The Future of Building Management: Using IoT for Predictive Maintenance and Cost Reduction

The data is in: IoT is the future of building management, helping facility managers avoid unplanned expenses, decrease their buildings’ carbon footprint, and improve operational efficiency. Read more insights in this blog.

According to a study by McKinsey, facility management organizations utilizing IoT for predictive maintenance can expect to see a staggering reduction of up to 40% in maintenance costs and a 3-5% decrease in equipment capital investment. And sensor data is enhancing building maintenance effectiveness across the board, from real-time asset monitoring and alerts to the implementation of cutting-edge smart building predictive maintenance strategies.

It’s clear that incorporating IoT in Building Management Systems (BMS) holds incredible potential and promise to revolutionize the industry. It directly impacts the bottom line by increasing the efficiency of operations and reducing the overall cost of maintenance. In addition, incorporating IoT into a BMS allows for better management of operational expenses, as it greatly eliminates the need for human intervention while reducing operational costs.

What is a Building Management System (BMS)?

A BMS is used in commercial and residential buildings to monitor a building’s energy performance, manage its facilities and equipment, support building operations and security, and provide useful data for long-term management of the building. 

The installation of BMS software can vary based on the system, allowing for a standalone application or integration with additional monitoring programs. An advanced BMS has the capability to oversee and control numerous building services through various platforms and protocols, offering facility administrators a unified and comprehensive view of their facility’s operations.

IoT-powered BMS applications are proliferating and help building and facility managers with the following:

  • Security and Access Control

    IoT-enabled security systems such as smart locks, video surveillance, and access control systems ensure increased safety and convenience by allowing remote monitoring and control.

  • Fire and Safety Monitoring

    IoT devices like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors alert building occupants and emergency services in case of a fire or gas leak, ensuring timely response and evacuation.

  • Water Management

    IoT-enabled water management systems monitor water usage, detect leaks, and optimize irrigation systems to conserve water and reduce costs.

  • Indoor Air Quality Monitoring

    IoT sensors can continuously monitor indoor air quality parameters such as temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ensuring a healthy and comfortable environment for occupants.

  • Space Utilization

    IoT sensors can track occupancy patterns and provide insights into how spaces within a building are being utilized, helping optimize space allocation and design.

  • Integration with Smart Grids

    IoT-enabled building management systems can interact with smart grids, allowing buildings to optimize energy consumption based on real-time pricing and demand response programs.

  • Tenant Experience

    IoT devices can enhance the tenant experience by providing personalized services, such as smart parking systems, wayfinding, and tailored environmental settings.

  • Lighting Control

    Smart lighting systems use IoT sensors to detect occupancy and ambient light levels, adjusting lighting intensity accordingly to save energy and improve occupant comfort.

Predictive vs. Reactive Maintenance

Historically, building maintenance planning has been a “reactive” exercise. But as Building Automation and Control Systems (BACS) have become more sophisticated, a “predictive” capability is taking hold.

This “predictive” approach has been shown to reduce costs and improve energy efficiency. According to a report by Deloitte, predictive maintenance can reduce the time required to plan maintenance by 20 – 50%, increase equipment uptime and availability by 10- 20%, and reduce overall maintenance costs by 5 – 10%.

IoT extends the capabilities of BACS by connecting additional sensors that capture a wider variety of data about building functions. IoT-enabled predictive maintenance involves looking at this data over time and using machine learning algorithms to identify patterns that indicate likely failures before they occur. Maintenance staff can then take preventive or preemptive measures instead of waiting for problems to appear.

While there is still room for improvement in the effectiveness of predictive maintenance, its adoption has grown rapidly in recent years. The global predictive maintenance market grew from $4.46 billion in 2021 to $5.86 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.55%.

Operational Cost Reduction Through IoT-driven Building Management

One of the primary benefits of adopting IoT technology in the facilities maintenance field is cost reduction, helping facility managers identify areas where resources are being wasted, and then identifying areas where that “waste” can be redirected into profit. When buildings and facilities implement IoT-powered building management solutions, they can unlock numerous opportunities to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and ultimately reduce expenses in the following crucial areas:

  • Energy Management

    IoT devices, such as smart thermostats, light sensors, and energy meters can monitor energy consumption in real-time and make adjustments to optimize efficiency. By analyzing the data generated by these devices, facility managers can identify trends and make informed decisions to reduce energy consumption, such as adjusting temperature settings or replacing inefficient equipment. This not only leads to lower utility bills but also contributes to a more sustainable and eco-friendly building environment.

