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The Future of FM: IoT (Internet of Things)

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What is the IoT Internet of things:

The Internet of Things refers to the internet-connected devices that are capable of sending and receiving data. IoT devices communicate and interact with one another and can be remotely monitored and controlled.

How the IoT will impact the future of FM:

According to CBRE's Top trends in facilities management research, by 2020, 25 billion connected things will be in use. That is over 20 billion more connected devices operating in smart buildings than the 4.9 billion measured in 2015.

These connected devices will fall into five category types:

Energy: IoT sensors are able to collect, analyse, and display information for building managers to transfer across the rest of the building. HVAC and other similar systems can then be optimised for maximum usage without compromising on the consumer's comfort.

Equipment: Smart lighting covers the automation of lamp responses. The two most popular examples are:

Ambient light sensor (ALS): Optimizes output based on the amount of natural light being detected.

Proximity lighting: Determines light output by detecting the presence or absence of people.

Environmental analysis: Measurement of air pollution (CO2 emissions)

People and spaces: Relying on data trends, companies can now focus on office space utilization and occupancy. They can refine data to see the exact number of people utilising a specific room, entrance, or piece of furniture. Its benefit is we can determine if an office space is being used efficiently and can define justifications for future improvements.

IoT's capabilities to collect, display and analyse real-time data provides our industry with the opportunity to enhance people’s experiences and wellbeing in the workplace, whilst effectively managing organisational costs.

Benefits of the Internet of Things:

Communication, Efficiency, Costings:

Devices are interconnected and communicate with each other to share and pass data. The benefit of the connection is data collected can be collated to achieve optimum results. The data can recognise when energy is being ineffectively used and it’s then the job of a Facilities Manager to present a solution. These optimum results often consist of energy conservation, and a cut down in costs for the organisation.

Disadvantages of the Internet of Things:

Dependency, Employment opportunities, Risks:

Naturally, as an organisation begins to depend more on IoT (the data, the findings, the automation) the less dependent they will become on their staffing structure. There will be fewer requirements for highly skilled employees. However, the IoT is a diverse and complex network made of several interconnected devices (all with different manufactures) which raises the issue of compatibility. If one technical issue occurs you can lose the whole network, and your organisation will now have to depend on their staff – who possess fewer skills, creating a huge risk for business failure.

The built environment provides significant opportunities for IoT (Internet of Things) deployment and can be singled out as one of the most important aspects for IoT related research. While the IoT deployment in the built environment is growing rapidly, there still remains a gap in integrating these two in a systematic way through open standards and systems. From a technological perspective, there is a need for convergence of diverse fields ranging from Building Information Systems and Building Services to Building Automation Systems, and IoT devices and finally the end-user to develop smart, user-oriented applications.

There needs to be a real effort to develop a platform that integrates the built environment data with IoT sensors in an Estate/portfolio-wide, web-based systems. 

Bridge Recruitment are here to support the progression of our industry and are always available to offer you advice:

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