Honeywell: Connected Buildings delivering real outcomes


honeywellBy Michael Brookes,
Honeywell Building Solutions

The Internet of Everything (IoE) has arrived. The world is moving beyond standalone devices into a new era where everything is connected. At its essence, the IoE is the networked connection of people, process, data and things, making these connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries. Some are predicting that there will be up to 50 billion ‘smart objects’ by the year 2020; this digital infrastructure growing at a rate five-times faster than electricity and telephony.

Taking advantage of the age of Internet ubiquity, Connected Buildings are evolving, combining data, process and technology to make things happen as intended, reducing the risk of human error. Measurement and data transparency – clear facts both real time and historical – make for accurate information and speedy response times whether in the context of right-first-time or in an emergency. The ability to integrate technology solutions with business processes – HR, supply chain and financial systems – enables greater strategic control over the business.

An approach that is gathering momentum is to integrate all the technical services for a building – security, building, and safety management along with data, voice and video communication – on one, common network. This convergence between Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) is fundamental to performance improvement enabling a safer, more secure and more comfortable environment on the one hand, and lower operating costs on the other.

There are clear benefits to be derived from a Connected Building that include:

1. CAPEX (Construction) Savings
– Installation of a single common IP infrastructure
– Centralised control room
– Utilisation of a Master Systems Integrator
– Enables ease of integration of systems

2. OPEX (Post construction) Savings
– Improved Incident Management
– Reduced Energy Consumption
– Improved Workspace Management
– Remote and Mobile Services

3. Revenue enablers
– Connectivity/mobility
– Digital Advertising
– Tenant services

The access to, and availability of information has transformed the way today’s buildings are designed. Traditionally buildings have been constructed with multiple proprietary OT networks to run systems such as Building Management, Security, Access Control, Energy, CCTV and Fire – each with their own control and monitoring station, with no connectivity or interaction with the enterprise business systems. These buildings are complex to operate, with high installation, integration and ongoing maintenance costs with limited automation functionality.

To add to the complexity, IT infrastructure – structured cabling, data routing, switching and voice systems – is typically installed and commissioned much later in the building programme. Further management and monitoring solutions are then deployed after the building is occupied.

As technology has evolved, the opportunity to make use of the IP network has enabled open standards based building infrastructure design, which adopts a centralised approach to monitoring, maintenance and control of the building environment, where building control systems across all properties can be controlled from a single point of contact.

It is estimated that up to 80% of the total expense of a building occurs during the operational period, rather than as initial capital expenditure, meaning that decisions taken in the design and construct phases can have far reaching financial and operational effects. Therefore during those phases key stakeholders should carefully consider a building’s technology requirements. Decisions made during the early stages can effectively create the levers that reduce ongoing operations costs over the lifecycle of the buildings, as well as improve the opportunity to create revenue streams in the appropriate markets.

Honeywell is able to help in this process through the integration of a wide range of technologies into a central management system. This enables our customers to take a holistic approach to the management of the systems that support their business, in turn providing assistance in making better informed decisions. Through integration comes ease of operation, consolidated infrastructure and improved support capabilities, all important factors that contribute to a lower total cost of ownership.

In taking the role of Master Systems Integrator, Honeywell is effectively able to remove a large portion of the inherent risk associated with integration projects, translating to an overall reduction in project costs and implementation time.

1. Proven Integrator experience
2. Sound integration platform
3. Deep knowledge of technologies
4. Local development resources

Much like any other industry, facility managers are facing increasing operational cost pressures and as a result, are looking to energy efficiency improvements as a method to tackle this. But no longer are simple energy monitoring solutions sufficient in achieving significant cuts in consumption. In today’s environment, integrated and cloud based solutions are the next step in improving operations and delivering real value for businesses.

While still a relatively new concept, a Connected Building can combine building automation systems with a smart building management system, enabling the business to monitor multiple sites at one time and fine-tune building performance to a degree not possible via human capabilities alone.

Although much of the value of this approach is delivered through energy savings, energy and operations are often two sides of the same coin. Because improving energy efficiency is based on finding abnormal events and conditions in a building, creating energy savings can also result in better operational outcomes including lower vacancy rates, lower rental incentives and reduced outgoings.

Traditionally, achieving results like this would require a variety of tools to be installed on site and an operator to sift through large volumes of information to try to work out where the best opportunities are. However, giving complicated diagnostic tools to a facility manager who may be uncertain about how to manage energy may not be the best approach. They may notice one or two abnormalities but they are unlikely to be able to provide a comprehensive recommendation. With the pressure of day-to-day issues, the more challenging task of dedicating hours at a time to analysing building performance can often slip to the bottom of the “to do” list.

In this situation, outsourcing the analysis rather than the operation of the Building Management System may be the answer. With the growth of cloud computing, smart building management systems have, for many customers, finally become financially feasible. A smart building management system can transmit data generated from hundreds of buildings to a single command center, where facilities professionals use complex automated algorithms to monitor equipment performance. With today’s affordable high-capacity computing, a company can use one smart building management service to monitor and control hundreds of facilities around the world.

The value of Connected Buildings is real, and as the IoE continues to gather momentum the number of data points will increase and improved data analytics will enable even better real-time decision making. This will allow for the dynamic allocation of resources, in turn reducing lifecycle costs.


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