Smart Building: 30 Use Cases You Can Implement Immediately (Part 2)

In part 1 of our blog series, we have already presented numerous use cases on the topic of smart buildings. And now let’s move on: Practical use cases that are not a vision of the future, but that you can have implemented in a few weeks (some of them even faster!).

While some managers are skeptical at first due to cabling effort or poor radio connection: Almost all solutions can be implemented with LoRa wireless technology. This means that no Wi-Fi, no network cable, no IT effort is necessary. And the most important thing: no problems with solid walls and longer distances in existing buildings that are to become smart buildings!

Desk occupancy

Fixed workplaces and working hours are a thing of the past. Or at least flexibility is a top priority in more and more companies. No wonder, because on the one hand this often (not always!) corresponds to the wishes of the employees, on the other hand efficiency can be increased: Teams can be put together on a project-by-project basis, employees can work from home, expensive office space can be saved.

Of course, the basis for optimisation must be facts and figures. This is exactly what motion detectors and load sensors provide. This makes it easy to record which desks were or are occupied, when and for how long.

  • Optimisation of land use
  • Planning basis for extensions/conversions/new buildings

Prevent fire damage with smart smoke detectors

Fires kill countless people every year and many more are seriously injured. An early warning system can save lives and, of course, dramatically reduce property damage – in homes, office buildings or industrial environments. That’s why smoke detectors are required by law in many areas.

In practice, such systems have often been fraught with disadvantages: time-consuming cable routing or short battery life, limited radio range or complex connection to central systems. With the new LoRa wireless technology, smoke detectors can be networked from the basement to the upper floor with just one base station. Battery life of many years is possible.

  • Detect smoke and fires earlier and avert damage
  • Simple and cost-effective operation makes nationwide rollouts economically viable

Constant storage conditions for verifiable quality

Long-term poor storage conditions, but also short “outliers” in temperature and humidity can have serious consequences: loss of quality, corrosion, bans on the sale of products, deformations, and much more.

Monitoring the indoor climate in warehouses – in multiple locations and in real time – is necessary to react quickly in the event of deviations and prevent damage. In addition, complete documentation of the storage conditions in the smart building is the best protection against unjustified complaints or claims by third parties.

LoRa-based indoor climate sensors in particular are perfectly suited for monitoring in warehouses. They do not require a power connection and transmit the measured values wirelessly without any problems, even over long distances.

  • Immediate alerting in the event of critical values enables timely action
  • Tamper-proof documentation helps with litigation

Ensuring Correct Cold Room Temperature

Foodstuffs, raw materials and pharmaceutical products are particularly temperature-sensitive. Even small deviations from the optimal or prescribed cooling temperature can have serious consequences – up to and including total loss or a health hazard. In addition to a failure of the refrigeration unit or the power supply, supposedly trivial mishaps, such as an accidentally left open refrigerator door, can also lead to problems.

Due to the good insulation of the cold room walls, conventional technologies for monitoring or transmitting the interior temperature often reach their limits. With LoRa-based wireless sensors, numerous cold rooms can now be monitored with just one base station.

  • Real-time temperature monitoring, even at night and on weekends
  • Immediate alerting enables timely response
  • Automatic documentation for verifiability in the event of liability issues

Immediately detect malfunctions in heating systems

Heating systems must be regularly inspected, checked and monitored on site. This results in high personnel costs and expensive journeys. If there are failures, the plant operators often only find out about it from disgruntled residents or office employees. This results in a longer duration of malfunctions and often higher repair costs.

If such a system is retrofitted with sensors – for example, to monitor flow, return, temperatures or pressure – the data can be transferred in real time from the basement to a central, web-based system. In this way, problems are detected in the smart building before they lead to annoying failures or high follow-up costs. This is referred to as predictive maintenance. The savings potential, both in terms of customer satisfaction and personnel cost reduction, is sometimes very high.

  • Condition monitoring without expensive travel
  • Predictive maintenance to prevent breakdowns

Better indoor climate for more productive employees

The ideal indoor climate (temperature and humidity) is not just about the elusive feel-good factor for employees. Rather, their productivity is directly related to the conditions in the office. This is impressively proven by numerous, scientifically sound studies. Nevertheless, this factor is often not sufficiently taken into account and a significant potential for optimisation remains untapped.

Attractive, battery-operated wireless sensors can be installed anywhere in the office and monitor the indoor climate seamlessly. On this basis, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be better controlled.

  • More productive, happier employees
  • Fewer sick days
  • Lower energy consumption due to optimized heating/ventilation

Monitor inputs and outputs

Main and side entrances, emergency exits, fire doors, windows, patio and balcony doors… While some must be kept closed at all costs, others must be freely accessible at all times. In order to maintain an overview and exclude potential sources of danger, networking, evaluations and alarms are necessary.

With simple and inexpensive wireless sensors, retrofitting existing buildings, doors and windows is no problem. Long battery life (many, many years!) and automatic alarms in the event of defined events make operation a breeze.

  • Increase security in the building

Ensuring water supply for plants and vertical gardens

Plants often don’t have it easy in the office. Either no one cares about them and they are not watered enough, or the opposite happens: they are literally drowned. At the same time, it is easy and cost-effective to monitor the moisture in the soil. For individual potted plants, this may seem excessive, but for larger – and often very expensive – greening projects, it makes more than sense. For example, vertical gardens (“green walls”) are highly complex ecosystems that cost many thousands of euros and must be optimally cared for in order to grow and thrive. Humidity monitoring by means of battery-operated sensors, including a reminder e-mail when there is time for watering or when enough watering has been done, reduces manual effort and thus personnel costs.

  • Optimal conditions for elaborate greening systems (e.g. vertical gardens)

Read more about this in our reference story with Florawall: Greening 4.0 – Symbiosis between plants and technology

Making sanitary facilities smarter

Yes, sanitary facilities can also be intelligent! And all this without compromising privacy in any way. Monitoring of the frequency of use is possible via motion detectors, which of course do not record any images. This data, for example, can be used to control cleaning operations much better – namely according to usage and not, as is usually the case, at certain time intervals.

In this way, a better “user experience” can be achieved at a lower cost. Other use cases in the smart building include monitoring consumables (e.g. refilling soap dispensers before they are empty) or hygiene regulations (e.g. use of soap/disinfectant when washing hands in restaurants or hospitals).

  • Optimally supervised sanitary facilities with low personnel costs
  • Improvement of hygiene

Would you like to learn more about use cases? Click here for part 1 of the series and here for the third and final part.

Download the white paper:

With 39 concrete use cases for facility management!

Similar Posts