InBuilding - Volume 2, Issue 1 - 6
Understanding what the 'internet of things' really means - and what
it doesn't. BY DAVID FISHER
he "internet of things"
(IoT) is a marketing concept, not a specific technology. While it's important to talk
about what IoT could mean to
the building automation systems
(BAS) industry, it's even more
important to realize that, as yet,
there is no standard or coordinated effort to define what IoT
for buildings means, and how it
should be implemented.
Like most new things, IoT has a
dark side where some companies
and individuals exploit the promise
at their customers' expense. The
BAS industry has been here
before. Let's take the time to speak
thoughtfully about the problems,
6 inbuilding-magazine.com Volume 2, Issue 1
and benefits, and draw sharp distinctions between what is actual vs.
what is possible but not yet here.
In the context of buildings and
BAS, one of the new buzz-concepts is IoT. In theory, IoT is about
making use of "the internet" to
provide better and richer access to
your "things." I don't know about
you, but the buildings we work
with don't have things, they have
expensive, energy-using equipment, and lots of it.
That equipment contains many
control devices. All of these devices need to be carefully purchased,
installed, commissioned, operated
and maintained. Humans are
involved in all of these steps, and
that's not going to change any
NOT A BAS REPLACEMENT
There's a common misconception
about IoT that somehow it's a replacement for existing BAS. That's
simply not true, and would be an
epically bad idea. The BAS industry has labored for more than 30
years defining standards that bring
together all kinds of devices of
every category. Although there are
various standards in use, the best
known is ANSI/ASHRAE 1352016, also known as "BACnet,"
and as the international standard
ISO 16484-5 (and -6).