How to easily reduce energy consumption in school buildings and offices?

Overheated rooms, staleair, or high energy costs. These are also the factors that municipal and regional authorities must address when managing real estate. Most of the buildings built in the second half of the last century did not take into account the potential for recuperation and intelligent energy management, nor the possibilities of controlling climatic comfort inside the building. So how to solve these difficulties simply, cheaply and, above all, effectively? 

Innovative technologies are penetrating at a rapid pace in all areas, including building management. Until a few years ago, the word IoT technology, i.e. the Internet of Things, was a completely new concept, under which few people imagined its future possibilities. Today, thanks to IoT, building managers or owners can reduce their operating costs by up to 30%. IoT technology will allow them to easily, cheaply and efficiently monitor and control heating, regulate the indoor climate in individual rooms and effectively manage the occupancy of office space, such as meeting rooms in offices. 

Pilot project in a Pilsenkindergarten 

Pilsen 2-Slovany Municipal District also confirms that the use of innovative technologies is not only the domain of the private sector. Since last year, they have been using IoT technology to control the indoor climate and heating system at the Na Celchu kindergarten. „The ever-increasing energy costs and the need to find savings in operating costs led us to the decision to install this technology as a pilot project in one kindergarten building. The possibility of up-to-date monitoring of consumption in classrooms, automatic temperature control, and even the transparency and clarity of measured indicators, which can be monitored online and, if necessary, regulated in the application via the Internet, we really consider as a smart solution, as they say today.“  says Jan Fluxa, deputy mayor of the city district. The SimONet IoT system in the kindergarten regulates the temperature according to the needs of individual rooms and heats up only when the children are in the classroom, at other times it only keeps the temperature at the same level. According to current calculations, the city district saved 15 percent of energy costs in the winter months. „We will consider the use of this technology in other kindergarten buildings that we manage, but also in the culture house, the operation of which also costs us a lot of money. It has several halls that are used in different modes and at different times. Here, too, could be energy consumption be reduced in this way,”adds Jan Fluxa. 

What can be regulated in buildings 

Heating control at the level of individual rooms and the entire building or area is not the only parameter that can be monitored and subsequently controlled with intelligent tools. With the help of wireless technology, it is also possible to regulate humidity, air quality easily and online. The number of people in the room, the noise level or even whether the windows are open or closed can be also regulated. All this with the use of affordable sensors and without the use of cameras. At the level of buildings, technology records the consumption of energy, i.e. electricity, water, gas and heat. „The difference from the control systems used so far is that SimONet does not work with fixed parameters, such as weekends or seasons, but thanks to online measured data, such as indoor and outdoor temperature, CO2 concentration, room occupancy, etc., everything automatically regulates,”explains Václav Janoch, director of the Smart Systems division of the Czech company ZAT, which developed and supplied this system. 

Humidity measurement in rooms 

Information per click 

This innovative solution is basically a platform for collecting, storing and evaluating information through IoT technology. The visualization function, i.e. the display of information, is also important for building managers or owners. In addition to being able to control and regulate the above values ​​easily, cheaply and without building modifications, they also have clear up-to-date information on the condition of managed properties at the level of specific rooms, floors and buildings. The information is stored online in the cloud and is easily available on tablets, PCs and other smart devices. Accesses can be easily set according to user permissions. In addition, the system can alert the responsible person to non-standard situations or take corrective action itself, such as starting or stopping heating, starting the air conditioning system, operating the air conditioning unit or notifying that ventilation is required. 

Safe technology also helps in hospitals 

For municipalities, cities and regions, IoT technology also offers great potential in the field of health care and social services. When used in hospital rooms, SimONet can significantly make work easier for healthcare professionals, who cannot be with all patients at the same time. Again, using sensors, i.e. without cameras and invading privacy, it is possible to monitor non-standard conditions in the room, such as a patient falling out of bed. This event immediately appears on the computer monitor, on the mobile phone or in the smart watch of the medical staff. „In connection with the regulation of temperature and other parameters to create a healthy climate in the individual areas of the building, all the advantages of this innovative technology can be used in one installation,“ adds Václav Janoch. 

Overview of room temperatures 

A step into the future 

As we have tried to show with examples, IoT technology is soon to be used considerably in public administration as well. Thanks to simple and fast implementation and the possibility of collecting various data, authorities or city organizations can effectively manage real estate and significantly save money on their operation. Combining IoT technology with Office 365 or enterprise information systems will also allow them to record the number of employees in the workplace, visualize office occupancy or effectively manage the use of meeting rooms to better organize meetings. „In the course of this year, the possibility of an on-premise solution will also be added, where the organization ensures the operation on its own and on its own servers,“ concludes Václav Janoch.