Traditionally, the focus of discussions on infrastructure has been on improving bridges and roads. However, infrastructure is available in many forms now – both virtual and physical. It isn’t just made out of steel and concrete any longer. It also includes Internet-of-Things enabled buildings, smart factories, telecommunications, and power grids.
What all of that means is the next generation in automation is already here. From driverless cars to assembly-line robotics, it is transforming our society’s infrastructure, lifestyle, and modern business agenda. Smart infrastructure also involves connected building that capitalizes on big data for energy efficiency and predictive capabilities.
How buildings are becoming smarter
For US customers, Siemens is leading the digital transformation of our buildings. Its technology portfolio and automation expertise connect different building systems into integrated building management systems (IBMS), to control and monitor such things as security, fire safety, heating, and lighting.
The IBMS effectively is the building’s “brain.” A cloud-based platform is utilized to collect large amounts of data on a building, and this is combined with additional data about the behavior of the occupants to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce labor costs and downtime as well.
Siemens also has developed a concept called Intelligent Infrastructure Solutions, or “I2S” for short. It is a customer-centric approach that is designed around three main core components: Digital Services, Advanced Analytics (along with its Navigator platform), and the IBMS (“brain”).
Advanced Analytics monitors energy supply, system performance, energy consumption and numerous other components that help to optimize the performance of a building.
Digital Services has highly skilled Siemens building experts working with customers in order to determine what the best data, services, and solutions are for meeting their needs, and then applying them.
Sterling Ranch, CO is an example of I2S in use. Siemens is a technology partner for this 3,400-acre master-planned, mixed-use, sustainable community. Siemens combines a very comprehensive command process along with a physical infrastructure communication solution, as well as advanced facility analytics, data-driven intelligence, and regular servicing of all components.
It is shown at Sterling Ranch how planning today for infrastructure to deploy it tomorrow works to future-proof its development, as well as enhance people’s lifestyles and anticipate their needs.
Autonomous technology at work
Although building technologies have existed for quite some time, now they are being successfully used in numerous ways. Today’s practices offer glimpses into the future since they allow maintenance requirements to be predicted. Building operators may be in two places at the same time as well, by accessing systems remotely in real time.
This Siemens solution was found to be very beneficial to San Bernardino County in California, given that it has a very widespread real-estate portfolio that covers over 20,000 square miles. During just the first three years, the county was able to save $405,800 in overtime and travel expenses, in addition to the operational efficiencies it was able to enjoy.
Not having to be on-site, either by place or time, is the major concept behind the ultimate technology-trend endgame of autonomous buildings.
When the next shift occurs it will move building managers and owners away from preventative and reactive behavior towards a more proactive and predictive mindset. For example, advanced analytics can help to set and anticipate optimal temperature points, which are based on weather data and the calendar. The building, eventually, might know what you before you ask for it, which will help to fight climate change and save you money.
At one time the concept of autonomous buildings seemed to be very far away. However, with each advancement in technology, it is becoming closer to being reality all the time.
You can see more about how buildings are changing via this post from Service Care Solutions.