Systems, Man & Cybernetics - October 2017 - 31

The Decision Maker and
Researcher Knowledge Gap
Facilities management and controls companies have
been providing services to building portfolios with
pneumatic controls for decades. When the industry was
developing their work sequences, connectivity was not a
possibility. Yet, the benefits of connectivity are still
unclear for facility managers and homeowners. For
example, for adaptive controls and MPC, the integration
of lighting (e.g., occupancy sensors embedded in lighting fixtures and photosensors) and HVAC controls is
crucial. However, this need is not visible to the decision
makers. In addition, the commonly stated "1:10:100" rule
approximates the energy costs to one, the rent and capital costs ten, and the salary costs of the occupants to
100 units [54]. Therefore, we should not be surprised
that facility managers and operators are not early adopters of the technologies derived from the IoT. We need
real-world implementations and
case studies to build confidence
in these technologies.

access (e.g., radio--f requency identification access cards
[55]), lighting (e.g., passive-infrared motion detectors),
and security control (e.g., surveillance cameras) and
information-technology-network systems (e.g., the number of devices accessing Wi-Fi) [56]. Storing sensitive
data in a secure yet still interoperable manner will be a
major challenge.
Technical Barriers
Aside from the challenges discussed in the "Nontechnical
Barriers" section, there are a few technical barriers
against the development and widespread use of the methods presented in the "Value Proposition of the IoT to Facility
Managers and Homeowners" section.

Diversity of Building Equipment and Data Types
Each building is a unique engineering product with substantial diversity in equipment and available data types.
This situation is unlike other sectors (e.g., automotive or aerospace)
that employ mass production. An
extensive survey conducted by the
A commonly reiterated
Continental Automated Buildings
Cost
barrier against the
Association [53] identified the comThe cost of upgrading data storage
mon data types available in the
and sensing infrastructures was
wider deployment
existing BACnets. Building-level
also reported as being a major barof connected and
submetering for heating (steam or
rier [6], [53]. Based on our experidistributed sensing
hot water), cooling (chilled water),
ence in deploying various energy
and electrical loads are the most
management systems, existing
technologies is privacy
common data types. This is folcommercial solutions, despite their
and security concerns.
lowed by the sensors and actuators
limited analytical capabilities,
used in the control of plant- and sysrequire the purchase of standalone
tem-level HVAC equipment. Temperdata archiving systems with mon--
ature and differential pressure
thly subscription fees that can
sensors are the absolute requirements for the airflow and
deem their use in small- to medium-sized buildings ecotemperature control loops. These control loops actuate
nomically unfeasible. In lieu of such one-size-fits-all soluvalves and dampers to maintain indoor air quality and
tions, different data analytics solutions should be tailored
thermal comfort. In some cases, humidity and CO2 senfor various building scenarios. For example, when
archived sensor data are unavailable, inverse black box
sors can be available in BACnets. In addition, zone-level
modeling with building-level heating/cooling loads and
sensors can include occupancy and photosensors for
concurrent weather data may still provide useful insights
lighting and automated blinds control. However, occuto improve the operation. Evidently, as the spatial and tempancy sensing, despite being a requirement for lighting
poral density of the sensing increases, the potential for
controls in new commercial buildings [57], is often not
improving the operation along with the complexity and the
integrated into HVAC control networks. In some rare
cost of the data analytics solutions will also increase.
cases, room-level sensors can include door/window contact sensors as well.
Privacy and Security Concerns
A commonly reiterated barrier against the wider deployFragmented Communication Protocols
ment of connected and distributed sensing technologies
A fundamental challenge is the integration of the sensis privacy and security concerns. Privacy concerns
ing available in various legacy control systems (e.g.,
relate to the fear of being observed, whereas security
HVAC, access, lighting, and security). BACnets [58] are
concerns are the fear of releasing sensitive data. Nearly
one of the most notable attempts to this end. It is a com70% of the respondents in a recent survey of numerous
munication protocol for BACnets. It defines a set of
facility managers [6] reported concerns about cloud
rules governing the exchange of data. It is adopted in
data storage. Sensitive data types include building occumore than 30 countries by greater than 120 manufacturers. However, it only became an accepted standard in
pancy -i nformation. Such data can be readily available in
	

O c tob e r 2017

IEEE SYSTEMS, MAN, & CYBERNETICS MAGAZINE	

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Systems, Man & Cybernetics - October 2017

Systems, Man & Cybernetics - October 2017 - Cover1
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - October 2017 - Cover2
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