Smart building solutions could have saved Parliament

In this day and age it was completely unnecessary to experience the damage we had on a National Key Point.  Technology is now available to eliminate the human factor at the site and prevent surprises after the fact.  Omicron IoT and Asset Management is a South African service provider in internet of things can assist with wireless solutions to protect your assets.  We furthermore experience that the development of LoRa as a communication protocol and the availability of hundreds of different sensors in a LoRaWAN network is extremely relevant to create a smart building.

A LoRaWAN network has many advantages, of which the most obvious is the presentation of a variety of sensors onto a number of visual platforms real time and continuously.  The functionalities that would create a smart building and prevented the unnecessary damage are the obvious sensors such as movement (PIR) sensors, door open/close and smoke and temperature sensors, but now available as smart sensors, i.e. with radio communication to the gateway.  The critical advantage is that the alarms can then be displayed on any number of mobile phones or to a remote control room.

The advantages that might be less obvious is the following:

  1. LoRa sensors are completely wireless, all communicating to one gateway in the building. Installing sensors is as easy as putting a smoke detector in the ceiling, push the activation button, and 20 minutes later you will receive live data.
  2. The prime advantage of wireless communication inside an old and/or heritage site is that you don’t have to touch the walls to hide unsightly wiring or even worse, fitting trunking and conduits.
  3. LoRaWAN has deep penetrating capabilities through brick walls. No cellar or stairway is hidden from being monitored.
  4. In the specific case of the Cape Town Parliament building, the fire valve was closed.  A critical failure that prevented the automatic system to extinguish the fire. IoT water pressure sensors are available that can confirm sufficient water pressure in the fire network at all times.
  5. Door sensors can transmit data to the same platform and report all doors that should be open, are opening or should be closed.

We live in an era where criminality and vandalism will only get worse.  With IoT technology now available damage can be limited to the minimum when management can get notifications and alarms on their cell phones.  IoT, smart buildings can protect assets that is close to our heart.

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