Device Layer: IAQ

Kaiterra / LinkedIn

February 1, 2020
December 31, 2024
sq. ft.

Project Overview

Kaiterra provided indoor air quality monitoring and optimization solutions, including hardware sensors, a software platform, and IAQ data analysis, for 6 of LinkedIn's office buildings across 4 continents. By analyzing insights from over 6 billion data points, opportunities were identified to optimize spaces and systems, improving employee experience and energy efficiency. Kaiterra worked closely with LinkedIn's workplace and facilities teams to implement low-cost improvements that led to a 67% improvement in CO2 levels, creating a better workplace experience for LinkedIn's employees.

Project Scope

When LinkedIn started working with Kaiterra in early 2020, they had an ambitious vision: to create the most exceptional workplace on the planet. Their goal was to provide more than just a safe, inclusive, and accessible environment. Their aim extended to creating a space that fosters a sense of belonging, supports overall well-being, and motivates employees to reach their full potential. The focus quickly shifted to indoor air quality (IAQ), recognizing its significant impact not just on employee health and well-being, but also on critical aspects of cognitive function such as productivity, creativity, and decision-making. Given these objectives, it became evident that IAQ required continuous measurement, monitoring, and optimization.

Kaiterra collaborated with LinkedIn and their consultants at DLR Group to install over 1000 Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitors in six LinkedIn office locations across Sunnyvale, Dublin, Shanghai, and Sydney. These IAQ monitors are hardwired to ensure continuous operation and prevent any potential data loss. The use of power-over-ethernet (PoE) was particularly beneficial, allowing for a streamlined installation. Additionally, these IAQ monitors are BACnet compatible, enabling integration with Building Automation Systems (BAS) and further automation capabilities if needed.

IAQ data was collected at a one-minute interval. Kaiterra provided a cloud-based software platform for data viewing and analytics. LinkedIn could also pull the data into its own data lake for further analysis using an API.

However, simply monitoring IAQ and accessing the data isn’t enough. The challenge is processing the data to provide guidance on building operations and future design and construction projects. With over 1000 monitors in place, 16 million data points were generated daily. This was particularly challenging for IAQ because IAQ data cannot be analyzed in isolation without contextual information - space types, occupant capacity data, floorplans, mechanical ventilation designs, VAV systems, FCUs, outdoor air quality and weather data, etc.

Kaiterra developed a comprehensive model of LinkedIn's built environment, enhancing it with contextual information and additional data sources. This approach enabled an effective analysis of vast data amounts. For instance, raw data was not only examined through time-series trend graphs but also used to retroactively calculate the ACH rate (air changes per hour). This calculation quickly highlighted risk areas. Moreover, Kaiterra conducted analyses of air quality patterns across different rooms. These analyses revealed similarities in patterns, pointing to a common issue originating from the shared mechanical ventilation system. In some spaces, elevated CO2 levels were detected. However, by integrating occupancy data from external sources, it became apparent that the cause was not the presence of occupants, but rather the design of the ventilation system itself.

Based on different issues and their causes, solutions were provided to the operations team including maintenance of specific fan coil units, updates to room use policy, and changes to the BMS control logic. The results were significant - CO2 levels improved by 67% and HVAC runtime reduced by 32%, leading to better employee experience and energy efficiency.

‍Why It's Important

With the increased emphasis on indoor air quality (IAQ) since COVID-19, many companies are keen on monitoring IAQ to ensure a safe and healthy environment for their employees. However, a common challenge emerges post-installation of IAQ monitors: companies often find themselves overwhelmed and uncertain about how to effectively utilize the vast amounts of data generated.

The LinkedIn project provides an excellent example for those considering large-scale deployment of IAQ sensors or any IoT sensors. It provides comprehensive insights from the initial planning stages to sourcing, installation, commissioning, and final wrap-up. However, the real distinction is that, unlike many IoT projects that struggle to convert data into tangible value, Kaiterra and LinkedIn managed to translate complex IAQ data into a series of decisive actions. This approach led to significant improvements in the built environment, occupant health, and employee experience.

This project serves as a critical lesson for all IoT initiatives: the ultimate goal isn’t merely to collect data but to harness it in a way that drives tangible outcomes. It exemplifies how correctly applied IoT strategies can transform data into impactful improvements.

The Future

Kaiterra and LinkedIn are continuing their collaboration to review and analyze the IAQ data from the six buildings. This provides ongoing insights into the built environment as the spaces and buildings evolve and adapt to new use cases. New algorithms and metrics are being added to the platform to help identify further optimization opportunities and meet any new requirements from building certifications like LEED v5.

Additionally, Kaiterra is working with LinkedIn to explore how IAQ data can be combined with other data sources, such as occupancy data, to uncover new possibilities. LinkedIn is assessing the feasibility of expanding IAQ monitoring across its entire global real estate portfolio to provide a world-class workplace experience for all employees globally.


Learn more about Kaiterra.

No items found.