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Introduction

The ongoing development of smart technologies like IoT is driving forward ambitions of building meaningful environmental sustainability. Along with reducing the carbon footprint, IoT-enabled “smart” buildings aim to optimize resource and energy consumption and reduce operational expenses to achieve these goals.

Globally, the smart building industry will grow from $117.42 billion in 2023 to $568.02 billion by 2032. Today, a smart building is a combination of multiple controls including energy-efficient “smart” ventilation, heating, lighting, and additional systems. As an industry-recognized IoT platform, ThingWorx is designed to enable this wave of smarter buildings.

How does this technology work in smart buildings? Let’s discuss that.

Maintaining Smart Buildings using ThingWorx

Here are 9 focus areas in smart buildings where the ThingWorx IoT platform is making an impact:

1. Energy consumption

The ThingWorx platform enables energy efficiency in smart buildings through continuous monitoring. For instance, facility managers can track floor occupancy and energy consumption using real-time energy heat maps.

Here are some of the common energy-related metrics and KPIs:

  • Number and duration of power cuts
  • Production costs based on the energy source
  • Energy distribution to predict future demand
  • Energy availability or uptime

2. Lighting

By sensing room occupancy, ThingWorx IoT can automatically power on (or off) lighting in smart buildings. Using its daylight harvesting feature, companies can design smart buildings to minimize the use of artificial lighting and optimize natural lighting. With ThingWorx’s lighting control systems, they can adjust smart lights to maintain the correct level of room illumination.

Here are some of the common lighting-related metrics and KPIs:

  • Area-based light consumption
  • Occupant-based light consumption
  • Energy consumption for every unit of light output
  • Lighting power density
  • Light quality and density

3. Fire detection

Through 24/7 building monitoring, the ThingWorx platform enables early detection of building fire incidents along with a quicker response. This functionality enables smart buildings to reduce follow-up expenses and building insurance premiums. With IoT-enabled predictive maintenance, facility managers can anticipate and prevent major damages.

Here are some of the common fire-related metrics and KPIs:

  • Frequency of fire incidents
  • Average response time to fire incidents
  • Completion rate of fire safety training for employees
  • Inspection rate of fire safety equipment

4. Building health and management

ThingWorx’s IoT capabilities can also help facility managers monitor building conditions and take corrective actions. For example, using IoT-enabled sensors, they can detect any building damages in the form of surface cracks, water leakages, and gas leaks. For both residential and commercial buildings, ThingWorx can optimize car parking facilities to enhance efficiency and utilization.

Here are some of the common building-related metrics and KPIs:

  • Real-time usage of utilities including water, gas, and electricity
  • Operational metrics including indoor space usage
  • Building safety metrics including fire and emergency systems
  • Employee comfort and productivity

5. Electric and hybrid vehicle charging

With the IoT-enabled ThingWorx platform, smart buildings can facilitate the seamless charging of hybrid and electric vehicles (PHEV). Besides the user experience, this feature improves operational efficiency and lowers energy consumption.

Here are some of the common PHEV-related metrics and KPIs:

  • Availability of EV charging stations
  • Planned maintenance of charging stations
  • Service level agreements (SLAs) with third-party maintenance contractors of charging stations

6. Water management

Enabled by the ThingWorx platform, smart water meters can monitor water consumption in offices and building facilities. Instead of manual meters, these sensor-fitted meters can automate real-time collection of water supply and consumption. It can also detect and report any inefficiencies in water consumption patterns. Besides smart water meters, IoT solutions like ThingWorx can “sense” water use and flow.

Here are some of the common water-related metrics and KPIs:

  • Remote sensing of water facilities
  • Water quality
  • Water temperature

7. HVAC management

Through IoT-enabled HVAC management, ThingWorx enables facility managers to monitor the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning in their smart building. This helps them improvise and reduce energy consumption. With IoT sensors, facility teams can collect and analyze real-time HVAC data for improved comfort within the building.

Here are some of the common HVAC-related metrics and KPIs:

  • Asset information based on the type
  • Service tests required for each type of HVAC asset
  • Maintenance time and costs for each HVAC asset
  • Air quality within facilities
  • HVAC defects and problems

8. Elevators

The ThingWorx IoT platform also makes “traditional” elevators smart by reporting their real-time performance and maintenance data. Using this platform, elevator engineers and maintenance teams can:

  • Reduce their downtime.
  • Improve their efficiency.
  • Detect any emergencies.

Overall, this helps them reduce elevator repair time and improve the first-time fix rate.

Here are some of the common elevator-related metrics and KPIs:

  • Tracking of elevator usage and patterns
  • Maintenance-related metrics
  • Remote monitoring


9. Building access and security

By deploying the ThingWorx platform, facility managers can deploy a secure access control mechanism for smart buildings. This IoT platform works seamlessly with a host of security devices including access cards, surveillance cameras, and perimeter-based access (for authorized personnel).

Implementing Predictive maintenance for Smart buildings using Databricks

For smart buildings, predictive maintenance is all about how to maintain the assets (as listed in the previous section). Depending on each asset’s real-time age and condition, facility managers can work out their productivity and availability. This enables them to schedule maintenance operations at the right time, thus reducing expensive asset downtime.

Using IoT data from ThingWorx, the Databricks tool can leverage its predictive analytics capability to predict and prevent the next breakdown. With its Data+AI technology, Databricks can address industry challenges such as:

  • Monitoring real-time asset performance.
  • Forecasting energy consumption using machine learning.
  • Using advanced analytics to improve smart building analytics and supply-demand balance.

Conclusion

A smart building is a mix of multiple subsystems, each of which is critical for operational efficiency and cost-savings. With its IoT capabilities, ThingWorx is the right platform to implement and maintain smart buildings.

With its extensive experience as an IoT solution provider, Pratiti Technologies can help you build your next smart building solution. Our IoT solutions enable enterprises to extract valuable insights from connected devices and use them for business benefits. Some of our IoT capabilities include:

  • Consultancy services
  • Designing services
  • Development and testing
  • Operations and customer support

If you are looking to leverage our ThingWorx expertise for smart IoT solutions, contact us today!

Nitin
Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

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