Why State and Local Governments Should Be Investing in Smart Buildings
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, local and state governments spend billions of dollars on energy to run government buildings. Nearly one-third of that energy usage is wasted. As a result, more and more government agencies are using “smart” buildings to control energy consumption, allowing money to be redirected toward services that benefit citizens.
A smart building is a physical structure that uses sensors and other devices to link and control a variety of systems, such as heating and cooling, lighting, water and security. In fact, equipment operation can be automatically changed based upon policies, preferences and environmental conditions without human intervention.
Use Cases for Smart Building Technology
Building automation systems have been around for years, but smart buildings take this concept a step further. Internet of Things (IoT) applications can be used to configure, monitor and update settings remotely, while advanced analytics tools are used to make better decisions about how to optimize building systems.
Smart buildings make it possible to reduce energy use, which translates to a number of benefits. In addition to reducing costs, smart buildings can help you extend the life of equipment and improve productivity, efficiency, safety, air quality, comfort and sustainability. Resource consumption and savings can also be tracked, measured and analyzed to identify areas where further optimization can be achieved.
State and local governments can leverage smart building technology in a number of ways. Here are just a few examples:
- Smart lighting systems use sensors to recognize when people enter and leave a room and automatically turn off the lights when a room is empty. Automated scheduling for turning lights on or off can also reduce waste, although automation can be manually overridden.
- In public areas, unnecessary heating and cooling operation can be avoided by using predictive analytics to control usage based on time of day, time of year, and traffic flow through these areas.
- Smart elevators can reduce energy consumption by using regenerative motors that return electricity to the network as the elevators go down.
- Smart parking solutions make it easier to find parking spots and/or implement a reservation system, which can help reduce fuel consumption and accidents.
Cisco Digital Building Solution
Most state and local government agencies are using building management systems that run on different networks, making them difficult to manage, monitor and optimize. The Cisco Catalyst Digital Building Series switch converges disparate systems over a single, low-voltage, Power over Ethernet (PoE) platform, resulting in up to 38 percent energy savings. Installation is fast and easy, with no specialized expertise required.
When combined with smart IoT devices and sensors, Cisco PoE and Universal PoE products, the Cisco Digital Building solution can provide facilities managers with better control, deliver a better user experience, and identify new opportunities to reduce costs and environmental impact. Employees can even personalize their space by adjusting lighting and temperature from a smartphone application. At the same time, robust security features, threat intelligence and policy-based protection provide an integrated threat defense across the network.
As a Gold-Certified Cisco Partner, Cerium is uniquely qualified to help you implement and take full advantage of the products that comprise the Cisco Digital Building solution. Let us help you develop a roadmap for converting your government buildings into smart buildings so you can operate more efficiently and devote more resources to the services that citizens demand.