Building environmental monitoring

Building monitoring can be a challenge in an existing building where there is not easy access to power or data cabling. Modern buildings often have a wealth of environmental sensors to help monitor and control the building and help to run it efficiently. Building managers need internal monitoring to be able to identify areas of concern and tune the building to be as efficient as possible.

Business Challenge

 To provide a building-wide environmental monitoring system, in an older building, that is both unobtrusive and easy to install. Provide business data and reporting to allow for informed decision making.


Open Data Manchester worked with Sensorstream to deploy a system that provides building environmental and occupancy data without the need for expensive infrastructure or building modifications, whilst providing a clear and concise real-time view of the building environments.


  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Low power sensor-based building environmental data monitoring
  • Secure web-based dashboard reporting of real-time and historic data
  • Unobtrusive easy to deploy sensors
  • Simple battery operation for over 1 year
  • Simply deploy and forget installation
  • Comprehensive data exports

Business Challenge

Environmental monitoring of an existing building

The ability to monitor and report on the environmental factors within a building are important to building managers. Many new buildings have these types of sensors built-in but existing buildings often struggle to provide the necessary power and cabling to allow sensors to be meaningfully deployed.
Often existing buildings are unable to deploy cable-based sensors but also struggle with traditional wireless sensors because of the original materials used for the construction of the building and as a result do not get a reliable reading from the sensors.
Installing sensors into an existing building can often be inconvenient, disruptive and expensive.


Results Story

Delivering building monitoring at minimal cost

To solve the challenge, Sensorstream has developed a range of sensors that utilise a new long-range, low power radio frequency-based sensor.
The Action Monitor gathers environmental data, temperature, humidity, light levels and movement in a compact easy deployed battery-powered package. The data is securely relayed in real-time to the Sensorstream servers and a web dashboard provides a clear and concise overview for the building manager.
The data can also be easily integrated into existing management dashboards via an API or data can be exported for offline analysis.
The Sensorstream Action Monitor allows building managers to better understand how the building operates and identify areas for improvement. Lights being left on overnight or heating running over the weekend can be a big issue and an area where money can easily be saved.
Working with Open Data Manchester, Sensorstream was able to come up with a deployment plan to install a number of Action Monitors throughout the building to help monitor key areas and meeting rooms.
The ability to see how the heating and cooling system affect the building and where people are using the building allows building managers to adjust the heating schedules. This, in turn, provides ongoing energy savings as well as reduces carbon footprint.


Business Challenge Story

Environmental monitoring of an existing building

The Manchester-based client was able to use data gathered to provide deep insights as to how the building behaves at any given time and also how long temperature changes took to take effect. This allowed changes to be made to heating cycles which, in turn, allowed the building to be operated more efficiently and reduce heating and electricity bills.
The ability to reduce the carbon footprint in an existing building can often be a significant challenge but the Action Monitors installation provides the necessary information to achieve this.
The “Stick and Go” installation method was a big benefit and allowed the building to be retrofitted using the Action Monitors resulting in minimum disruption both to the building fabric and the building users.


In partnership with The Sensorstream Action Monitor system, the network and reporting suite provided all the key ingredients to make this project possible for Open Data Manchester

About Open Data Manchester

Open Data Manchester has been leading the way in open data practice in Manchester since 2010. It was set up as an advocacy group to encourage and share open data practice between public bodies, businesses and citizens alike. It has been instrumental in the setting up of DataGM and various other open data initiatives in Greater Manchester and beyond. It is most well known for bringing together communities of practice to help disseminate and share knowledge, participate in policy making and support organisations using data.