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Building for the Internet of Things (IoT)

by Kevin Gillingham | Mar 22, 2017

internet of thingsThe IoT is more than a new trend. It’s a fast-approaching reality that’s already affecting positive and promising change across industries – including building construction, ownership, management, and use.

Deloitte University Press recently put together a comprehensive survey exploring how IoT technologies will increase values for real estate companies. We’ve summarized their findings here for you:

What the IoT Means for Buildings

The IoT connects individual objects, machines, and tools to turn them into a collective well of information. In buildings, it often starts with sensors designed to track a range of factors including:

  • Light
  • Air pressure
  • Temperature
  • Motion

Smart building management systems can then analyze the data captured and react intuitively to achieve a desired result.

How Your Building Can Benefit from the IoT

1. Enhance Efficiency

  • Lower your energy costs by employing tools like motion sensors to automatically adjust temperatures and turn lights on and off. These small actions can really add up, reducing energy consumption by up to 30% for larger sites like warehouses and shopping malls.
  • Pre-empt repairs and maintenance, enabling your systems, software, and tools to automatically alert you when something is wrong and prompt you to take preventative action.
  • Analyze behavioural patterns to understand how the space is really used and what steps you can take to help it function even better.

2. Identify Needs

Smart buildings have the potential to anticipate and meet demands before users even need to ask:

  • The IoT in the office will provide opportunities to design comfortable, tailor-made working spaces that improve employee productivity and health.
  • In retail environments, the IoT will make it possible to understand visitors’ shopping patterns and distinguish a ‘buyer’ from a ‘browser’.
  • Industrial settings will be able to take advantage of automated pick-up processes and more rapid, accurate shipments.
  • Tenants in multi-family dwellings can look forward to more enjoyable experiences centred around their own personal preferences and habits.

Deloitte University Press created an interactive graphic exploring how the IoT will affect office, retail, industrial, and multi-family buildings. Click here to learn more and see the tool in action!

Using physical space more strategically and in a way that keeps pace with evolving trends will be a key theme for buildings in the future.

3. Boost Productivity

The IoT is about more than simply making machines smarter. It’s about designing technology and solutions that can make our lives simpler and better – especially in the workplace, where most people spend around 1,700 hours each year.

The IoT can enable businesses to:

  • Adjust environmental conditions (temperature, lighting, and air quality) dynamically to suit individual employees.
  • Understand optimal ventilation levels and how they vary throughout the day.
  • Improve productivity by scheduling tasks and breaks more appropriately to encourage collaboration and socialization.

The IoT can mean real, tangible opportunities for building owners and managers ready to make the most of them, turning your physical locations into informational assets.


Activo provides solutions for businesses of any size looking to maximize success in the IoT. Contact us today to discuss your needs!

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