I attended an IBM Analysts day last week in London where IBM briefed us on a number of announcements in the Smart buildings space.
Why do we need smart buildings in the first place? What problem are they solving? Well, according to IBM, worldwide, buildings consume 42% of all electricity generated and by 2025 they will be the largest emitters of greenhouse gases on the planet! That’s definitely something we want to start tackling sooner rather than later.
What exactly is a Smart Building?
A Smart Building is one which takes data from all of a building’s disparate systems – think lighting, air conditioning, water heating and pumping, access control, video and physical security, lifts, etc. and provides integrated control of those system. Also a smart building has analytics to report when there are problems with any of the building’s connected systems and it brings all this information together into management dashboards appropriate for the users and operators of the building.
Having access to this data and integrated control enables building owners/operators to reduce energy consumption, increase operational efficiency and by responding more quickly to alerts, to reduce maintenance costs. According to IBM, adding intelligence to buildings, can reduce energy usage by 40% and maintenance costs by anywhere between 10-30%.
IBM see this as an important emerging space so they recently announced new software, appliances and partnerships to help address it.
The IBM partnership with Schneider Electric has yielded a new smarter buildings solution which when deployed in Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island saw: