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Going Beyond Access Control and Building Automation to Achieve a Smarter Building in 2018

With thousands of people pouring into and out of high-rise office buildings each day, there is a growing demand to not only ensure the safety and security of each person, but to also create more connected experiences for people interacting with buildings.   Technologies are emerging to expand how building occupants and tenants engage, interact and work in new intelligent workspaces. In addition, such innovations enable facility managers to proactively provide a safer working environment, achieve a smarter building equipment maintenance experience, and comply with a myriad of local and federal inspection mandates.

Today, using next generation BLE beacons, cloud services and current mobile networks has significantly reduced the infrastructure costs to deploy smart building IoT applications. BLE –to-Wi-Fi location services provide facility managers with real-time visibility into when a specific area is being used throughout the workday to assist in space planning and overall building utilization – from individual offices and shared workspaces to heavily used conference rooms.  There are numerous benefits to using IoT solutions that leverage BLE and Wi-Fi in smart environments, including:

Building occupants and visitors can easily navigate throughout the building using wayfinding location services for directional assistance, making it easier to collaborate, locate team members and instantly find meeting spaces.

Facility managers can assign access to specific secure zones in a room, manufacturing floor, or any area that requires an additional layer of zone-based security.

Operations staff can use real-time location services to easily locate critical items– from office equipment to mission-critical machinery or hospital equipment.

Emergency teams and building managers can ensure that all occupants have exited a building for accurate accountability in emergency situations using live location awareness data.

IoT applications that leverage BLE and NFC identification and sensing technologies are also beneficial for streamlining maintenance and inspection processes across building operations.  Receiving real-time performance data on HVAC systems and other capital equipment can minimize costly repairs and equipment downtime. For example, maintenance departments would no longer need complex, expensive devices to manage, monitor or measure an equipment’s health.  Instead, frictionless condition monitoring can accurately capture vibration, temperature, motion and other equipment health indicators through BLE sensors and cloud solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into existing applications. 

Streamlining fire & safety inspection and maintenance

Similar efficiencies are realized when trusted NFC identification tags and a cloud authentication platform are combined with Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) to simplify fire/safety equipment inspections and compliance. With these solutions, those tasked with equipment maintenance and compliance can ensure water valves and various sprinkler equipment can transact securely to provide “proof of compliance” and “proof of presence.” With a simple tap of his or her smartphone or other NFC device to a tag attached to fire/safety equipment, field technicians can easily respond and record each inspection digitally, in a secure and trusted cloud environment.

The same tap also verifies the identity of the field worker or technician, while also ensuring the person’s credentials align with the qualifications needed to service specific equipment and that the correct field worker is servicing that piece of equipment.