Retrofitting older buildings is a concept that city planners and managers are increasingly embracing, as they are faced with shrinking budgets, growing accountability requirements, and aging or outdated infrastructure.
One quick keyword search on any search engine will show you that retrofitting to become more energy efficient, reduce power costs, and lower greenhouse emissions is being implemented in cities of all sizes, everywhere in the world. What most of these managers don’t know is that the Internet of Things (IoT) has made it possible for retrofitting to go so much further than improving energy efficiency.
Building Infrastructure Management (BIM) systems can be retrofitted in many ways:
With sensors kits capable of measuring environmental features of an enclosed space, such as an office or hospital room or basement, buildings can be instrumented to measure and report any number of factors, including: temperature, humidity, movement, light, and noise. This data can be used to more efficiently deliver needed services on demand or to track utilization of any area.
External sensor kits can also be deployed to enhance the data gathered from internal sensors. To most successfully evaluate internal conditions, it is extremely useful to also understand the external conditions. By correlating the external temperature and other data with the internal sensor data, a building’s complete environment can be monitored.
Another retrofit option is adding protocol adapters that allow communication with the cloud or fog architecture to Building Management Systems (BMS), like BACnet to HVAC and DALI for lighting. This enables collection of data and management of building systems to be handled securely from any location, and for automated rules to be set up for managing those systems as efficiently as possible.
Smart Cities aren’t limiting retrofitting to building systems. From water management to transportation, and everything in between, there are opportunities to benefit from retrofitting. Efficiencies can be gained in every area: reduced waste, increased response time for repairs or servicing, fewer wasted employee hours, and more.