Gooee to smart buildings - if we're ready

Gooee sounds like a silly name - but it's bringing the Internet of Things to Buildings

As if you needed telling, Gooee is an internet company. It has one of those silly names that don't mean anything, but you can bet that Gooee is anything but a soft-centre. It's a company that is focused on delivering the Internet of Things (IoT) into buildings, in this case via intelligent lighting. News in March is that Gooee is partnering with a large semiconductor manufacturer so that it can more effectively deliver smart lighting via a new open protocol.

This is significant news for companies already in the controls and BEMS market. Newcomers like Gooee have spotted the potential for smart buildings, and you can bet that more of them will be heading into the building services sector, attracted by the enormous potential of 'smart buildings' and the IoT.

We live, as they say, in interesting times for building services. On the one hand, the future beckons via the IoT which is attracting huge amounts of innovation into the sector. On the other hand, we are still mired in issues as outlined by Dr Kerry Mashford in the March issue of MBS (page 25).

Dr Mashford is chief executive of the Renewable Energy Foundation which has highlighted common operating practices that are impacting on the energy efficient running of most non-dwellings.

I doubt any readers of MBS were surprised by the REF list, which reads like a top-ten of things we've seen time and again: BEMS not commissioned correctly (if at all); air conditioning oversized for the required load; cooling or heating left on in unoccupied areas; poor implementation of sub-metering; uninsulated pipework; poorly maintained refrigeration equipment.

When you read this list, smart buildings seem a very distant possibility. You can stick as much IT into a building as you want, but if the basic problems like oversizing and lack of commissioning still aren't being dealt with, then it's like putting racing colours on a donkey. You can set that thing running, but at the first fence someone's going to notice that it's not Red Rum.

Karen Fletcher is Director of Keystone Communications.

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