Siemens Smart Infrastructure has launched Connect Box, an open and easy-to-use IoT solution designed to manage small to medium-sized buildings. The latest addition to the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio, Connect Box is a user-friendly approach for monitoring building performance, with the potential to optimize energy efficiency by up to 30 percent and to substantially improve indoor air quality in small to medium sized buildings such as schools, retail shops, apartments or small offices. Siemens Xcelerator is an open digital business platform that enables customers to accelerate their digital transformation easier, faster and at scale.
Connect Box allows users to accomplish essential daily building management tasks from one place via a cloud-based interface with no additional gateway or software. Alarm notifications for potential issues as well as graphics that visualize historical trends provide meaningful insights into the building performance at any time, supporting the optimization of building operations.
Connect Box offers intuitive online access via desktop or smartphone. Installation is fast and easily accomplished via plug and play, so system integrators, technicians and facility managers do not need engineering skills to set up, configure and operate the system. The included library contains more than 500 ready-to-connect field devices and is constantly growing, from both Siemens and third parties. A smart converter supports 11 communication protocols, both standard and proprietary, wired or wireless, including LoRaWAN, BACnet, Modbus and KNX.
As an example, the IAQ (indoor air quality) multi-sensor which Siemens has recently introduced, works as a plug and play solution with Connect Box to provide crucial data on room air quality. The multi-sensor measures air quality in real time, checking key metrics like temperature and humidity, CO₂ saturation, VOC and PM2.5 emissions, as well as light and noise level (dBA). Building operators benefit by getting full transparency on air quality in their building and can make sure that they provide a healthy environment for tenants, visitors or staff.
Connect Box offers two licensing models. The Cloud license allows users to store their building data in the Connect Box online database, while the On-premise license enables users to easily integrate the data collected from wired and IoT devices into an existing automation system, building management system, or external cloud. Both variants are managed remotely and updated over the air.
IoT paves the way to a healthy and zero-emission building stock
Even for smaller and medium-sized buildings that have been run without building automation up to now, it is becoming increasingly important to operate in an energy-efficient and climate-neutral way. On the one hand, for intrinsic cost reasons, on the other hand, because more and more regulatory requirements have to be fulfilled which demand sustainable operations. In Europe, for example, the EPBD (Energy Performance for Buildings Directive) is supporting the EU’s goal to achieve climate-neutral building operations by 2050, forcing building owners and operators to take action.
From a technical point of view, IoT-based building solutions not only provide what is needed to implement such requirements, they also pay off: Energy and emissions savings of up to 30 percent are possible thanks to Connect Box’s key building management features.