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MDU owners can benefit from smart building systems

Multi-dwelling units are prime candidates for smart building technology, according to the Continental Automated Buildings Association. Building owners often have the capital and the control needed to purchase energy management systems that use sensors, processors and switches to connect equipment to the internet and enable an operator to control it through a user interface.

Energy management is of course not the only area in which internet of things technology can help MDU owners, but it is at the top of the list. Government incentives and regulations are pushing building owners to use less energy, and one way to do this is with real-time monitoring.

“It’s a shift from knowing ‘what happened’to knowing ‘what is happening’ all the time, with systems autonomously reacting to that knowledge to optimize their operations in real-time,” according to CABA’s “Connected Multi-Dwelling Units and the Internet of Things” Landmark Research Study. The group said MDUs are benefitting from trends that are impacting many other industries as well.

“Innovations across the technology stack, from networking to applications, are enabling increasingly
complex applications across many industries,” according to the report. “Realizing this new mode of interaction requires shiftingthe focus from simple device monitoring to a model where device data is aggregated into increasingly
complex applications to achieve true systems intelligence.”

CABA said that other areas in which smart systems can benefit MDUs are safety and security, climate control and ventilation, applicances and data aggregation. The association noted that there is a clear business opportunity for vendors who want to target the MDU market.

“The physical structures and centralized building systems of MDU buildings share characteristics with commercial buildings, as do the needs of building operators and property managers (which are interchangeable stakeholders for our intents and purposes) with regard to building and equipment management across these customer segments,” the report authors wrote. “However, the presence of occupants means that individual units and common areas must operate more like single-family homes, prioritizing the comfort, convenience, and peace-of-mind of occupants. Suppliers coming from both angles, commercial and single-family, have failed to adequately meet the unique needs of this market.”

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