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Building Automation

The emergence of smart building automation is revolutionizing the way buildings are managed and operated. With the availability of internet of things (IoT) devices, wireless networking, and new sensing technologies, building management systems are now able to provide safer, more comfortable, and more efficient environments.

The traditional building management systems may have limited capacity to manage a whole building, lack the ability to handle additional sensor inputs, and may be unable to provide comprehensive data feeds that act as the basis for sophisticated current and predictive usage analyses. However, the use of enabling technologies such as open networking strategies, wireless IoT sensors, and battery-powered IoT sensors is addressing many of these issues.

Open networking strategies allow greater integration and information exchange between smart building automation and legacy management systems. Smart buildings are also gaining more comprehensive networking facilities using a mix of wired Ethernet, WiFi, 5G, and even Bluetooth beaconing technology to allow for in-building asset tracking.

Battery-powered IoT sensors can be widely distributed to take over traditionally wired functionality such as thermostats and room-occupancy sensors for more granular environmental control. The fact that wireless IoT sensors can be physically autonomous also opens up new sensing applications, such as reporting usage figures from electricity, gas or water meters, acting as light sensors, and as water-spillage detectors. Some building automation advocates also suggest using wireless sensors to track building conditions, such as humidity, vibration, and even crack propagation, to support the development of effective preventive maintenance strategies.

The pandemic has further highlighted the importance of smart building automation. With many workers returning to the office, building managers are now tasked with ensuring good ventilation and air quality in their facilities. With smart building automation, it is now possible to quickly introduce wireless CO2 sensors throughout a facility to monitor and adjust air quality levels.

Overall, the use of smart building automation is providing a new level of control and insight into building operations, enabling managers to create safer, more comfortable, and more efficient environments for occupants. As technology continues to advance, the potential for smart building automation will continue to grow, leading to even more innovative solutions for building management.

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