From IoT to IoE; The New Dawn of a Connected World

“In 2014, what will be the most important MOVEMENT, PROJECT, or PERSON making a global impact on sustainable urban policy and community development?”

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the intelligent connectivity of smart devices, expected to drive massive gains in efficiency, sustainable growth and quality of life. In other words, when objects can sense each other and communicate, it changes how and where and who makes decisions about our physical world. This is especially meaningful for private enterprises and public institutions, which can find more operating efficiencies, deliver greater value to customers, employees, and citizens in general, and enable new business models. IoT has its roots in industrial automation, noticeable recently in the convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT).

The Internet of Everything (IoE) builds on IoT by adding people, process and data. Our network intelligence allows convergence, orchestration, and visibility across previously disparate systems. IoT is a subset or element of the broader IoE. IoT is a gateway to reach the full value potential of IoE. IoE brings together people, processes, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences and better decisions.

With the explosion of devices and new applications, there is a drive to leverage the reach and power of the Internet to enable new intelligent interactions between those things. IoT is increasing the connectedness of people and things on a scale that once seemed unimaginable. In fact, devices already outnumber the number of human beings on the planet by a scale of 1.5 to 1. In response, organizations across all industries and vertical markets need to create an expanded, adaptable network infrastructure that can grow along with evolving connectivity demands from inside and outside their organizations. At the same time, they need to ensure that the vulnerabilities inherent in this more complex, interconnected infrastructure are secured. Several factors are shaping the IoT market:

  • The explosion of data and data analytics enabled by cloud computing
  • The growing interconnectivity across industrial/operational devices and growth in the number of smart mobile devices
  • The convergence of industrial (OT) and enterprise (IT) networks that are enabling applications such as video surveillance, smart meters, asset/package tracking, fleet management, digital health monitors and a host of other next-generation connected services.

With the IoT, for example, a 1% reduction in capital expenditures from IoT-related efficiencies could save the oil and gas industry $90 billion over 15 years. (Source: GE report, “Industrial Internet: Pushing the Boundaries of Minds and Machines”, 2012.) Cisco estimates 50 billion devices (Source: Cisco study published in conjunction with MIT, 2012) and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. The potential value from the IOT is enormous.

  • Connectivity means more data, gathered more frequently from more places, which in turn means more visibility and more ways to increase efficiency and productivity, while improving safety and security.
  • Analyzing data provides an even more sophisticated way to redesign entire processes and create new opportunities.
  • Smarter decision-making separates control systems from machines: already smartphones can remotely manage a number of physical objects like security cameras, thermostats, and lights.
  • Cisco analysis pegs the market value of the IoT for those creating it at $80.3B by 2016 (Source: as above).

Customers/businesses are facing increased competitive pressures, in nearly every industry, to get products to market more quickly, meet changing regulatory requirements, and at the same time innovate while obtaining greater operational efficiencies. In addition, growth in the number and types of devices as the result of a mobile workforce, supply chain partners, and the “consumerization” of business tools (anytime, anywhere, pay as you use technology enablement) are presenting network coverage and security challenges to nearly every organization.

To meet these challenges, businesses must become more agile, and stay ahead of their competition and quickly respond to market and technology changes. An IoT platform (across the infrastructure and applications) can help businesses meet these challenges and make organizations more innovative, efficient, and competitive.

However, the implementation of an IoT platform can bring challenges of its own. Disparate systems, machines and their proprietary protocols need to be managed, integrated, and secured. Connecting sensors, objects, machines, and devices with a simple, end-to-end infrastructure can be challenging without the right strategy and planning, and the right business partners. In addition, networking machines that have never been connected will generate vast amounts of data that will only be useful if harnessed effectively with a reliable network that can scale massively, offer high resiliency, provide near real-time access as well as end-to-end security.

The opportunities can far outweigh the challenges if managed with the right partner. The connection of devices, machines, and things will provide the opportunity to dynamically generate, analyze, and communicate intelligence for businesses to increase operational efficiencies and power new and greatly improved business models. With IoT, businesses will be able to find new ways to innovate and realize greater efficiencies with suppliers, distributors, and channels throughout the business value chain.

