As a smart building technology company there really is no excuse not to have smart headquarters for your own business. In fact, many leading firms have been using their own facilities as test beds for their technology and even as a showcase to demonstrate how their technology can improve employee comfort and productivity; as well as improve building efficiency and ultimately impact their company’s bottom line. This month a number of leading technology firms have announced smart upgrades to their headquarters and facilities around the world.
“The IoT has a wide range of applications and can be used to increase efficiency, enable new services, create new business models, or increase health and safety, or environmental benefits while at the enterprise level real-time integration of collected data streams are being leveraged to enable real-time decision making, based on analytics results,” explains our new and comprehensive report The Internet of Things in Smart Commercial Buildings 2016 to 2021.
Electronics giant Panasonic opened its first smart office building at the new Denver headquarters for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions. Panasonic’s smart technology and solar offshoot was previously headquartered in Newark, NJ, before making the switch to Denver to accommodate its growing workforce.
The first building of the operations hub opened on September 12th and by 2018, there will be 350 employees at the Denver operations hub. The building is part of a 400-acre environmentally sustainable development, which coincides with Panasonic’s CityNOW initiative in which the firm will be offering smart lighting, smart parking, community Wi-Fi, and digital signage across Denver.
"We want to do something special," said Jim Doyle, president of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions. "If we do this right, people will be flying in to Denver" to see it. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the decision could be "the biggest economic win for the region in years," one projected to have an $82 million annual economic impact for the city. "This is without question the catalytic opportunity we've been waiting for," Hancock said, adding that it could jump start the regional "aerotropolis" concept for developing land around DIA.
The facility will produce more energy than it consumes, due to solar power and energy efficient strategies such as LED lighting and VAV air conditioning. Its automation system is integrated with the air conditioning, lighting controls, electrical power panels, and battery control system, allowing it to automatically load shed and reduce its power consumption, ensuring that critical loads can stay on-line even under a power loss scenario, explained Michael Hess, vice president of smart and sustainable buildings for Panasonic.
In San Diego, Qualcomm is upgrading its “smart campus” with smart, digital sensing technology from Current, powered by GE. Current’s sensors, micro-services and intelligent LED infrastructure will help drive more energy efficiency, operational savings for Qualcomm’s Smart Campus, all while extending the company’s existing intelligent environments showcase for visiting customers.
As part of the deployment, Current’s sensors will detect and analyze building occupancy levels to help control lighting and HVAC in real time, with the goal of driving down energy costs in the locations where they are used. Air-quality sensors for temperature, humidity and CO2 will work in concert with ventilation systems to enable optimal temperature and environmental conditions based on building occupancy, with the goal of enhancing the comfort and productivity of occupants.
“This installation is a win not only for Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions and Current, but to businesses of all kinds looking to optimize environments with data-driven insights,” says John Gordon, chief digital officer, Current. “This installation will be a sandbox for businesses to experience the predictive and prescriptive benefits of digital technology and take back learnings and ideas to build their own intelligent environments.”
Meanwhile, in India, Siemens have just launched an interactive experience centre showcasing systems and solutions that make buildings smart, safe, secure, comfortable and energy efficient. The centre also offers training programs throughout the year for customers, partners, students and own employees on the said technologies.
Some of the systems that can be experienced include Integrated Building Management Systems (IBMS), Fire Detection and Suppression, Access Control, and Intelligent Video Surveillance with analytics. Flexible and interactive design of the centre allows for exhibiting live-systems independently or as part of a totally integrated system.
At the launch, Mr. Devidas Kulkarni, VP and Division CEO, Building Technologies division, at Siemens, said “Siemens Building Technologies division is a leading technology partner for creating safe, secure, comfortable and energy efficient buildings and infrastructure. The main objective of the centre is to showcase our globally benchmarked solutions and capabilities for the Indian market, as well as to train and develop technically competent resources to manage these systems.”
In Israel, micro-processor giant Intel is claiming to be building the world’s smartest office building for its new regional headquarters. The 34,000-square-meter building will learn the habits of every employee who chooses to disclose personal information, customize his or her working environment, help save energy and continue learning and improving over time.
"The new building will bring together employees currently working in 13 buildings, and will enhance cooperation between the different groups," said Maxine Fassberg, Intel Israel CEO and Intel Group vice president. The facility also aims to be a green building, designed to achieve LEED platinum level certification, focusing on energy conservation and water recycling.
We are, without doubt, moving into an IoT era, epitomised by the evolution smart buildings. Smart cities already make up 47% of all connected devices, and smart buildings account for 63% of connected devices in smart cities, according to our in-depth research. It makes sense that we look to the facilities of our smart technology companies for a vision of the buildings of tomorrow.
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