Energy Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality

IoT System Requirements

National and regional decarbonization legislations are becoming more stringent, which has driven up the demand of cost-effective energy solutions in the real estate industry. Among some of these solutions, the interest in adopting smart building IoT systems is on the rise given their ability to integrate with a building’s operational assets and convert building performance into measurable values. Typically, larger buildings have implemented traditional building management systems (BMS) – often leaving smaller and medium-sized buildings out of the loop given implementation costs. This is where building IoT systems can provide significant value. However, when evaluating a potential solution, it is important that the IoT system under consideration fulfills the following requirements:


The cost of installing a traditional BMS can include a price tag that often ranges from $2.50 to $7.00 per square foot. For larger buildings that are over 50,000 sf, it is proven that a fair ROI can be achieved. However, for smaller and medium-sized buildings, the cost of implementing a traditional BMS can be intimidating due to a potential up-front cost of at least $100,000 for a 40,000 sf building.

As for the ongoing maintenance cost, building IoT systems typically offer a more cost-effective recurring charge due to less staffing requirements and onsite upkeep. Additionally, a strong IoT system that offers more budget-friendly avenues for achieving regulatory compliance and reporting is also critical to have when investing in a long-term solution.

Ease of Implementation

An affordable IoT ecosystem shouldn’t require the need for specialized technicians for installation or long-term commitments from manufacturers to conduct onsite maintenance. Additionally, the system should have the ability to easily integrate within existing building systems without compromising security. As opposed to a traditional BMS, IoT ecosystems should eliminate asset silos and create a streamlined approach to proactively control system operations and improve overall efficiency. In its simplest terms, an IoT implementation should take significantly less time to get up and running, and still possess all, if not more, of the benefits a traditional BMS brings to the table.

Data Centralization

With an effective IoT system, building owners should have the ability to aggregate data across all buildings in their portfolio for seamless benchmarking and analysis in a single view. Unlike traditional BMS, IoT ecosystems utilize cloud-based software to manage building data from a variety of connected devices through a gateway. This enables remote access and control across multiple users while providing real-time insights into a variety of different sensor types and applications.

There are other factors that you may consider when evaluating a building IoT system, such as adaptability to the change of a building’s operations and automated system learning. The bottom line is that the solution under consideration should serve a defined purpose. Speaking to a professional about your building’s current situation can help you identify the pain points and explore the best possible system to address your operational and sustainability goals.

If you are interested in learning more about TBL’s Node, or IoT applications in general, TBL is here to help.

Contact us today for more information.