How to Future-proof Your Building


The is a lot of excitement right now in real estate around the sheer amount of data that can quickly and affordably be collected. Unfortunately, many owners and operators do not have the right framework for how to decide which data is best for their asset and how to set up a networking infrastructure that will support the needs of today and tomorrow.


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Video Transcription

Hi, my name is Sharad Shankar, I’m the Lead Product Engineer at Enertiv and today, we’ll be talking about how to future-proof your building. 

Now in this day and age, there are hundreds of IoT sensors, and we get questions from building engineers and building managers and portfolio managers like “how do I get this power data?” or “how do I get this temperature data?” or “how do I get this vibration data?” 

And while this may be great, it is important to ask yourself: “If I had all of these sensors (since these sensors are so affordable and easy to install) what problems would I solve?” Am I trying to get better tenant billing data? Am I trying to get better equipment benchmarking and performance? Do I have any leaky pipes in the building? 

It’s important to ask this because inevitably, it will not only lead to the solutions you want, it will define the networking infrastructure in your building. Depending on the type of sensor, the frequency of data you intend to capture will be different, which informs how to set up your networking backbone. 

So, for example, if you’re trying to capture a critical piece of equipment that directly relates to the health of the building or the safety of the people in the building, you will want a very fast and encrypted wifi connection or an ethernet connection. In essence, the bandwidth, or the amount of data that these sensors need send through the network is far higher than other options. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for incremental data such as leak detection or occupancy data or temperature data, it is important to understand that those sensors send at a far less frequent interval, and you have to make sure that your networking infrastructure supports that. Typically, that is a sub-gigahertz connection. 

After we have these sensors and networking infrastructure installed, we can expand the number of sensors in the future at a very minimal cost. And that’s one of the benefits of these IoT sensors; they’re so versatile that we can expand at any time to improve our processes. 

But in order to do that, we need to make sure that the context of that data and the integration of that data is correct. Nobody wants to read a sensor’s value from its serial number. They want to understand that this sensor is located on the third floor of the electrical room. That is far easier to understand from a building operations standpoint than some sort of unique product ID. 

The life of data is also extremely important. Oftentimes, this data is real time, but it’s important to store this data as much as possible and for as far back as possible. You never know when you need to look up that data due to some current condition. 

Finally, the data must be secure and cloud-based. The data has to be encrypted because as the number of IoT devices increase, the security becomes a really important aspect. The data should also exist in a cloud-based environment because that allows you to benchmark that data across other buildings or systems. In essence, we’re trying to not re-invent the wheel every time. We’re trying to utilize the data we already have to replicate lessons learned across your portfolio. 

I hope you learned something today, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. Catch you next time, bye.

Comly WilsonComment