IoE is a global phenomenon that’s changing the way cities grow and thrive. IoE brings together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. Today more than 99% of things in the world are not connected. But there’s good news: it’s estimated that by 2020, 4.5 billion new people and 37 billion new things will have joined the Internet. In the near future, the growth and convergence of information, people, and things on the Internet will make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before, creating unprecedented opportunities for countries, industries and individuals. The network plays a critical role in the IoE: it must provide an intelligent, manageable, secure infrastructure that can scale to support billions of context-aware devices.

How are cities capturing the value of IoE? With their access to cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions, cities are finding ways to leverage their technological power to transform the way they do business, the way citizens connect to services and to government agencies, the way that urban communities create lasting bonds between and amongst residents and visitors. The city’s ability to build, manage, and secure end-to-end IP-based platforms translates into the connections between things, people, and information. All of this is fueling the growth of IoE.

IoE requires a distributed networking, computing, and storage platform that connects people, process, data and things in ways that were not possible before. Today’s urban leaders know that the future is coming fast — and it’s just around the corner. They recognize that technology disrupts the market and creates new opportunities. They know that now is the time to seize those opportunities and they know that if they don¹t do it, someone else will. They are asking: how can all this connectivity help me grow my business, deliver better services and experiences, and open up new possibilities?

They’re no longer just looking for a technology provider. They’re looking for a strategic partner who understands their needs and can help transform their business. A partner who can guide them through change, help them solve today¹s business problems, and shape their organizations for the future. They’re looking for the intelligent connectivity that can help them to create sustainable value.

The great promise of networked and connected cities is, simply put, that “if it can be connected to a high-speed broadband ICT network, it can be smart — and, if it’s smart, it can help drive sustainable economic development, job creation, and growth”. More than any other innovation, the network is impacting the real economy’s flows of technology, capital, labor. The network is optimally positioned to virtually connect systems and people while simultaneously serving as the primary means of measuring, monitoring, and managing all of our precious resources. If you’re focused on energy, for instance, you know that the network effects everything from power distribution and household appliances to buildings and, ultimately, to cities themselves. Right now there are seemingly limitless opportunities to connect, to consolidate and to virtualize. In the near-term, these are some urgent opportunities:

  • Increasing collaboration and decreasing operating costs while reducing the burdens created by travel and commuting (which means pollution; stress; wear-and-tear on infrastructure; etc.).
  • Improving productivity while decreasing energy, water, heating and cooling requirements by reconfiguring workplaces to increase occupancy and leverage shared resources.
  • Increasing efficiency (for instance, by utilizing Power over Ethernet) and collapsing building management onto the network (including HVAC, lighting, security). Taken together, there are numerous technologies which make it possible to turn dumb and isolated buildings into hyper-connected buildings.
  • Facilitating scaling and security without significantly increasing the data center’s energy or physical footprint can be done by replacing blade servers with sophisticated storage solutions and by using advanced energy management applications. Time-tested solutions are now solving these problems.

How can a high-speed broadband network make a positive impact on economic development?  ICT is transforming how the world responds to economic growth and job creation challenges. Just as ICT transformed the publishing, education, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and financial services industries, so too is it already altering the economic development landscape – helping address the issues which are front and center for every town, city, state and nation. While creating new industries, companies and jobs, ICT is at the same time.

How can the network aid an economic turn around? No one company or tech innovation will have enough impact to alter the flow of capital and the sophistication of labor. Organizations all over the wold are dramatically increasing the positive impact of new technologies by changing the way we all do business, shifting operations, altering organizational behavior. The network has now become be a key technology enabler for those seeking to change how the economy works, how government deliver services, how our schools train the next generation of innovators, inventors and workers.

The network is being used for much than merely reducing costs. Consider just the energy dimension: the network is now used to monitor, manage and reduce electricity use in offices and homes. Connecting home and/or office electronic devices to the network provides office managers and consumers with the ability to monitor, manage and reduce energy use by creating the visibility which is essential to understanding how and where, in real time, electricity is being consumed. It makes it possible to turn devices from always on to always available. In addition, cities are reducing wasteful waiting times and non-productive commuting times by bringing information to users instead of bringing users to the sources of information.

