Smart buildings are the way of the future, and accurate footfall counting and occupancy analysis are making them even smarter, more cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly. Corporate office buildings, universities, warehouses, and even homes are being equipped with IoT (Internet of Things) technology to automate systems. It is possible to control heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and security to reduce their impact on the environment, minimize energy costs and make life more convenient. But how does occupancy counting work within such a system, and how can you get the most out of your smart building with this technology? Read on to find out!
What is a smart building?
The concept of what smart buildings are is continually changing, but in essence, it is any structure that uses technology to connect and automate processes. As mentioned, such processes include heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, security, and any other subsystems that can be automated. The movement toward interoperable, connected devices and systems within a building requires cooperation between many different technologies, including footfall and occupancy counting devices.
How occupancy rate correlates to smart building setups?
When installing real-time occupancy counting devices in strategic areas, you will know how many people are in an area at any given time. Occupancy counting technology ranges from 3D video recording and infrared sensors to thermal sensors that can detect people’s numbers and movements in an area. They provide invaluable data about how a building is being utilized. Processes can be optimized to save on energy, cut down on costs, and enhance the experience of people occupying the building.
How do occupancy counters help minimize costs?
If you consider the significant amount of energy that powers any building and the amount of energy wasted in unoccupied spaces, you will understand that controlling HVAC and lighting systems according to occupancy reduces energy consumption drastically. An occupancy counter can detect, with 98% accuracy, how many people are in a space in real-time. By automatically and continuously monitoring the number of people in a room, you can optimize energy consumption in the following ways:
▶︎ Lights and HVAC systems can be switched on when a room is occupied and switched off when it’s unoccupied.
▶︎ During the winter months, heating can be controlled to warm up when people arrive to work and cool down when people start to head home at the end of the day.
▶︎ Ventilation and air conditioning can be provided in direct response to the number of people in a room.
Occupancy management provides other cost-saving benefits that are not related to energy consumption. For example, in larger infrastructures like universities, many rooms and bathrooms are not used regularly, or at least not daily. An occupancy counter in these areas can notify staff when these areas were used and by how many people, and so they can clean them. This means that resources and costs are not wasted on cleaning areas that are not being used.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this is particularly useful when very few people are in the building. Occupancy counters can even be set up to send an alert when a particular room or space has been used a certain number of times before cleaning staff are required to clean the area.
Using occupancy sensors in office buildings, universities, and any other buildings with variable occupancies have the potential to massively reduce energy consumption and resource wastage. By adopting such methods, businesses, organizations, and facility managers stand to make substantial savings in their energy and resource costs and drastically reduce their CO2 emissions whilst also improving user comfort.
Choose the right occupancy counter for the job
Vemcount can do anything with data collected from people and occupancy counting devices, including connecting data to HVAC systems in smart buildings to automate processes. Our advanced 3D cameras achieve 98% accuracy, and our analytics platform provides actionable insights on recorded data to help you make smart decisions about operating procedures and cost-saving measures.
You can reach a Vemcount consultant today to discuss how we can save your business more money.