Here’s how to evaluate Building Internet of Things devices and systems to determine how they’ll fit in your existing building automation system. For facility managers, smart technology options are everywhere, from more sophisticated and powerful building automation systems, to specific pieces of equipment like rooftop units or meters with built-in intelligence, to a new generation of Building Internet of Things devices and systems. To get the benefits of B-IoT technology, facility managers should understand how the new offerings will fit in with existing building systems, especially the building automation system, and the role of BACnet in ensuring a free, secure flow of information. So why not use those consumer IoT applications for commercial buildings? It’s not as easy as saying, “Alexa, make my building smart.” One problem is that homeowners are tied to adding the apps and features of one vendor. “Currently, consumer IoT is where building automation was 30 years ago, when the concept of BACnet was first conceived,” explains Andy McMillan, president and managing director of BACnet International. Along with the need to operate on a proprietary platform, most IoT devices are designed for the home market, which has fewer cybersecurity, access control, fire/life safety, and privacy concerns than a facility like a Class A office building or major hospital. If a consumer-grade IoT device has security problems, unplugging from the Internet until the matter is resolved is simple for a home that may have 10 to 12 IoT devices.
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