Buildings, their systems, and their appliances are becoming interconnected at an ever-increasing rate. The move from stand-alone, ‘islanded’ systems to an on-line platform has increased both our understanding and level of control of the buildings we inhabit and the machines we use. Everything from thermostats to heat pumps to refrigerators are moving on-line, creating a new web of interconnectivity; an Internet of Things (IoT).
This IoT platform presents a dramatic shift in our ability to control energy flows across our network, and with remote control now possible, we can switch consuming and generating systems off and on as required.
Demand-side response is now an established business model, and with our homes shifting to electricity-only for power, heat and transport, being able to monitor and control our built environments will become paramount to driving down our carbon emissions.
To achieve a level playing field of our connected buildings and systems, a common naming schema for every sensor and actuator is required. Using such a framework will enable any and all internet-ready devices to be acknowledged and controlled remotely. Likewise, a robust security protocol will be required to prevent unwanted access.
The Active Building Centre Research Programme is spearheading this activity alongside its academic partners, to construct an open-source IoT platform for buildings and systems.
The platform can be downloaded here.