No matter what happens after lockdown ends, the way we will uses our workplaces will be a different one to what we have been used to. Lockdown has taught us that workers want a mixture of office and home working to give us an improved work life balance.
For many, mental health has improved when working from home, but for others they have missed the social interaction with co-workers. There is no question the office environment will be changing, and for those that manage these work spaces there are many challenges to be had none so than the ones that existed before lockdown and those are of course Indoor Air Quality - IAQ, Energy and Occupancy Management.
Having had multiple conversations with Managing Agents, FM Companies, Service providers and Consulting Engineers they all need to tackle those three key issues - but that can be challenging and expensive and therefore projects have been often been shelved or postponed.
Hard Wiring BMS Sensors is Expensive
The crux of the problem has been the cost involved in hard wiring space monitoring sensors to a BMS or control system. i.e. Imagine the cabling involved in connecting multiple IAQ sensors located in occupied spaces, or with the focus on energy saving, wiring occupancy sensors to manage local control of FCU's and AHU's.
IoT has had the capability to provide low-cost battery powered devices connected to a cloud based monitoring platform, but the missing part was pushing that data to a 3rd party external BMS system operating on Bacnet, Modbus etc.
Additionally having the ability to control local HVAC equipment based on occupancy is a great way of saving energy, rather than running equipment on a whole floor. Integration of monitoring IoT sensors.
Indoor Air Quality is here to stay.
Covid has taught us that even before the pandemic that a big driver for people returning to the office is the quality of the Indoor Air. Occupants want the knowledge that the air they are breathing is safe.
Multiple different systems have and are being installed into AHU's to kill airborne bacteria, viruses etc. and many specialists have suggested running AHU's on full fresh air and increasing filtration, but its not always practical to introduce increased fresh air or increase filtration. Monitoring is the key and IAQ sensors that monitor issues at space level multiple IAQ triggers - such as our own EnviroPure one can offer alerts to key stakeholders.
Interestingly also related to technology in 2021 is an article which also addresses where technology is moving to, in particular it looks at IAQ, Energy Savings, Predictive Maintenance, and Remote Monitoring, all of which we are offering in EnviroLogik.
Here is the link to the article
IOT and BMS Integration
IoT as a retrofit in legacy M&E systems works differently to new builds where IOT sensors are being integrated directly into new equipment such as pumps. Legacy BMS and smaller integrated control systems are often difficult and expensive to enhance and extend. By integrating IoT systems and sensors with BMS systems makes complete sense, but most IoT systems means complex integration.
EnviroLogik are in the final stages of developing a multi-platform BMS integration module which allows legacy buildings to offer IAQ and Energy Monitoring via their local sensors that enables the BMS to make the complex decisions about which equipment will run, where and when. Because most low-cost IoT sensors can be placed anywhere there is no ned for expensive wiring.
For smaller buildings without complex control systems, then it makes more sense to utilise a standalone IoT monitoring solution. Alerts can trigger actions which can be accessed from any web enabled device. Full details of sensors and solutions can be found on the brochure below
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