Week 2: How the cloud is making our buildings smart?
I am a Firmware Engineer for United Technologies working on smart Fire alarm systems that improve fire protection in Smart buildings. After the class on cloud computing, I have asking myself if cloud computing can be a good avenue to make our building smarter?
In my readings, I came across this article  from 2013 Realcomm (Corporate Real Estate, Technology, Automation and Innovation) conference. This article indeed talks about the link between smart building and the cloud. I would like to give my perspective on the subject.
A Smart building is defined in this article as: “a facility that utilizes advanced automation and integration to measure, monitor, control and optimize operations and maintenance. The key concept is optimization”. So from this key concept, we can understand why it make sense to talk about cloud computing in the arena of building.
When we think about the world tallest buildings, such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai ( with 163 floors, 2,722 ft. height), Shanghai Tower in Shanghai ( with 127 floors, 1,927 ft. height), etc., we can imagine the huge amount of equipment present in these buildings in the form of IoT sensors, switches, and gateways for HVAC, lighting and power controls, . These technology solutions respond to a need to “measure, monitor, control and optimize the operations and maintenance in the building: optimize energy consuming, remote control, alerts, tenant sub-metering, or thermostat control.” To achieve such data management in order to optimize operations and maintenance in the building, getting the building IT infrastructure into the cloud have been the game changer. Cloud-based SaaS and PaaS are enabling more developers to deliver more innovative apps quickly and cost-effectively to manage and optimize building “lives”.
Building types taking advantage of IT new technologies such as Cloud, IoT and bid data are commercial, industrial, healthcare, airports and education building. And thanks to these new low cost technology such as IoT devices and their easiness to deploy, the derivative adoption of cloud computing in any size of building is becoming more frequent. “Big data” generated by this new wave of IoT devices can be gathered into cloud-based management and analytics services, over existing networks. That allows remote devices to be easily monitored and controlled by facilities managers via smartphones and tablets.”
Companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Dell, and Amazon with no big expertise in building technologies are investing heavily into the space of smart building applications. They are relying on their expertise in IT, cloud, security, and embedded technology to achieve their return on investment in the long run.
It is really a spillover effect that new trends in IT is impacting all aspect of our lives and infrastructures around us.
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