Augmenting BACnet with LoRaWAN® Wireless IoT

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www.lora-alliance.org AUGMENTING BACnet WITH LoRaWAN ® WIRELESS IOT O C T O B E R 2 0 2 1 Although the built environment is constantly changing, most people never give a second thought to how the spaces where they live and work are managed. However, people do know they want sustainability and more automated control. Fortunately, new generation technology is keeping pace with human demands, creating innovations that link communication technologies and distributed internet devices in an intelligent network of building controls. Previously, creating a high level of control with BAC systems meant high installation and maintenance costs for systems that were inherently inflexible because they were based upon highly evolved protocols. Now, the cost-benefit equation is shifting: we can do much more for much less, thanks to the technology of small devices. Battery operated sensors small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, with long-range low-power wireless communication capabilities, are eliminating the need to accept the limits of hard-wired infrastructure. This means that monitoring and controlling conventional building environments can be both more cost-effective and more accessible. The next step is to combine this flexibility with the capabilities of intelligent cloud-based machines to bring analytical and learning ability to the management of built spaces. This is where Low Power Wide Area Networks, or LPWAN, come into play. Despite the forbidding sound of the technology, the principle is simple: use long range wireless communications to connect low-power consumption IoT (Internet of Things) sensors/actuators. Existing building control and management systems use complex and highly evolved protocols to manage the machines and human services that keep buildings liveable and productive. The freely available open standard, called LoRaWAN ® , operates in the unlicensed radio frequency spectrum and is changing the game regarding how we think about the placement of sensors and what those devices can measure. LoRaWAN expands the possibilities of sensing and control devices whether inside or outside buildings and manages to do this without demanding new fixed power or communications infrastructures. Building automation and control (BAC) systems can manage everything in the built environment from light and temperature to air and water to security and servicing. Yet traditional hard- wired BAC systems are costly to install, challenging to extend, and inflexible when it comes to adding new functions that match evolving building use. Is there a better way to manage functional spaces? • Users and owners of built spaces now demand a higher level of control, with richer data and improved BAC efficiency. • As BAC systems are upgraded, cost and system flexibility are key concerns. • A new generation of low-power wide-area networking technologies offer a light touch total solution to the BAC challenge.

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