The IoT is the application that enables physical objects such as devices, sensors, gadgets, etc. to be connected and interact via an internet network. The concept was initially introduced in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, a technology pioneer from the United Kingdom who mentioned that autonomous computers can perform sophisticated functions that would benefit everyday life.
The Building IoT (BIoT) is focused on the application of the IoT on infrastructure providing pioneering opportunities regarding sustainability. Nowadays, the development of sustainable facilities is critical for both environmental causes and the need for people's comfort. Building sustainability cannot be readily achieved. It requires a long-term commitment to new technologies and strategies and the establishment of a tracking system to evaluate the progress.
Currently, owners and developers should focus on 3 main sustainability goals:
Waste management: In a world in which the population is continuously growing, there is an urgent need for better management of waste. Reducing the amount of waste or increasing the recycling options are crucial to success. Modern facilities including buildings should develop new, smart systems aiming at improving waste management.
Water management: When about 1.1 billion people do not have access to water, water efficiency should be a major task for all industries. When it comes to buildings, strategies aiming at reducing water waste (e.g., due to leakages or misuse) should be employed.
Energy management: Research and applications have recently focused on improving the energy efficiency of buildings. The ultimate goal is to achieve a "net-zero energy" effect meaning that buildings would consume the same energy as they produce. This scheme can be achieved by multiple endeavors such as using geothermal energy, solar or wind power and more. Nonetheless, there are still significant advancements to be made before this equilibrium is achieved on a large scale.
The BIoT will aid in achieving all of the aforementioned goals. It will provide a network in which buildings' assets can be used towards optimizing all the necessary procedures. For example, BIoT can manage sensors to manipulate the energy consumption system of a building. Based on the conditions (e.g., the occupancy of a room), the system will operate the air-conditioning or heating system so that no unnecessary consumption occurs.
Further applications of BiOT include the maintenance of a buildings' assets and their replacement when necessary. This will improve the management of equipment and will eradicate the issues generated by malfunctions. Moreover, the system can track sustainability features. It will autonomously yield data regarding energy and water consumption or/and waste management so that occupants are aware of the efficiency of a building. Finally, the BIoT can provide an advanced solution when it comes to a building's safety. Smart security features computer of smartphone applications that will grant permission to equipment and access to rooms only for authenticated users.