Siemens Smart Infrastructure recently launched Connect Box, which the company describes as an open and easy-to-use IoT solution designed to manage small and medium-sized buildings. “Connect Box is a user-friendly approach for monitoring building performance, with the potential to optimize energy efficiency by up to 30% and to substantially improve indoor air quality in small to medium-sized buildings such as schools, retail shops, apartments or small offices,” the company said. Connect Box is part of Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio, a digital platform that aims to accelerate organizations’ digital transformation.
“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,” Siemens further explained. “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.”
Users can access Connect Box using a desktop or smartphone. It includes a library with more than 500 field devices, from Siemens as well as third parties. A converter supports 11 open and proprietary communication protocols, including LoRaWAN, BACnet, Modbus, and KNX.
Siemens offers two licensing models. The cloud license allows users to store their building data in the Connect Box online database, and the on-prem license enables users to integrate the data collected from IoT devices into an existing automation system, BMS, or external cloud. Both versions are managed remotely.
When introducing Connect Box, Siemens concluded its statement by pointing out, “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 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% are possible thanks to Connect Box’s key building management features.”