Combining IoT & AI to Achieve Sustainability Goals and Mitigate Risk

Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IOT) are technologies making a huge impact on sustainability initiatives helping achieve net-zero carbon and water goals

Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, Internet Of Things, HVAC, Water, Sustainable Building, Architecture, Cities, Sustainable Business, The SustainabilityX® Magazine

 

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Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are technologies that are rapidly changing the facility management landscape and making a huge impact on sustainability initiatives and help achieve net-zero carbon and water goals.

  • Artificial Intelligence is becoming ubiquitous in all areas of business. It is basically the science of training machines to perform human tasks and is valuable in many areas of facility management.

  • Machine Learning is a branch of A.I. based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns, and make decisions with minimal human intervention. Machine learning thrives on voluminous amounts of data to analyze and formulate decisions.

  • ”The Internet of things describes physical objects that are embedded with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks” according to Wikipedia.

IDC predicts that by 2025 there will be 55.7 billion connected IoT devices, or "things." Many IoT devices in facilities are sensors that measure energy consumption, HVAC and electrical systems health, water consumption and leaks, as well as provide control and alerts for moisture, humidity, vibration, motion, chemicals, and gas in buildings. Sensors also empower predictive analytics, alerting managers about potentially dangerous situations. An IoT device can automatically respond to an alert, neutralizing a threat without human intervention.

 

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David Whiteley, head of sales and solutions at Integral, a JLL company, explains in JLL’s Trends & Insights, “AI can help clients listen to and understand a building’s needs, for example on room temperature and air conditioning.” Dan Campany, Head of IoT Innovation Lab at The Hartford wrote in Risk & Insurance Magazine, “Water flow monitoring solutions have proven effective at detecting leaks, which could lead to water damage claims in commercial properties... What these devices do is they look for tiny aberrations in the flow of the rate of water moving through a pipe. Any place that is identified as abnormal and could mean leakage is alerted to the team for further monitoring and fixing where needed. The Hartford ran its own test of such devices to show how effective they can be. For its home office, The Hartford installed a water flow monitoring system, all but eliminating water damage incidents for the building. But the good news didn’t stop there. Over an eight-month period, the water flow monitoring technology helped our facility team identify over a hundred smaller leaks and five equipment malfunctions that saved over 1.5 million gallons of water. The device went far beyond preventing water leaks that could cause damage.” These are two examples of how AI and IoT devices are being implemented in facilities to conserve energy and water, support sustainability initiatives and mitigate leak damage.


IoT coupled with AI is a powerful combination that facility managers and building owners can deploy. AI can automate data mining and leverage analytics to support sustainability goals and provide valuable insight into building operations, assets, and consumption of energy and water, inform maintenance decisions, assess energy and water consumption at a very granular level, conserve water and energy, react quickly to changes in state to prevent damage claims and achieve sustainability goals. AI Machine learning customizes solutions to the systems in the specific facility to understand and reduce consumption for better water sustainability.


IoT devices such as sensors, cameras, automation, etc. provide the ability to monitor, detect events in real time and alert on many aspects of the facility at a granular level to achieve sustainability goals and prevent damage claims through alerts and automated actions. IoT coupled with AI is a powerful combination that facilities managers and building owners can deploy to achieve sustainability goals, conserve water and energy, and react quickly to changes in state to prevent damage claims.


As Owen Thomas, CEO and Chairman, Boston Properties summarizes in the Urban Land Institute Sustainability Outlook 2021, “In 2020 sustainability has remained at the forefront.” The real estate industry is leading the charge towards advancing sustainability in carbon emissions, energy efficiency, waste reduction and conserving water. AI and IoT are major drivers towards leadership in sustainability in facilities.

 

Marvel Gentry Harmon is a Commercial Account Executive at WINT- Water Intelligence. She is an expert at new market development and new product launches with a passion for water sustainability.