One of the effects of the impact of IoT on the consumption monitoring sector has been to initiate a process of transformation of the attribution of value from the object (the measuring instrument) to the subject (the data and its processing). The transformation of measurement into a commodity is an objective fact, which has naturally also brought with it the redefinition of the importance of related services and, above all, the focus on the management platform as the heart of the system. Paradoxically, this process has made the need for reliable hardware capable of giving precise measurements without breaking down or losing the signal even more important. Up to this point, it has been a simple process of improving the adaptation of a system to the possibilities offered by technological evolution.
Today we are seeing a demand for solutions capable of managing energy consumption monitoring together with environmental parameters. This is a major process of redefining the boundaries of measurement, made possible by the evolution of management software and wireless technologies. However, this transformation would have had a very different timing if it had not received the "bitter" push of the health emergency, which has acted on two fronts: redefining the spending priorities of companies (primum vivere) and the need for new technological equipment for the safe management of work spaces (production plants, offices, but also large-scale retail trade, retail, public administration).
What are environmental parameters?
We can define environmental parameters as all those measurable values indicative of the state of healthiness and safety of an indoor or outdoor environment. Carbon dioxide (CO2), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), PM 10 and 2.5, Temperature, Humidity and Light, Radon have taken on a strategic role. This is both because of their capacity as direct indicators of pollution levels and because of their relevance in the management of the so-called Covid-19 emergency. The concentration of CO2 is a valid parameter for measuring gatherings of people in enclosed spaces. These elements are directly related to safety; light, humidity and temperature, on the other hand, intervene in the management of well-being (which has a direct effect on the efficiency and concentration of workers. They also have an impact on occupational well-being, because they allow people to breathe better, light workstations more efficiently and improve productivity.
Equipping oneself with tools to optimise consumption has a further and more urgent significance, in addition to the imperative of a company's environmental sustainability. In other words, today there is a need for tools that compensate for the increase in energy consumption resulting from the use of tools for maintaining and managing environmental health.
Some questions for the future
However, there is the issue of data verification and certification. While for some parameters the hardware instrumentation is certified in the field (e.g. MIDs) and is functional for compliance with certain laws (see 102) and standards (see ISO 50001), many aspects outlined above are not yet certifiable. This is the case, for example, for reports on reductions in pollutant emissions from production facilities. Can we actually certify CO2 emission offsets? The subject is still unclear and open to misunderstanding. Without prejudice to good intentions, how can we be sure that the offsetting has actually taken place? Or that the eco-sustainability operation will turn into a mere communication operation? In the near future, we will undoubtedly see more and more hybridisation between technological integration and digital certification of the data collected.
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