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 [1] 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, [2]. 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.


[1]: https://www.realcomm.com/advisory/592/1/intelligent-buildings-and-the-cloud

[2]: https://www.iotforall.com/smart-building-technology-iot-applications/



Users who have LIKED this post:

  • avatar
  • avatar

3 comments on “Week 2: How the cloud is making our buildings smart?”

  1. Thanks for the posting. This reminds me “Smart Building” concept I have read before. The “Smart Building” includes the post’s content, smart energy, maybe 3D-printed buildings too. 3D-printed buildings are very cool. They can solve the homelessness problem, easily integrate smart IoT devices, reduce pollution and costs, environment-friendly, etc.

    “buildings that monitor their energy usage actively and report this data to utilities can reduce their costs. This will ultimately lead to lower pollution and much better efficiency as cities become more urbanized.” – smart energy.

    Some reference I read before.


    Users who have LIKED this comment:

    • avatar
  2. The cloud enables physical locations to become “smart” – great point in your post that the cloud is enabling the developer community to build applications that make the building smart. I would like to expand the thought of smart buildings to smart venues in general. People populate buildings or venues. The more data we have the more we might optimize how venues are designed. Interesting additions here are location analytics and location-based services. Gathering data pulled from mobile devices and analyzing those in the cloud will help to better understand traffic patterns. The value ranges from understanding consumer traffic flows in venues to designing better emergency evacuation plans and exits.

  3. A very informative read. Another one of the areas which could potentially be impacted by smart building technologies and IoT/cloud service integration in buildings is energy conservation. IoT based sensors in buildings can be used to collect energy usage data and trends and these can be used to inform better decisions about the energy flow and consumption in a building which can enable a reduced negative impact to the environment.


Comments are closed.