Consider the transport challenges facing most cities: traffic congestion is often not really a capacity problem but a load management problem, much like the Internet. The movement of people and traffic in cities can be as efficient as the movement of traffic on the Internet. Whether in energy, or transport/traffic, or buildings, the same rule applies: technology advances have made it possible for complex systems to be managed—and self-managed—in radically different ways. The network can be an important tool for addressing the environmental impact of urban areas on the environment. High connectivity is proving to be the key.

The network has changed the patterns and the means by which the economy functions. And it will it change the ways that we work at our jobs. The future of work is far more than connected buildings and connected workplaces. Hyper-connected buildings use an IP network to converge all of the systems and all of information, communications, and building technologies. This results in more sustainable benefits, with centralized operations, management, and efficiencies. Hyper-connected workplaces bring productivity down to each square foot; consolidating office space requirements saves energy, effort, and other resources. At Cisco, we’ve applied these principles to our own work environments. Cisco’s own buildings feature converged data and building systems to manage temperature, security, communications and other systems over a single IP network. In addition to being more efficient, using less energy, and lowering emissions levels, the converged network approach is less expensive than installing and maintaining separate systems.

Every organization that owns, or operates, or uses real estate, are facing harsh realities: in most cases these buildings the second-largest expense for many organizations. For commercial real estate developers and owners, real estate is their core business, and it is through innovative leasing and solutions that they differentiate themselves from the competition. In US-Canada alone, new real estate worth more than $600 billion is built each year, at least during ‘normal’ economic times; and owners and developers spend approximately the same amount for retrofits and renovations. This is in addition to the more than 100 billion square feet of space already in the market, of which more than 60% is 30 years of age or older. Real estate is thus the largest industry on the continent.

One not-so-well-known fact is worth recalling here: the massive quantity of existing real estate and the large production of new buildings contributes to nearly 50% of the EU’s carbon emissions, making it the single largest contributor to that continent’s environmental paradigm. Consequently, the network’s having a significant impact on all aspects of designing, building, using, owning and operating real estate and the spaces in which we live, work, play and learn. At the same time, if buildings are designed with hyper-connectivity in mind, the building owner pays less for cabling infrastructure, cable trays, and even the cubic content of riser management (the room-size risers in high-rises that accommodate the cabling infrastructure for IT and building systems). Collapsing disparate and multiple cabling infrastructures can result in 20-30% less cabling in each building—the average cabling per workstation in an office environment is more than 1,500 ft.

Building automation systems (e.g, HVAC) and lighting are responsible for more than 75% of the energy consumption within buildings; closely followed by plug-load (computers, copiers, coffee makers, etc.). Environmental stewardship starts with knowing how much energy is being consumed, why, and where. In today’s situation, it’s rare for an operator or owner of real estate to know how much energy is being consumed at any given time. The most granular one gets is the summary in the utility bill at the end of the month.

The network integrates energy management systems to provide the ability to abstract the appropriate information from energy systems and produce real-time reporting capabilities of actual energy consumption. This allows building managers to monitor and measure energy consumption at great granularity; providing the ability to specifically respond to energy consumption patterns (unplugging devices if they consume but are not used; or turning off lights in spaces at times when they’re not used). The building owner can now automate “cause-effect” relationships between the building systems and the energy management. In office environments, approximately 40-50% of the space is usually under-utilized. It costs the organization rent, heating, cooling, operational fees, etc. to provide for this space. However, the network has been the breeding ground for innovative technologies that can help significantly optimize space utilization. Cisco’s success stories at HQ sprung off the re-design of Cisco’s field offices; drastically reducing the square footage office space by worker by:

  • providing open and un-assigned workspaces (flexible workspaces).
  • providing wireless capabilities to enable “anywhere working”
  • optimizing the balance between individual workspaces (cubicles) and collaborative space
  • providing technologies to enable remote, synchronous and a-synchronous collaboration (e.g., from WebEx to Telepresence)
  • re-designing workspaces, resulting in drastic savings of cabling and consequent cable trays, office equipment (as they’re now consolidated in logistically optimized spaces), furniture, and footprint. A smaller footprint results in fewer requirements for heating, lighting and cooling.