  • Asset Management

    IoT-driven building management systems can improve asset management by providing real-time data on the performance and condition of various building systems and equipment. By utilizing IoT sensors and analytics, facility managers can track asset performance, detect potential issues, and schedule preventive maintenance to minimize downtime and equipment life. This proactive approach to asset management can result in significant cost savings, as it reduces the need for costly repairs and replacements and ensures that building systems operate at peak efficiency.

  • Labor Cost Optimization

    The integration of IoT devices in building management systems can lead to labor cost optimization by automating various tasks and improving overall operational efficiency. For example, IoT sensors can monitor building occupancy and automatically adjust lighting, HVAC, and other systems based on real-time data, eliminating the need for manual adjustments. Additionally, IoT-enabled predictive maintenance can reduce the time and resources spent on routine inspections and reactive repairs by identifying potential issues before they escalate. This allows facility managers to allocate their workforce more effectively and focus on higher-priority tasks, ultimately resulting in reduced labor costs and increased productivity.

Overcoming Challenges in IoT + BMS Integration

Like any technology, IoT and BMS integration comes with its own set of challenges.

  • Data Security and Privacy

    With the increasing number of IoT devices in building management systems, the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive information rises. Ensuring data security and privacy is a significant challenge in IoT integration.

    To mitigate data security risk, implement robust data encryption and secure communication protocols to protect data transmission between devices and systems. Regularly update device firmware and software to address potential security vulnerabilities. Establish strict access controls and authentication measures to prevent unauthorized access.

  • Interoperability and Compatibility

    Many IoT devices and systems from different manufacturers may not be compatible or easily integrated with one another, leading to issues with interoperability and potentially limiting the effectiveness of an IoT-driven building management system.

    To solve for this, opt for IoT devices and systems that follow industry-standard protocols and frameworks to ensure seamless integration. Utilize gateway devices or middleware software that can bridge communication gaps between disparate devices and systems, facilitating smooth data exchange and interoperability.


  • Scalability and Flexibility

    As buildings evolve to meet new needs, IoT-based building management systems must be scalable and flexible enough to accommodate new devices, systems, and functionalities without causing disruptions or requiring extensive overhauls.

    To solve for scale, leaders might consider modular IoT systems that can be expanded or modified with ease as needs change. Investing in holistic, edge-first platforms that support easy scaling of storage and processing capabilities ensures that the system can adapt to growing demands.

  • High Initial Investment Costs

    The initial investment required for implementing a comprehensive IoT-based building management system can be high, deterring some organizations from adopting these solutions.

    Evaluate the long-term cost savings and efficiency gains that IoT integration can bring to justify the initial investment. Consider phased implementation, starting with critical areas that can deliver immediate cost savings and benefits. Leverage available government grants, incentives, or financing options to minimize upfront costs.

  • Complex Installation and Maintenance

    Integrating various IoT devices and systems into a unified building management system can be complex and time-consuming. Regular maintenance and updates of these systems also require specialized knowledge and expertise.

    To overcome this barrier, collaborate with experienced IoT integrators and service providers who can guide and support the installation and maintenance process. Invest in staff training and upskilling to ensure that the building management team can effectively manage and maintain the IoT-based system.

Discover the Future of Intelligent Building Management, Powered by Simetric

The world is hurtling toward a smarter, more connected future where buildings will be able to sense and respond to their environment in new and innovative ways. Building automation and maintenance systems will be able to act on and actively control building operations to ensure that it is environmentally friendly, efficient, and safe. 

At Simetric, we work within the most complex IoT environments and help leaders bring IoT data into a single pane of glass for a near real-time view of connected assets and the data they generate. Gather, visualize, and manage your IoT ecosystem in the Simetric platform for a more holistic view of your entire ecosystem.

Our transformative approach is helping to propel building management innovation to new heights. Are you ready to join us?

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