3 questions to…
Oriane Poulat, Product manager
Why choose IoT technologies to control your building?
Buildings are by far the biggest energy consuming items in France, with 44% of energy consumed by residential and tertiairy buildings.
In the current context of energy transition and reducing building-related operating costs, building managers are looking for the most optimal technical-economic solutions that will allow them to achieve their aims without compromising the comfort of people who use the premises.
In the new building construction sector, the concept of building intelligence is taken into account from the outset, generally through wired and integrated solutions. Solutions that may become unsuitable when put in place in the renovations sector because the costs of implementation or subscription involved, compared with existing wireless systems (GPRS/3G), are too high.
This is where the Internet of Things (IoD – IoT) and Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) come into play, facilitating access to intelligent sensor solutions with moderate costs and easier installation.
At present, the fall in sensor prices, the optimisation of embedded electronics that can communicate via LP-WAN networks and the infrastructure for these networks being very light in comparison with cellular networks makes the costs of implementing an IoT solution comparatively low. In addition, the networks are already deployed by operators (Sigfox, Orange and Objenious for France) and the already expanded catalogue of associated products enables any company to embark on an IoT project with a fast return on investment.
Is the implementation of these technologies easy?
The implementation process is simple:
If it is desired to use a public network, it is sufficient to analyze the network coverage, equip the necessary sensors, report them to an operator, configure them and analyze the data collected and maintain its fleet over time. With a private network, it will also be necessary to position and provision its gateway.
LP-WAN technologies offer low power consumption; most sensors can operate on a battery/cell, and be installed in areas whether they’re easy to access or not (false ceilings, hatches, slabs, walls, etc.), without need to worry about being near to a power source. These are the uses that will determine the choice of technical solution envisaged (hard wired battery/removable battery, public networks/private networks etc.).
This ease of implementation allows builders and those who manage their properties to correctly implement solutions that allow them to supervise their infrastructures and reduce their costs without having to perform heavy work.
What information will a building manager be able to access and how will he be able to use it?
LP-WAN technology allows data to be recorded periodically, as well as in the form of an alarm, so building managers can monitor areas of their premises in a variety of ways.
They can monitor and maintain their installations, so they improve consumption and use less energy. And hence, improve and guarantee its energy performance.
It can also improve the use and comfort of spaces, via analysis of building usage data, and optimise related services, in order to increase the satisfaction of occupants.
- In a meeting rooms, or in offices, you can: monitors the occupancy rate of a room to optimise spaces, trigger services based on room attendance or at the explicit request of users (households, for example). Conversely, it informs people that the service has been provided by a service provider, monitor the temperature, humidity and light level in the room, to ensure the users are comfortable, or to warn them about a malfunction in the room (computer science, for example).
- In Bathrooms, showers or changing rooms, it is possible to: monitors the traffic through an area and triggers associated services, monitors the temperature and humidity for user comfort, but also prevents premature damage to the building, by providing information that a service has been performed.
- In a technical room we monitor the temperature of a heating circuit, reassembles the information from water, gas or electricity metres, monitor the entrances/ exits of a room.
- In a secure Room, like a server room you can monitor room temperature to maintain equipment, monitors room entrances/exits, detects water leaks.
- In a kitchens, a cafeterias, a common rooms we will monitor the temperature, brightness and humidity of a room to ensure user comfort, monitors the temperature of refrigerators, alerts to trigger a service (cleaning, restocking the coffee machine etc.)
- In a lobby, corridors, or common areas it is possible to provide information about the proper functioning of defibrillators, provide information about the proper functioning of the BAES (Bloc Autonomous Lighting Safety).
- On a roofs, we will: monitor a ventilation system, monitors the evacuation of rainwater, informs that an access hatch has been opened
Thanks to analysis over time, the manager or service providers can therefore model behaviours related to their building and its users, to deduce cycles of operation (cycles of frequentation, occupation level, solid and hollow zones, cycles of technical systems) and thus anticipate interventions or identify operating drifts.
All this to ultimately improve service delivery, increase occupant satisfaction, lower energy consumption and thus operating costs.
 According to the figures published by Ademe in 2015.
 Networks allowing the transport of weak data over distances of 5 to 40 km and a range of sensors up to 10 years