Smart Spaces bring sustainability, energy efficiency, and flexibility into office buildings

The demands on our office buildings have changed over the last few years: flexibility, digitalisation and energy efficiency are what’s important. At the same time, these buildings should create a comfortable, healthy, and safe environment for employees. So-called smart spaces achieve this balancing act: sensors record how many people are in a room and monitor, for example, which workplaces and areas are actually being used. Based on this data, the use of space can be digitally mapped and optimised.

Wireless sensors offer huge advantages

Wireless radio sensors form the basis for such smart spaces because they collect the required data in a maintenance-free way. The advantages of wireless sensors are obvious: they can be flexibly installed in a room and the system can be expanded with additional sensors at any time without having to open walls and use cables. However, it is hugely beneficial for these wireless sensors to be battery-free because it’s no secret that batteries contain hazardous substances that are bad for our environment. In addition to that, copper is also becoming increasingly expensive.

EnOcean has chosen a more sustainable approach for its wireless sensors: they obtain their energy from movement, light and temperature differences according to the principle of energy harvesting and therefore require neither cables nor batteries for smooth operation. The combination of wireless and energy harvesting enables new applications entirely without maintenance requirements and battery waste.

Smart workplace management

Even post COVID, many office workplaces will no longer be used by all employees five days a week, but more likely only three or four days. As a result, a relevant number of workstations will always remain unoccupied and won’t be needed anymore. With desk-sharing and hybrid working models, employers can save up to 30 % of the costs for furniture, energy, and rent.

Maintenance-free motion sensors detect at any time how many people are in a building or room, when and where. Vibration sensors attached to desks reliably monitor which workstations are currently being used by employees and which ones are still free.

Optimise the carbon footprint of buildings

Unused desks also mean unused spaces that can become real energy consumers. This is an important aspect, as buildings are responsible for around 40 % of global CO2 emissions. For example, if an area is only used at certain times or very rarely, heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting can be adjusted accordingly. In addition, collecting data on space utilisation can help determine which areas are rarely used which can help companies decide whether to continue renting them. This not only reduces rental costs, but also directly saves a lot of CO2.

Battery-free and wireless radio sensors like those from EnOcean offer a cost-effective and sustainable way to set up smart spaces in almost any office building – for more energy efficiency and cost savings as well as more flexible, safer, and comfortable workspaces.