How Next saves you money

Building automation revolution
January 15, 2018

In some cases, the old adage saying still applies: if you want it done right, do it yourself. But that’s becoming less applicable every day as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation are continually refined and added to products and services we use every day.

Let’s define what the system involves, then take a look at three common examples of how it can directly impact your building’s bottom line on a monthly basis.

What is an intelligent building control system?

The purpose behind an intelligent commercial building control system is to gather real-time data related to the internal and external environment and then make strategic adjustments based on programmed settings.

Essentially, these systems consist of a range of sensors that collect basic environmental inputs like air temperature, humidity, and airflow; other inputs come from motion sensors, door and window sensors that record entrances and exits, and a host of other similar devices as required for how a particular building is used.

The data collected by all of these sensors is automatically analysed by a computer program tied directly into the building’s main mechanical and electrical systems: this is where Next comes in, we are specialists in data analytics for our parent company Next Controls.

Finally, a human user sets up specific “rules” for the system to follow in order to optimize energy usage and customize the system to the building’s unique situation. For example, if the building is unoccupied from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am every day, the system can be set to ensure all lights are turned off, doors and windows are locked, and the HVAC system maintains a less comfortable temperature during those hours to save energy.

As the system continues collecting data, its machine learning capabilities allow it to further optimise usage based on factors the human user may not even notice. By self-calibrating, the system can respond faster and more effectively to changing circumstances and ensure all building systems are set for optimal performance. Further, the system can offer timely notification of potential problems – be it a burnt out light bulb or a broken boiler – so the user can quickly and efficiently resolve the issue.

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