The hyper-connected workplace is a flexible work environment, enabled through use of technology, which converges all IP communications, wireless networks, and VPNs.  Employees work at a variety of desks, conference rooms, outdoors, homes, and remote locations equipped with networking capability—enabling anytime / anywhere productivity. Hyper-connected buildings use an IP network to converge information, communications, and building technologies. This results in more sustainable benefits, with centralized operations, management, and efficiencies. Connected workplaces take sustainability down to each square foot; consolidating office space requirements saves energy, effort, and other resources. When buildings are designed with hyper-connectivity in mind at the beginning, and not as an afterthought, the building owner pays less for cabling infrastructure, cable trays, and even the cubic content of riser management (the room-size risers in high-rises that accommodate the cabling infrastructure for IT and building systems). Collapsing disparate and multiple cabling infrastructures can result in 20-30% less cabling in each building—the average cabling per workstation in an office environment is more than 1,500 ft.

An advanced and converged network, however, integrates the energy management systems to provide the ability to abstract the appropriate information from energy systems and produce real-time reporting capabilities of actual energy consumption. This allows building managers to monitor and measure energy consumption at great granularity; providing the ability to specifically respond to energy consumption patterns (unplugging devices if they consume but are not used; or turning off lights in spaces at times when they’re not used). The building owner can now automate “cause-effect” relationships between the building systems and the energy management. Hyper-connected workspaces are producing these kinds of measurable results:

  • 40% increase in office space utilization
  • 40% reduction in electrical demand
  • 54% reduction in IT cabling
  • Significant reductions in construction materials and land, due to fewer sites being needed
  • increased telecommuting and reduced traffic congestion
  • reduced carbon footprint of employees
  • reduced travel due to web 2.0 collaboration
  • reduced real estate demand
  • reduced infrastructure, cabling and furniture reduced by 50%
  • reduced industrial waste
  • reduced office equipment (from 3.5 to 2.8 devices per worker)
  • reduced energy consumption
  • reduced watts / sq. ft. 2.6 to 1.7
  • reduced watts / employee from 424 to 179
  • eliminated desktop computers, personal appliances, etc.
  • reduced office waste streams
  • reduced paper and cardboard by 60%

Smart urban development starts with a solid foundation. What some now call ‘the fourth utility’ is really the next generation building information network. In addition to the plumbing, piping, and wiring in a building, the smartest developers and building managers now add an IP network to the fabric of their property. Not much unlike the other utilities, they lay the groundwork to design and install systems that interact with and communicates over this one network.  A secure, flexible, and scalable network reduces CAPEX by tying together all of the disparate networks for the communications, security, and building automation systems.

The key deliverable that comes with this new infrastructure is connectivity. The new network connects people to people; people to building systems; and building systems to the grid and the network—both within and outside the building. As all of these systems are delivered over an IP network. Everything and everybody can now be accessed digitally — at anytime, and from anywhere. Studies shows that, for an average North American 8-story office building, based on a $150 per SF cost, the cost for this infrastructure is nearly negligible, especially as compared to the other established utilities inside the building. In this case, costs range from $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot as compared to $15 or more per square foot for the water utility.  Although this might be drastically different for any particular building, the network’s upside, and associated investment, has the potential to generate high returns-on-investment. The new ‘intelligent infrastructure’ provides us all with two opportunities:

  • First, the network helps users become more productive, while intensifying the use of real estate. By converging and providing among other technologies — high speed internet, telephony, visitor management (through remote receptionists), audio and video conferencing, web-conferencing, rich media, and digital signage — one can support collaboration and productivity for the workforce and for any building user or visitor.
  • Second, the network helps people connect with people, and people with machines. The goal is to get the most out of the network in terms of voice, video, and data services alongside any other productivity technologies. The features will add tremendous value to the users, operators, and owners of building—all resulting in a positive impact on the value of the physical assets.

