Monash and Honeywell to create 'cognitive office buildings'

Monash and Honeywell to create 'cognitive office buildings'

Monash University and Honeywell Building Solutions have signed a collaboration agreement to deliver one of the world’s first ‘cognitive office buildings’. The agreement will see Monash use big data to enable its buildings to intelligently and automatically alter the internal environment, transforming the way staff and students live, work and learn.

Using the convenience of smartphones, Honeywell will deploy its Honeywell Vector Occupant App across the Clayton Campus to collect data on how staff and students rate spaces; how they navigate buildings; and how often and when buildings are accessed. It will also be used to report faults.

The data will feed into Honeywell’s Command and Control Suite, based in the Future Control Room at Monash, to connect key personnel with data visualisations. It will provide simple, intuitive displays to building operations teams and allow them to enhance facilities and security management, and to create comfortable spaces for students and staff while reducing energy consumption.

The research outcomes will contribute to the broader Monash University Net Zero initiative, in which Monash aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. As part of the initiative, Monash this year chose IT consulting company Indra as a key technology partner to help establish a sustainable electricity microgrid at the Clayton Campus.

Monash Faculty of IT Dean Professor Jon Whittle said the size of the Clayton Campus and its energy requirements are similar to a small city, noting that Monash is “Australia’s largest university, with more than 78,000 students, 16,000 staff and over 150 buildings spread across four domestic campuses”. It is thus a suitable place to establish a ‘cognitive building’ environment, he said.

“The team at Monash, working together with Honeywell, are changing the way building performance data can be used to help mitigate risk, enhance business continuity and reduce operational costs.”

Karl Mahoney, vice president of Honeywell Building Solutions Asia Pacific, said the data gathered from their buildings will allow Monash to achieve unprecedented levels of optimisation.

“Using Monash University buildings, we want to bring a new level of intelligence — a brain if you will — allowing them to service their occupants in ways we might never have thought possible,” Mahoney said. “This first research project is a great vehicle for Honeywell working alongside Monash IT experts and students to solve real challenges for the university.”

Image credit: © witherington

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