Reconstructing the existing framework of every possible task and place with the integration of automated devices and Internet of Things (IoT) management tools is becoming the new norm in our current society.
Laced with advanced sensor and automation technologies, smart homes, buildings and smart cities are now filling the gaps between sci-fi and reality faster than ever.
Going an extra mile for conveniences, we are witnessing a new world of the contactless elevator that can automatically sense who has boarded and remember where the occupants need to go at certain times of day, giving sense-based control to people to adjust the lighting and temperature according to their preferences and so on.
Placed at the top position of contributing to making places and sites smarter is the introduction of sensors. Operating mainly behind the scenes, the best sensor technology acts as a nervous system of a smart building that is composed of hundreds or even thousands of sensors that are carefully positioned around rooms, are inside HVAC units, within the plumbing system, and are even attached to power lines.
Sensors Used in Smart Buildings are solely dedicated to providing smart facilities to their workers and people while providing their users with an efficient and comfortable humanized building environment within the budget.
If you want a detailed understanding of What Smart Buildings are in general, you can check out my previous article,” Smart Buildings-Building a Sustainable Future”.
Keeping the overall budget costs and type of facilities required by the employer in mind, Sensors Used in Smart Buildings are prioritized according to their functionalities and the level of facilities they offer.
In the context of this, we are going to talk about the significance of the Sensors Used in Smart Buildings as well as the types of sensors normally deployed currently.
Smart Building Sensors-What they are & Why are They Needed?
Capable of collecting environmental as well as operational data of buildings, Sensors Used in Smart Buildings react to the collected information in real-time.
Sensors Used in Smart Buildings act as the front end of smart building systems.
According to their fixed operational functions, Sensors Used in Smart Buildings can feel the change of the measured parameter and will send out a signal suitable for it accordingly to the admin.
Apart from sensing and storing user data, Sensors Used in Smart Buildings also helps in property management functions and occupancy data operations.
Popular Sensors Used in Smart Buildings
Let’s check out some of the most popular Sensors Used in Smart Buildings and explain how they work.
Passive Infrared (PIR) Sensors
What is it: Similar to its name, PIR technology refers to the fact that PIR devices do not spread energy for detection but work by receiving infrared radiation emitted or reflected from objects. PIR sensors are typically mounted under desks, to detect when and for how long the workspace is being used.
How they Work: As discussed above, PIR Sensors operate by leveraging infrared radiation that is either emitted or reflected from objects. However, PIR sensors cannot capture who exactly used the space.
Temperature & Humidity Sensors
What is it: According to its name, temperature sensors can measure the temperature in the environment. This is one of the most commonly used Sensors used in Smart Buildings as they work according to the user’s requirements and its position of installation. Similarly, humidity sensors measure the relative humidity in the air and are often used in combination with temperature sensors.
How they Work: In simple terms, temperature and humidity sensors measure the temperature and humidity of the surrounding area within fixed intervals and if any fluctuations are seen at anytime that crosses the fixed threshold limit set in the sensor, the sensors instantly send out the signal assigned to it.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Room Sensors
What is it: Air quality sensors are typically used to monitor the concentration of pollutants in the air of the concerned area. It forms an important part of air purifiers and fresh air systems working in the facility, thus coming under the list of popular Sensors Used in Smart Buildings.
How they Work: IAQ sensors deploy IoT and computer technology to configure the air quality data to collect indoor air temperature and humidity, particulate matter, TVOC, illuminance, formaldehyde, noise, carbon dioxide and other environmental factors in real-time.
Water Leak sensors
What is it: Despite having regular and timely inspections in any building, water leakage from the drain systems or HVAC system is a common occurrence. The water leak sensor is a liquid leak detection device.
How they Work: Considering the complex structures of the drain system, HVAC system and air conditioning system in a building, keeping a track of every gap is nearly impossible, therefore water leak sensors are often employed to give an alarm as soon as it detects a water leak.