The network and its core technologies make it possible to re-think the utilization of space; and achieve higher occupancy or revenue per square foot, while optimizing productivity and effectiveness of everyone that is using the environment. Putting forward a comprehensive IP communications solutions in support of innovative space planning and optimized utilization. Connectivity increases value for all stakeholders. With reduced cost and increased revenue, financial stakeholders benefit from intelligent converged environments when profitability increases. But it is not only the financial shareholders that benefit. Users, operators, and everybody else tied to facilities benefit.

Connectivity helps you drive CAPEX down due to simplified design and installation, as well as less deployment of cabling systems, ducts, and shafts for all the otherwiseconventional building systems. Once completed, connectivity reduces OPEX by simplifying maintenance and management as IP now is the great equalizer and needs merely one set of skills to operate. The open-standard infrastructure allows for the interoperability and exchange of low-cost building systems as an alternative to the proprietary systems and devices in today’s marketplace. Lastly, the IP-enablement of communication and building systems enables centralized management operations which significantly can reduce OPEX for large portfolio holders, or simply now provide a lower-cost outsourced alternative to single building owners.

Connectivity helps to optimize asset utilization. It improves performance and productivity of both your physical and human assets. The IP technologies enable your workforce and guests to be productive at any time and in any place. Emphasis is now on collaboration and individual work can be executed in a more flexible manner that suits the schedule and habits of the worker, guest, or end-user of your facility. Don’t only think of the workforce, but maybe also about the shopping experience of a visitor to a government office or a shopping center who now can start the experience online. Making people and the whole workforce more productive results in increased user satisfaction. With a shift in the use of physical space, requirements can be reduced that should result in less space per person, which really means substantial reduction of real estate costs.

Connectivity protects physical, human, and virtual assets by converging a variety of security and safety systems onto one secure network. In addition to network security, physical security is optimized as IP-enabled cameras are added to the system; digital video allows low-bandwidth recording. Tying video surveillance into leak detection and pollution sensoring, as well as access control and visitor management, provides a cost efficient and smart security platform that can be managed form one centralized location.

With business drivers and business needs in mind, connectivity can help if stop treating the network and the real estate as two separate support functions that each compete for the same budget dollars.  With the marriage of the network and real estate, you combine the two most important support functions for your organization leveraging one another and providing a strong infrastructure that will support buildings, people, and organization. With this thinking in place, advanced network tech companies deliver intelligent converged environments that help organization achieve key objectives. It means being able to change business models in an ever-changing and competitive marketplace.

With such strategic impacts on business transformation, the network should be considered much earlier in the building life cycle than it normally would be. More than 75% of the lifecycle cost is incurred in the operation stages. The ability to impact cost during the operation stages much earlier in the lifecycle process. Historically, building and work place design do not include IT considerations, and IT design is not dealt with until after delivery of the property. This then is too late to have the opportune impact. Combined, however, real estate and IT provide such impact on the way the facility serves the company, the planning and design of the IT and building systems convergence needs to be considered when the ability to impact on the cost and functional design is greatest and where cost of changing the building design is lowest. The further in the lifecycle, it will be not only more expensive to implement the changes; but the impact hyper-connected buildings has on real estate functionality and operations could be lost.

This lifecycle and the notion of entering integrated building, workplace, and IT design in the strategy stages works for any new developments. Every owner goes through the same cycle for each and every renovation and major renovation activities. Although the ultimate financial impact might be different, it is never to late to consider connectivity, as the investment, will pay for itself due to reduced cost in operations and increased productivity and revenue.

