A ﬂexible sensor-based solution simplifies modernization for commercial
“Our mission is to get these dense mesh networks into commercial buildings and high-rise residential towers—to provision the lighting and emergency management and support tracking.”
—Dr. Simon Benson, CEO and founder, Levaux
Commercial buildings face complex infrastructure and operational challenges to deploying IoT technology. With the comprehensive visibility provided by the Levaux SenseAgent* solution powered by Intel® architecture, buildings can be optimised on a per room basis, creating operational and cost efficiencies. High-resolution data can translate into capital savings, extensive capabilities, and improved occupant experiences—all for the price of lighting.
The benefits for modernized building management systems (BMS) based on connected infrastructure are many, but attaining these is challenging for both brownfield and greenfield buildings in the IoT era.
Technology in older buildings tends to be more difficult to work with and prohibitively expensive to change. Most BMS were installed at the time of building construction and are rarely, if ever, upgraded. These BMS rely on cables, rather than the more ﬂexible Wi-Fi or mesh networks, and wireless infrastructure is limited. Systems lack common protocols and interoperability, preventing holistic visibility into building operations. Hardwired equipment requires maintenance and programmatic upgrades to be handled manually—a labor- and cost-intensive process. Compliance management is also manual, with time-consuming testing of all emergency equipment conducted every three to twelve months.
Sensor density tends to be light, resulting in optimization based on data from limited areas of the building. Overall, older buildings are simply not getting enough data—or timely access to relevant reportage—to maximize efficiency and deliver good occupant experiences. In sum, brownfield buildings do not have the capabilities or ﬂexibility to adjust systems based on changing occupancy and conditions, or to meet modern standards for wellness and productivity in commercial buildings.
Greenfield buildings may circumvent many of these obstacles, but they also face issues. These include the challenge of integration across often incompatible systems from multiple vendors and protocols, securing connected equipment from cyberthreats, and gathering and analyzing relevant data quickly and economically. Building management is often decentralized, prohibiting the savings of centralized, remote management.
How can all types of buildings get the advantages of IoT and establish a scalable foundation for the future? A streamlined smart sensor solution from Levaux running on an Intel® architecture-based IoT gateway is delivering the value of edge-to-cloud insight for smart building management.
Drawing on deep expertise in technology and management of complex systems from its work in the military and communications industries, Levaux has created a smart building solution designed to support both brownfield and greenfield venues. Levaux’s SenseAgent is an innovative solution that manages remote sensors monitoring a wide spectrum of key building functionality. This purpose-built solution for the building industry combines hardware, middleware, and cloud software and creates a fast, reliable connection from physical environment to sensor. Paired with cloud, the solution requires no training and simplifies BMS.
A wireless sensor performs five smart core capabilities— lighting, safety, climate, security, and utilization. Each sensor gathers ten diﬀerent metrics, tracking building variables such as occupancy, movement, ambient light, humidity, and temperature. The sensor is an integrated, architecturally designed ceiling fitting and eliminates the need to use numerous vendors to achieve the same breadth of functionality.
The high-density sensors can replace existing lighting controls at a cost equal to or less than most common lighting controllers and at a fraction of the capital cost of a traditional cabled lighting control solution.
Sensor data is aggregated, filtered, and processed by an Intel®-based IoT gateway, allowing for edge analytics, alerts, and notifications. Data needed for more in-depth or historical analysis is automatically sent to the cloud. The gateway’s powerful Intel® processor and storage capacity also support data backup, so building managers can safeguard and quickly access their IP. Machine learning provides recommendations based on usage patterns, automating key optimization functions. And, because Intel architecture enables parsing data needed for immediate action or longer-term analysis, the cost of transmitting all data to the cloud is reduced. The IoT gateway connects to the building’s backend and seamlessly interfaces with traditional BMS.
