Smart automation and IoT (Internet of Things) in residential and commercial buildings are increasing in adoption, primarily because as a nation we are working and living a lot differently compared to a year ago. From an asset owner’s perspective, remote monitoring in particular is making a massive difference to the way buildings are managed. It is a trend that will only gain momentum as the majority of UK workforces are still working remotely.

People’s habits have changed drastically since the pandemic started last year. Those who were once sceptical of technology have – through no other reason than social isolation – become far more reliant on digital solutions to go about their everyday lives. This dependence on technology is not something new, indeed it has been steadily evolving over the past few years; it’s simply that the pandemic has forced the moment to its crisis, so much so that relatively unknown platforms such as Zoom are now household names.

With remote monitoring technology, asset owners, engineers and facilities managers can manage a building in ways never once thought possible. Gone are the days when an engineer would have to spend hours commuting to a site at the opposite end of the country. From a carbon point of view and in terms of overall efficiency, this was never a good use of time, even though it was simply viewed as the way to do things.

Remote monitoring in the form of building sensors enables asset owners to:

1.       Attain real-time information of asset performance

2.       Optimise asset performance

3.       Track cost and mitigate risk

As well as enhancing asset performance, remote monitoring ensures engineers can easily resolve an issue in a far quicker timeframe. No longer do they need to physically visit a building to resolve an issue. Whether it be measuring the environmental performance or taking care of a pipe leak, personnel simply dial into a building management system (BMS) via a cloud-based platform to see what’s going on. Important decisions as how to prevent risk are made promptly and confidently from the comfort of their own homes.

All of this important asset data is stored in the cloud, which means data centres across the UK have to consistently monitor the performance and security of the servers that retain this information. As the demand for IoT and smart automation is rising, we will see data centres evolve in terms of sophistication, capability and security.

Smart automation and IoT are gaining in popularity year on year and are making notable differences to the way assets are managed. As well as enabling asset owners and engineers to monitor a building remotely, IoT in the form of sensors optimises asset performance, ensuring owners track cost and mitigate risk. This type of technology is like the extra pair of hands you never thought you’d need. Once you have them, you couldn’t envisage a world without their use.