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March 2020
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The Expanding Role of Wireless Sensors in the Built Environment

 
Wireless sensors offer clear value and are leading us to evolve new practices for using them to enhance building performance and efficiency, occupant wellness and satisfaction, meet compliance requirements and manage risk.
Marc Petock
Marc Petock
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
Lynxspring, Inc.

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Sensors are not new in the built environment. They have been around for quite some time. With sensors, we can discover many incredible details, especially when we analyze the different data points together.

Sensors for smart buildings will grow from $313.2 million in 2013 to $3.7 billion by 2020, according to a recent study by NAVIGANT RESEARCH. As information and operational technologies converge, sensors play a crucial role in facilitating intelligent building solutions. They can provide actionable insight through data-driven tools.

Wireless Sensors

Presently, there are a lot of advances taking place. Advances in wireless, expansion in the types now available, improvements in accuracy and increased modularity, all of which are enabling us to enter a whole new sensor world within our buildings.

Wireless connectivity expands sensor capabilities by allowing easy connection to larger networks that can increase the number of connected devices and enable more granular control over building systems. The growing popularity of wireless systems is attributed to factors including flexibility, lifecycle cost, changing demands, and the expectations of occupants and facility managers. Wireless sensors amplify the benefits of intelligent building solutions because of their ease of connectivity and their strong business case for both new, as well as retrofit projects over wired systems due to labor and wiring costs.

The data collected from sensors can help building managers identify cost-saving opportunities. For example, if the lighting in one area is found to be operating at its maximum level without dimming for extended periods, facility managers may choose to install additional lights and increase dimming to boost reliability. Some of the factors helping to drive wireless sensors’ use are increased emphasis on occupant centricity in the workplace, the movement toward healthier environments, better use of space, scheduling, the need for real-time data at the edge. 

Wireless sensors can be configured to measure a variety of variables. Overall, there are many different types of applications that include remote monitoring, location monitoring, temperature, lighting, plumbing, wastewater, power, gas and energy, pressure monitoring, weather, IAQ and CO2. They are ideal across a wide range of use cases—both new and retrofit buildings and equipment such as:

Wireless sensors serve a great purpose. They may be small, sometimes almost invisible, but are becoming essential ingredients within the built environment.

They are creating new efficiencies that positively impact how buildings and facilities are managed and operated. Wireless sensors offer clear value and are leading us to evolve new practices for using them to enhance building performance and efficiency, occupant wellness and satisfaction, meet compliance requirements and manage risk.

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