Connectivity solutions converge building, safety, and communications networks onto the open IP standard, streamlining processes by providing a single connection for building management and it systems. The network forms the foundation for an intelligent building infrastructure that adds value to every kind of real estate project. Connectivity benefits all stakeholders in the design, construction, and real estate industries, as well as those using the buildings when they are completed. the network enables a converged intelligent building model that creates opportunities for improving building services, enhancing processes, and supporting cost-effective operations. Connectivity is the result of the convergence of technology and real estate applications, devices, and solutions onto a converged IP network. Tech innovation is raising the bar for real estate offerings and transforming the ways in which building owners and partners design, operate, and use buildings. Any listing of the benefits of hyper-connected building must include:

  • Promoting environmental sustainability: integrated energy management systems support power management, energy conservation, and long-term environmental sustainability. for instance, lighting automation solutions can be delivered over the converged IP network. Centralized monitoring and control of elevators, HVAC, and facilities help ensure that the building meets and exceeds performance standards. With knowledge of energy usage patterns, building managers can respond to power cuts and proactively switch off or reduce unneeded systems. this enables building managers to reduce a building’s carbon footprint and build a sustainable and more energy-efficient environment. By converging multiple functions onto the network, connected real estate also can reduce the amount of IT equipment needed, use systems that consume less power, and optimize equipment efficiency.
  • Reducing GHG/carbon emissions: estimates for energy consumption (directly and indirectly) by IT equipment in commercial offices range from as low as 10 percent to as high as 40 percent of the total energy used in an office building. totals vary widely, based on building type, location, industry, age of equipment, equipment density, and user habits. However, IT systems are the second largest user of energy in most buildings, behind heating and cooling but ahead of lighting. it is also the fastest growing segment of electrical usage worldwide.
  • Enhancing the user experience: connected real estate solutions enable developers, operators, and employers to give employees and occupants access to tools and applications at all times. Advanced IT applications enhance communications and collaboration by providing access to high-speed internet, IP telephony, wireless connectivity, TelePresence, and advanced audio and videoconferencing for common areas and administrative offices. in hospitality and mixed-use establishments, developers can provide interactive stations with digital signage, rich media communications, and visitor management that keep guests informed and entertained. Hyper-connected buildings can help create building environments that are distinctive, productive, and intelligent to add value to the user experience.
  • Generating new revenue streams: new fee-based or complementary services can attract and retain tenants, helping differentiate a property from competitors. for example, advanced services such as TelePresence, digital signage, or Wi-fi can be provided on a fee-based model. additional revenue-generating services can be added as tenant and user needs evolve. Property builders and developers that have a connected real estate foundation in place can also charge a premium on the sale of their property if these services are made part of the standard offering.
  • Reducing total cost of ownership: the convergence of applications, devices, and solutions onto a single IP network helps reduce capital investment, support costs, and ongoing maintenance and operational costs. real estate developers can migrate existing investments into an open, inclusive platform that enables monitoring and control of a wide variety of building systems as if they were operating as a seamless, homogeneous resource.

Each key urban actor — real estate developers, building managers, tenants, etc. — who adopt connected real estate solutions see real benefits:

  • ability to establish business practices that help them address energy and sustainability issues and reduce costs
  • opportunities to manage energy use
  • shift from a CAPex to an OPex model
  • create new value for their real estate properties and users

Hyper-connected buildings require a ‘horizontal architecture’ that encompasses a wide range of advanced products and solutions. Such smart IT extends utility and connective fabric to all utilities, enabling the converged network to support an intelligent building infrastructure. To be successful, hyper-connected buildings depend upon a framework consisting of three interdependent levels: foundation, convergence, and transformation. The framework supports the tools and services.

  • Foundation: the building information network is a flexible communications infrastructure that serves as a foundation for all other systems. This IP-based network streamlines operations, centralizes administration, reduces maintenance reduce operating costs and improves productivity.
  • Convergence: intelligent information, communications, and building technologies include technology focused on Data Center, Unified Communications, Unified Wireless, security, video, and energy management solutions. These solutions also include working with partners’ business models and product offerings. Physical security supports the deployment of converged security applications, including video surveillance, access control, and visitor management. Building technologies provide an administration and monitoring platform for HVAC, lighting, transportation, building automation systems, energy management systems, and safety and security systems.
  • Transformation: the top layer of the connected real estate framework includes services that help transform buildings, generate new revenue, and attract and retain tenants and guests. a highly adaptable platform enables flexible services that can easily adapt to changing workforce and user requirements. Buildings can be enhanced with visitor management services, interactive kiosks, and digital signage to generate new revenues and improve the user experience. fee-based services can be turned on and off as needed, providing flexibility for multi-tenant spaces. Tenants and users can choose from a variety of services such as internet access, access to rich media and content, and IP telephony.

