Buildings Go Green With the IoT––and Make for a More Comfortable Office

Workplaces become more agile and minimize energy consumption with integrated building management systems.

What makes a great office building is more than just location, size or view these days. Increasingly, folks are focusing on how smart it is.

“Buildings are tremendously inefficient,” said Schneider Electric’s Scott Henneberry at the recent Internet of Things Summit in San Francisco. Buildings are comprised of many complex systems that are hard to connect, with multiple vendors supporting IT, lighting, security, elevators, HVAC and more. And with buildings estimated to consume 33% of world energy by 2040, there’s a huge opportunity to put a dent in our overall energy consumption.

Beyond consumption itself, it’s becoming increasingly important to keep talent feeling positive about their workplace and meet sustainability regulations. Henneberry noted that buildings should be smart enough to link heating systems to when you're actually in the office and not waste the energy while you're away. “The systems aren’t being tied together,” he said.

Schneider Electric supplies building management systems, such as SmartStruxure™, to integrate the variety of building systems, and the company is walking the walk as well. In its own headquarters outside of Paris, known as “Le Hive,” Schneider Electric moved in and decreased energy consumption by half in just three years.

Dynamic office space helps optimize the total space the building has, making use of modular office design that receives heat, lighting and other support only where employees are present.  

Frequently travel?

Beware: In some instances, companies have been known to have policies where you lose your office if you’re out over 50 percent of the time (based on badge swipes), leaving you to sign up for open space when you returned. Henneberry mentioned that one employee ended up losing her office because her husband (who also worked there) swiped his badge to open the door for her each day!

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