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Energy evangelist: ‘Build an internet of your things’

Does a KNX building speak IoT? According to self-titled ‘smart buildings evangelist’ Rik Vereecken, the answer is that any building can, no matter what the standard, so long as you equip it with sensors and gather and analyse the correct data.

Addressing this question in a session at the CEDIA Smart Building Solutions Theatre (sponsored by KNX) in Hall 10, Vereecken shared his insight into how buildings could make efficiencies both now and in the future.

According to Vereecken, due to the fact that buildings are responsible for 40% of all energy consumption, efficiencies can be made immediately if integrators started collecting and analysing
data to identify inefficiencies and heating faults.

He added that his firm ByNubian – which offers solutions for capturing and analysing building and sensor data – has collected data from thousands of sensors and has found that one in three installations are not working efficiently.

“Integrators need to start collecting data to make efficiencies. What the manufacturer might say about energy emissions isn’t always the same in practice,” he said. “They often think everything is working okay and then, one or two years down the line, are surprised to receive huge energy bills.”

Once building data is analysed and the source of a fault identified, problems can be corrected within ten minutes in some instances, according to to Vereecken.

He argued that a building doesn’t need to be at the point where an extractor fan is talking to its heating system, but firms can start building ‘an internet of your things’, integrating their building devices so that they analyse behaviour convert building and operational data into ‘real value’.

‘Data analytics only become valuable when you integrate them into buildings and standardise them,’ he added.

Moving onto his vision for the future, he said that growth enablers such as open architecture, advanced building detectors, and the connectivity of devices would lead to fully automated digital buildings which are able to conduct two-way communications between systems.