Making buildings smarter with Azure IoT


Commercial real estate developers, building owners, facilities management companies, and tenants have a huge opportunity to address, and solve for, the unique business challenges faced by their industry, by applying the Internet of Things (IoT) to buildings. For example, by leveraging data from IoT sensors and building management systems, companies can gain insights that enable them to save energy, reduce operational expenses, increase occupant comfort, and optimize space.

However, the COVID-19 crisis has presented a new set of challenges for developers, owners, and management companies. New forecasts show the smart building market size growing between 7.3 percent and 11.6 percent annually to overall market revenues of between $65.2 billion and $82.7 billion USD in 2025. 1

Smart buildings also help companies meet regulations for tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Let’s look at how Bosch Building Technologies, Bentley Systems, Schneider Electric, and ICONICS use Azure IoT to deliver the benefits of smart buildings.

Decreasing energy requirements

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimates that implementing smart building technology in an existing building can result in energy savings of 30–50 percent. 2 For example, companies can combine data from occupancy sensors with data from HVAC and lighting systems to lower room temperatures and turn lights off in unoccupied rooms.

Bosch Building Technologies developed an in-house Energy Platform to analyze energy consumption and pursue ongoing energy efficiency. Based on Microsoft Azure , the Energy Platform monitors and analyzes energy consumption in real-time. Bosch customers use the Energy Platform to connect to IoT enabled devices and then link to existing meters, sensors, and machines. Customers can make informed decisions to improve energy and resource efficiency.

Bosch offers the solution to customers and uses it internally at more than 100 manufacturing plants worldwide. At one of their larger plants, Bosch saves up to €1.2 million (approximately $1.3 million USD) a year.

Bosch also created a Building Intelligence as a Service program to provide new IoT-based services for customers. Bosch adopted Azure Digital Twins as part of their Connected Building Services offering. By leveraging Azure Digital Twins, the company can query data from entire rooms or spaces, rather than from disparate sensors, to build complete digital models of the physical building environment.

By using Azure Digital Twins, Bosch gains more precise data for a wide range of building technology systems. With this level of precision, it’s easier for customers to fully understand data points, consumption results, context, and how they relate to the physical environment to quickly gain insights on energy usage to inform their business decisions.

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