M&E Consultants and FM Contractors alike are busy specifying and implementing a series a standards designed to provide a marked improvement in occupant comfort and safety whilst reducing energy.
IAQ and Energy monitoring is a priority in existing building stock, and implementing the Well building standard https://v2.wellcertified.com/v/en/air/feature/8 is what many consultants are encouraging occupiers and their service providers undertake to improve the indoor comfort conditions. This standard along with other similar ones from LEED and BREEAM are determining the needs of buildings as we move forward with building re-occupation.
This determines whats required from the IAQ standard and in particular what needs to be monitored. This below is what the Well standard requires:
With reduced occupancy seemingly being the new normal way of working, this inevitably should mean reduced energy, but without localised occupancy control, BMS and the associated controls can often struggle to offer energy reductions based on occupancy.
IoT system have evolved so that multiple sensing from single local battery powered devices can be located in areas where IAQ needs to be monitored and controlled and also offer Energy reductions can now be provided as these sensors can connected to the BMS without the need for hard wiring.
The data that can be retrieved from one small unobtrusive device includes CO, CO2, VOC, PM2.5, Volatile Organic Compounds, Temp, Humidity, Noise, and Light. and these can be reported in various data formats.
With the UK government committed to reducing energy consumptions, much of these reduction targets are being forced on commercial building stock, so innovation is required and its not always practical or affordable to change major plant for more energy efficient variants. BMS systems are front and centre in this and connectivity to 3rd party systems is often difficult to achieve.
IoT devices can now directly connect to chillers and VRF units with a view to offering a gateway to BMS units so that individual unit operation can be optimised. A recent IoT installation by EnviroLogik in a large London commercial office identified that the chillers and associated pumps were running at times when not needed despite their being a BMS in use.
There is no question that contractors will certainly be busy in the coming years, whether that be making existing buildings more attractive to existing and prospective occupiers through IAQ improvements or in providing energy reductions to help meet energy reduction targets.