The international design firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has revealed a new approach to the development of the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Concerned by the waste of energy in empty office buildings. The firm has developed a personalised heating, cooling and lighting system, which follows occupants as they move around the building. The new workplace proposal is inserted in the redesign of the Agnelli Foundation headquarters in Torino, Italy. It learns and is synchronized to its users’ needs, optimizing space usage and limiting energy waste.
The Internet-of-Things (IoT) at your workplace
The Angelli Foundation old building was full equipped with Internet-of-Things (IoT) Sensors. They take data from the users routines, as occupancy levels, temperature, CO2 concentration and the status of meeting rooms. Based on this data, the Building Management System (BMS) will automatically adjust lighting, heating, cooling and room bookings.
Using a mobile app in their smartphone, each occupant is able to set its preferred temperature, generating a personalised micro-environment. We can forget about temperature averages that never please all the users, approaching 100% satisfaction of the users comfort preferences. When there is not human activity in the workplace, the system turns to “standby mode”, saving energy.
“Today, a lot of energy is wasted heating or cooling empty buildings”, says Carlo Ratti, director of the Senseable City Lab at the MIT and founder of Carlo Ratti Associati. “By synchronizing energy usage and human occupancy within buildings we can create a more sustainable and responsive architecture. Theoretically slashing energy consumption by up to 40%.”
“With this project, we are writing the next chapter on the history of this building”, explains John Elkann, Vice Chairman of the Agnelli Foundation and Chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. “Sensors and localized climate control are already established features in the car industry”, adds Elkann.
The system does not only adjust thermal and lighting conditions, but using all the data gathered, it allows to reconfigure offices over time. Movable architecture elements as glass walls, sound-absorbing curtains and foldable partitions complete the workspace design. Thus, the proposal achieves an incredible flexibility, being able to reconfigure the interior distribution of the office.
Source: Carlo Ratti Associati