Connected real estate solutions are targeted to any commercial environment where people meet. Every customers owns or operates real estate, and hyper-connected buildings expand the IT budget’s impacts. A few facts have emerged as more of these smart connected buildings have been completed:

  • it reduces capital costs for new and refurbished buildings through the use of shared infrastructure
  • it reduces operational costs through streamlining reactive building monitoring and maintenance activities across an estate
  • it reduces the costs of energy and resources because of the ability to pro-actively manage property in line with central policy

Of course, how much depends upon the mix of new, refurbished and older buildings. For new and refurbished buildings the cost savings are immediate and can be very significant. While the approach is easy to implement, early engagement with architects and engineers is essential to ensure the technology is incorporated in the design phase of a refurbishment or new build. In an intelligent building all building functions — from HVAC, to energy consumption, to closed circuit TV, to access control — are monitored, controlled and supported over a robust, well-managed IP network. This approach can be exploited in a number of ways, including by:

  • Applying standard building management policies, for example around HVAC and energy use, across the whole complex
  • Centralizing access control and security services and concentrating automated intelligence, archiving and analysis capability at one central control point
  • Reducing local office building maintenance and operations staff in line with the operating model

Inside such buildings all information is network-based and so accessible in a location-independent manner to the workforce. Real estate operations need no longer be run locally or from any fixed physical location. This affords greater flexibility and can be of particular importance at a time of emergency when individual buildings or locations may be unavailable.

What is the longer-term possibility? IoT is exploding in size and impact because of the proliferation of sensors throughout many industries. It is taking rapid hold in the built environment – and it will enable owners to extract vital information from their real estate assets, thereby allowing them to aggregate data, monitor performance and make much better business decisions, all of based on this “big data” explosion.

The network creates significant value of a property by decreasing first cost to build roughly in a range 5% to 15% and in some cases much higher, decreasing the cost to operate facilities in a range of 20% to 40%, create opportunities for new revenue streams via new tenant amenities and services, better enable the attraction / retention of tenants, increase occupant safety. The cost to implement, per SF, including hard and soft costs, will vary based on several factors, and on whether it’s new-build or a retrofit. However, studies suggest that the inclusion of the network for the purposes of convergence of building systems controls is cost neutral to slightly under the traditional building approach. Several studies have helped to tease out some of the critical details:

  • Tridel: high density residential building study focused on savings derived from one common infrastructure for all systems.
  • Duke Energy Center: a commercial office tower with 17 building systems controls sets converged on one IP network.
  • Envision Charlotte: a project linking 20 million SF of high-end commercial property in the CBD of this US city, serving as model for energy visualization based on 70 commercial office buildings in an urban core.

The next generation of real estate and building services will turn workplaces and home spaces into environments that are personalized, efficient, functional, and profitable. A smart and connected real estate solution facilitates the following:

  • Enhances the end user experience
  • Reduces total cost of ownership
  • Provides environmentally sustainable properties

Technology affects every aspect of the way people live, learn, play, and work. However, today’s building environments are largely obsolete, and have not evolved to support these changing lifestyles. In addition, key trends are driving the need for building transformation— trends such as globalization of the workforce, the drive for environmental and social responsibility, and a growing, worldwide population. As user requirements evolve, buildings must adapt and change. Real estate professionals must take steps to transform the physical spaces of the future through technology innovation, delivering value-added, revenue generating services while streamlining the processes that create buildings and developments.

The network becomes an intelligent building infrastructure and the foundation for change in any development project—adding value to education, financial services, healthcare, commercial real estate, hospitality, and corporate real estate projects. Intelligent building infrastructures create an unprecedented opportunity for improved services, enhanced processes, and cost-effective operations for everyone who uses or creates buildings, worldwide.

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