The intuitive SenseAgent interface simplifies data analysis and changes. Levaux’s sensors can be programmed remotely, allowing the solution to evolve to meet changing building management requirements and opportunities.
visibility and control
|Safety||Compliance||Proactive procedures to
ensure safety of people
|Climate||Control||Predictive analytics for
smart climate control
tracking of people
|Utilisation||Productivity||Efficient utilisation of
property and increased
productivity of people
SenseAgent Benefits for Commercial Real Estate
- Plug and play: Lighting control sensors are installed directly inline between the ceiling and luminaries. They provide power to the luminaire and lighting control via common lighting control protocols (DALI, PWM, 0–10 volt). Sensors communicate using a wireless mesh—so there is no requirement for expensive communication cabling and network infrastructure.
- Support multiple applications and metrics: Replace existing lighting control solutions, while oﬀering additional functionality to cover a range of applications and metrics across building operations.
- Ease of use: The SenseAgent cloud application is a web-based application that can be accessed from any device anywhere in the world. It has been designed and built using modern user-interface guidelines and technologies to be easy to use with minimal training.
- Wireless infrastructure: SenseAgent deployments provide buildings with dense wireless mesh networks. A routed Bluetooth* mesh network with large bandwidth capability enables building assets to exploit future applications.
- Improve operations: Creates intelligent, more sustainable environments, minimising energy consumption and supporting increased productivity
How It Works in Brief
The end-to-end engineered SenseAgent IoT solution couples electronic hardware with purpose-designed middleware and a cloud interface for a fully vertically integrated out-of-the-box system. The wireless building sensor system is designed to perform immediately upon deployment in brownfield or greenfield sites.
The solution was created with a robust middleware using object-orientated remote procedure calls (RPC) architecture implemented in pure C++ from the ground up, in conjunction with embedded hardware and an optimised mesh network stack. This supports smart connected systems with the lowest latency.
Designed from the start to be an enterprise-class, secure, scalable, and reliable IoT communication system that does not sacrifice speed, the solution avoids lightweight communication protocols and messaging queues.
Sensors perform autonomously without the need for constant cloud connectivity, using weekly operational schedules and programs. The sensors sample data every second, sharing it directly peer-to-peer over the mesh network for local processing to control electrical equipment using logic-based decision-making.
Embedded hardware running unique dynamic firmware loads operational schedule profiles from the cloud. Dynamic firmware accepts schedule updates over the air, allowing the sensor system to adapt to changes in functional purpose and making it more suitable for edge computing and process optimisation.
Machine learning is made possible by a mesh network of sensors managed by multipoint Intel-based IoT gateways. The gateways supervise the commands on the network sensors and the ﬂow of data to the cloud. Data that is stored and processed at the edge applies machine learning to generate knowledge to optimise sensor behaviour.
The lighting-based sensors create a wireless mesh network on the building ceiling and uses existing power supplies. New applications can be added or built on top of the mesh network over time. The solution is designed to scale and evolve with building management needs and to help future-proof investments
The foundation for IoT
The Levaux solution is just one example of how Intel works closely with the IoT ecosystem to help enable smart IoT solutions based on standardized, scalable, reliable Intel® architecture and software. These solutions range from sensors and gateways to server and cloud technologies to data analytics algorithms and applications. Intel provides essential end-to-end capabilities—performance, manageability, connectivity, analytics, and advanced security—to help accelerate innovation and increase revenue for enterprises, service providers, and the building industry.
With the Levaux SenseAgent and Intel-based IoT gateway, building managers have the insight to maximize efficiency, proactively address maintenance, optimize environments, and improve occupant wellness and productivity. By simplifying IoT integration with an aﬀordable, connected, end-to-end solution, Levaux and Intel are enabling the considerable advantages of making buildings smarter.
For more information about Intel® IoT Technology and the Intel IoT Solutions Alliance, please visit intel.com/iot.
Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software, or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No computer system can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer, or learn more at intel.com/iot. Cost reduction scenarios described are intended as examples of how a given Intel-based product, in the specified circumstances and configurations, may aﬀect future costs and provide cost savings. Circumstances will vary. Intel does not guarantee any costs or cost reduction. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. *Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others