The Cloud Comes Down To The Ground: Siemens’s Building X Offers An Integrated View Into Building Operations

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The Cloud Comes Down To The Ground: Siemens’s Building X Offers An Integrated View Into Building Operations

On 29 June 2022, Siemens launched Building X, an open, AI-enabled suite of software products for the building management market. Progressing from its other IoT offerings, such as MindSphere, an industrial IoT solution geared towards manufacturing environments, Siemens is targeting the buildings sector by offering an attractive price point for their IoT gateway. 

At the heart of Building X is a data lake that consolidates building operations data from myriad, disparate sources into a single structured repository. A series of applications atop the data lake enables users to draw on this structured data to capture relationships between specific assets and drive the digitisation of operations through heavy use of digital twins to visualize insights. 

  • The platform currently covers four key domains with more to be added over time.
  • Energy management includes monitoring energy consumption, CO2 emissions and associated costs, which supports net zero target performance monitoring. 
  • Security management comprises building access monitoring, alarm and incident tracking and other daily security operations. 
  • Operations management covers multiple sites and includes HVAC equipment control and preventative maintenance. 
  • And the 360° Viewer App allows the user to navigate through a 3D virtual environment to take accurate virtual measurements, which then enables more effective planning of visits and maintenance.

The solution is aimed at healthcare, financial institutions and retail amongst other sectors as they have some combination of large footprints and complexity in their operations and can gain the most from digitising operations.

Siemens joins a growing number of established building technology firms who have launched smart building cloud platforms: Schneider Electric (EcoStruxure, November 2016); Johnson Controls (OpenBlue, July 2020); Carrier (Abound, April 2021); and Honeywell, partnered with SAP (Forge Real Estate Operations, May 2021). 
So, what’s different about Building X? It’s early days but the Verdantix take is that Siemens’s second generation of open IoT platform has been ‘right-sized’ for the built environment. The company offers users the chance to ‘try before they buy’ the various apps available on the platform, greatly reducing risk. 

Firms contemplating investment in smart building platforms should assess the breadth of functionality the platform offers and the scalability of the solution, as seen in our Buyer’s Guide on IoT platforms. Building X breaks down data silos to make clean, meaningful data accessible to all stakeholders. Our recent Tech Roadmap research identified data accessibility as a key barrier to digital twin development. More mature firms could benefit from an effective digital twin, especially for optimizing complex workflows and improving prediction of equipment failures. 

Product innovation in the IoT market is evolving at a rapid rate as customers demand regular product developments. Siemens will thus need to introduce more advanced technologies and capabilities, such as workplace or facilities management services, to ensure Building X remains a competitive solution in a crowded market. In addition to established incumbents, connected portfolio intelligence platforms (CPIP) vendors and other technology services firms are vying to cover multiple use cases using cloud-based solutions. 

Read our related research for more insights on smart building platforms and digital twins: Green Quadrant: IoT Platforms For Smart Buildings 2022, 2022 Tech Roadmap: Facilities Optimization Software, High Value Use Cases For Smart Building Digital Twins.

Amelia Feehan

Senior Analyst

Amelia is a Senior Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. Her current research agenda focuses on digital twins, IoT solutions and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) software. Prior to joining Verdantix, Amelia worked as a façade engineer at Arup, where she gained experience in sustainable building design and construction. She holds an MEng in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering from Trinity College Dublin.