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AIoT: The Next Step In Smart Building Construction

October 15, 2020 | Technology

Before COVID, Gartner predicted that more than 80 percent of enterprise IoT projects would include AI by 2022. Embedded AI in IoT devices was also on track to reach $4.6B globally by 2024. This is likely to accelerate given the new demands on facilities in response to COVID.

Vendors at CES are actively embedding AI into their products. Open-source frameworks and AI suites available on public clouds have lowered the barrier to develop AI applications and empower products with intelligence. To win against fierce competition, however, firms must differentiate their intelligence with exceptional performance, identify the problems created by increasing customer expectations, and solve them with smart algorithms. At this stage, even small steps garner huge investments.

Danny Mu, Principal Analyst at Forrester, Unveiling The IT Stack To Support The Artificial Intelligence Of Things At CES 2020 [February 27, 2020].


What is AIoT?

AIoT is a combination of AI and the Internet of Things. The more challenging question is determining what AI is. Even the experts disagree on the fundamental definition of the “A” in AI. The “A” doesn’t necessarily describe artificial intelligence.

AI can also mean augmented intelligence.
AI can also mean automated intelligence.

Ken Sinclair, founder, owner and publisher of Automated Buildings (dot com), thinks that artificial intelligence is correctly defined as being limited to extra-human intelligence in the realm of things that haven’t been done. Once done, things become automated. He believes the actual progression of non-human intelligence begins with augmented, moves to automated, and then artificial.


AI And Smart Building Automation

Increasing numbers of sensors and smart devices pervading the modern office structure generate massive amounts of data, allowing operations to become more efficient and sustainable. AI is the technology that harnesses these enormous pools of information to leverage insights to best advantage.

Automated systems throughout the commercial structure can respond to events in real-time. Temperature sensors can detect areas within a building that need additional heating or cooling without the need for human intervention and lower utility costs.

CCTV surveillance cameras can alert security staff to unauthorized access into buildings or secure areas, protecting occupants. Building systems communicate with management and track activity within a working environment to help workers maintain focus and wellbeing.

AI can detect leaks and areas for repair within a building and also track water consumption levels. Unusual water-use levels initiate alerts to facilities teams, providing the data needed to identify the type of event and how to best manage it.

AI can also track daylight and switch lights on and off depending upon natural light levels that penetrate indoor spaces, providing cost-efficiency. Combined with sensors, cameras, actuators, and IoT devices, AI is allowing facilities teams to focus on more people-centric priorities while removing human error for building systems management.


Implementing AI As Part Of Your Workspace Controls System

Fitting out AI within the confines of a smart building requires the sensors, cameras and software platforms be in place to capture data to be harnessed by the various AI applications.

In January 2020, Bosch Singapore implemented a robust AI platform. The data collected from all building subsystems through the sensors and cameras is analyzed and compiled into a dashboard, enabling management the ability to track current status of building operation.

  • Air Quality – AI detection systems can monitor pollen or other pollutants in the air and adjust filtration in affected areas. It can also monitor temperatures to maintain optimum working temperatures based on real-time passive environmental impacts as well as energy consumption levels.
  • Lighting – AI can adjust lighting levels to ensure the right intensity is present for the work taking place in the environment, taking into account light that comes in through windows and ceiling panels.
  • Elevators – AI can track repairs schedules, order parts and alert building managers when cars freeze, and whether they are occupied.
  • Occupancy – AI can alert security when an entire building is unoccupied or power down systems only in specific spaces that are unoccupied.
  • Parking – AI can admit cars to secure parking areas, using badge or biometric identification, and alert security staff of density levels.
  • Assets – AI can help monitor the location of essential business assets within the building.

Everything funnels through the system and delivers real-time status to the right people in the command chain.


Composite Architecture

In the face of rapid changes and decentralization, organizations need to shift to more agile, responsive architectures. A composite architecture comprises packaged business capabilities built on a flexible data fabric, allowing the enterprise to respond to rapidly changing business needs.

5 Trends Drive the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2020

The enterprise supported by a composite architecture offers increased business resilience. This flexibility hinges on modular design capabilities, which has proven its value during COVID.

The composite architecture leverages four core principles: Modularity, efficiency, continuous improvement, and adaptive innovation. Modularity enables organizations to remain agile, allowing stakeholders to innovate, reduce costs, and partner more easily. One of the technologies identified as packaged into this trend is embedded AI.


Developing Smart Building AIoT In Your Facility

Implementing IoT is the first stage of AIoT. Many commercial buildings already have the sensors, cameras and building controls installed. Running a building is simpler with intelligent management systems in place. Additionally, AI applications can also assist facilities teams by simplifying the overall incorporation of AI processes.

Essential IoT infrastructure and equipment, things like raised flooring systems, make it simpler and faster to install and implement AI applications—not only for things like automated meeting room scheduling and communications, but also across the wider campus in a wide variety of cost-saving applications including intelligent HVAC and lighting.

Integrated smart building technologies simplify the facilities management process making them easier to manage and a worthwhile investment.

Adaptive workplace technologies help organizations leverage the efficiency and cost effectiveness of these solutions. If your organization is in the process of designing a new workplace or looking to remodel an existing space, feel free to contact one of the FreeAxez advisors today.

Gridd® AI is a Revit plug-in that can quickly create Gridd installation plans, providing a dynamic time-saving resource to integrate the Gridd raised floor into any facility. FreeAxez also offers a full range of design support services including CAD, BIM/REVIT and installation plans to help support your transition to AIoT infrastructure.

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