Until recently, workplaces have been passive and inflexible resources, consuming large amounts of energy.
The primary challenges relate to the scale. Managing the workplace has been a top-down, one-size-fits-all model. While building management has delivered some efficiencies at the fringes, maintenance is often still a large-scale endeavor. For example, workers may replace every lightbulb on a floor and clean every restroom according to a fixed schedule, whether the service is needed or not. Every room is lit, and every resource is supported—whether it calls for it or not.
Such a heavy-handed approach has led to wasted energy and wasted infrastructure support. Fortunately, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology enables a new granularity in building life cycle management. By using IoT-enabled sensors, employers can fine-tune resource allocation based on what employees actually use. Equally important, such technology implementation is scalable, flexible, and able to adapt to changing employee behavior as and when needed.
Flexible architecture—shaping buildings that are adaptable and transformable to avoid becoming obsolete—is also key to driving energy efficiency.