The Internet of Things is emerging as a main driver in the development of smart buildings
This post is based on an IEC e-tech article by Peter Feuilherade. Read the full article here.
As smart commercial buildings become incorporated into the wider energy control networks of smart cities and linked to other aspects such as transport, water and air quality, the increasing intelligence and automation of buildings will play a key role in the smart cities of the future.
Growing urbanization to drive smart cities’ expansion
During the next decade the number of smart cities around the world is forecast to rise substantially, driven by the growing trend of urbanization as migration from rural areas accelerates. China and India alone are planning hundreds of smart city pilot projects. However, not all of these will materialize, and Europe and North America will probably still account for about half of the planet’s smart cities. Estimates by industry analysts predict that the global smart city market will be worth around USD 1 200 billion in 2019.
IEC to play central role in fast-growing market
The IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB) set up a Systems Evaluation Group (SEG 1) on Smart Cities in 2013. Its work focuses on identifying the various electrotechnical systems used in these cities, with the aim of integrating and optimizing them.
Electricity and electronics are indispensable for the operation of the myriad interconnected services in smart buildings and the development of future smart building technology. Standardization is a fundamental principle here. The IEC creates and develops International Standards with an emphasis on safety and interoperability among the broad range of systems, equipment and applications used in the construction and maintenance of smart buildings.
Energy efficiency and sustainability are major features of a smart building. Buildings on average consume about 30% of the world’s energy, and savings of up to a quarter of costs could be achieved by using advanced building management systems and analytics to optimize performance in areas such as ventilation, temperature, lighting and air quality.
Technological innovations in improving energy consumption, water usage and indoor air quality, as well as access to better data about how efficiently commercial buildings are run, can increase operational efficiency, limit costs and cut consumption of resources for owners and operators. However, the high cost of initial investment versus perceived value is still a concern affecting adoption rates.
Many IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs) coordinate on the development of International Standards for smart buildings. They include IEC TC 8: Systems aspects for electrical energy supply, which focuses on the overall system aspects of electricity supply systems, and IEC TC 57: Power systems management and associated information exchange, which deals with communications between the equipment and systems in the electrical power industry, a central element of smart buildings, cities and grid projects.
There is a growing market for advanced occupancy sensors, carbon dioxide sensors, thermostats and photo sensors which can gather data about movement, heat, light and use of space to adapt to changing building conditions and make real-time alterations to a building’s environment. This helps to reduce energy use and improve air quality. Navigant Research, a US-based market research and consulting firm, forecasts that global shipments of advanced sensors will grow from 1,8 million units annually in 2013 to 28,4 million units in 2020.IEC TC 47: Semiconductor devices, and its SCs develop International Standards for sensors and other systems.
Internet of Things as building block of Smart Buildings
The technology which forms the foundation of today’s smart buildings is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is a global network used to interconnect embedded objects or devices such as sensors and mobile devices which are able to communicate and to generate and share data with one another.
IEC groundwork to drive smart buildings and smart cities growth
In addition to the creation of SEG 1 on Smart Cities, which is to release its final report soon, the IEC Market Strategy Board (MSB) has published a White Paper entitled “Internet of Things: Wireless Sensor Networks“, which surveys the role of wireless sensor networks in the evolution of the IoT. It also assesses the need for standards to achieve interoperability among wireless sensor networks from different vendors and across varied applications, in order to unleash the full potential of the IoT.
The IEC MSB project team on Smart Cities has also led to the development of another White Paper, entitled “Orchestrating infrastructure for sustainable Smart Cities“, which explains what is needed for the development of Smart Cities.
The growing amount and variety of data generated by interconnected devices from various departments in smart buildings can provide added value in terms of better building performance, energy efficiency, space utilization and predictive maintenance costs. “Flexible, secure and cost-effective cloud-based applications that can convert the vast volume of data generated by smart buildings into a decision-making platform” will help to expand the market for the IoT, according to a June 2015 report by the Frost & Sullivan research firm.
IEC standardization work in many areas is set to play a central role in the development of smart buildings.
Join the #mysmartcity campaign 23-25 November 2015, in the run up to COP21, the UN conference of the parties on climate change, in Paris. Smart Cities have a key role in helping to mitigate climate chnage.