (e.g. to facility management) or simply express their opinion (e.g. customer feedback). The LoRa-based “pushers” used are battery-operated, very easy to install and so inexpensive that a wide variety of applications can be implemented economically.

  • Trigger any message at the touch of a button


Reliable monitoring of technical systems in smart buildings

In larger buildings, there are numerous technical installations that need to be monitored, maintained and repaired, such as elevators, escalators, ventilation, air conditioning, heating, production facilities, etc. Some of them are often already networked, some are not yet. This is precisely what makes it difficult to keep track of things and to detect faults in time.

The good news is that all these systems can be easily retrofitted with a monitoring solution. Many different options are available: from monitoring energy consumption, noise and vibration patterns to signals from the control unit. With the data obtained, building operations can be made much more efficient:

  • Condition-based maintenance: Identify maintenance needs before problems arise
  • Detect faults immediately and react quickly
  • Combining different data in one system for new insights

Safe drinking water – no chance for legionella

Drinking water is not sterile but contains a wide variety of bacteria, such as small amounts of legionella. This is usually not a problem for our health, but under certain conditions (especially at temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius), these pathogens can multiply unhindered and sometimes even cause death.

For this reason, the water must be permanently heated to 55 to 60 degrees Celsius in larger drinking water systems – and this is also enshrined in law in many countries – and water samples must be regularly examined in the laboratory.

Until now, monitoring the water temperature has often had to be carried out in person on site and this has caused high personnel costs. With battery-operated wireless sensors directly at the plant and along the line systems, monitoring in real time is possible: seamless at several positions, with quick alarms in the event of problems and without expensive journeys.

  • Safe drinking water for all residents
  • Remote monitoring saves travel and high personnel costs

Wireless mouse traps against pests

What sounds strange at first glance makes sense at second glance wherever food is stored or processed (commercial kitchens, warehouses, consumer goods industry). Pests, such as rodents, are not only a nuisance here, but also a great risk. They can make food inedible or even spread disease. Cable fires and short circuits are also repeatedly caused by rodents.

Since these animals usually settle in areas that are very difficult to access, mouse traps can only be checked regularly with relatively great effort. This is exactly where mouse traps come into play, which report by radio signal when they have snapped. Pretty clever!

  • Detect rodents quickly and increase food safety
  • Avoid cable fires and short circuits

Detecting water leaks and preventing damage

Leaks in water pipes often remain undetected for a long time because they often occur in hard-to-reach places and the escaping water searches for its paths within the masonry unnoticed before it becomes visible. The resulting damage can be enormous: renovation work and associated downtime, damage to the equipment or stored goods or supplies.

Cleverly placed, battery-operated wireless sensors with water sensors can provide a remedy here. They reliably report leaking water and thus help to prevent major damage. Anomalies in water consumption – automatically detected by artificial intelligence – can also provide early indications of pipe damage.

  • Detect water leaks at an early stage and reduce damage
  • Save on insurance premiums

Optimize the utilization of meeting rooms in the smart building

Free meeting rooms are in short supply in most companies. At least that’s how it seems when it comes to the data in the booking tool or the room reservation list. However, studies show that, on average, only 60% of the booked rooms are actually used: they are booked “in advance”, not cancelled in the event of cancelled meetings, or the new, well-equipped conference room is occupied for one-on-one meetings, while the important customer meeting has to take place in the small “Kammerl”.

What often only seems like a nuisance causes high costs in reality. This is because productivity per square meter decreases, but the costs for it do not.

Although both employees and managers often have the feeling that the use of space is inefficient, this cannot be expressed in numbers. This is where load sensors come in. They are used to anonymously record when which room was or is occupied by approximately how many people.

  • More efficient use of existing space
  • Facts and figures as a basis for the planning of extensions and conversions

Reduce misuse of parking spaces

Especially in urban areas, parking spaces are often in short supply or costs are incurred for them. Dedicated customer parking spaces are becoming increasingly popular, but misuse is also increasing rapidly. This will annoy and scare off real customers, so that the full revenue potential is not realized.

Active parking space monitoring is important, but until now it has involved a great deal of manual effort. To reduce the costs of this, parking spaces can be easily monitored via wireless sensor. In addition to the general occupancy, the occupancy of each individual parking space is also documented. If an individually defined parking time is exceeded, an alarm is sent and appropriate measures can be taken.

  • Identify vehicles that take up too much space
  • In the event of a dispute, provide objective proof of the service life
  • Gain valuable data on the use and utilization of parking spaces


Monitoring snow load, reducing the risk of collapse

Heavy snowfall can lead to enormous snow loads, especially on flat roofs, and thus an acute risk of collapse. Since it is usually very difficult to estimate how high the actual exposure is, the wrong measures are often taken – or, in extreme cases, none at all. This costs money and, in the worst case, even human lives.

In order to obtain a fact-based basis for decision-making on how to proceed under high snow loads, sensors can be installed on the roof to record the actual load. In the event of critical values, an alarm is sent immediately.

  • Detect the risk of collapse in order to be able to initiate appropriate measures
  • Reduce risk to people or warehouses

Download the white paper:

With 39 concrete use cases for facility management!

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