- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 24 Jun 2022
Motion, occupancy or vacancy sensors are used in a variety of situations within and around buildings, for security and lighting control as well as more continual in-use monitoring and assessment. A key specification of sensors that monitor use on a more continual basis is that they need to do so whilst maintaining the privacy of individuals and thus comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Below a variety of different examples are given.
Passive infrared (PIR) sensors- are small, low powered and cost effective, they sense a changes in temperature between the background and a warm heat emitting body. Everything emits low-level radiation, the pyro-electric sensor detects the differing levels of infrared radiation and thus senses movement or presence. Also called presence detectors these might be used within rooms such as offices, cubicles such as in washrooms or on the underside or desks or tables to detect occupancy.
Microwave sensors have a wider range but are more expensive, vulnerable to electrical interference and with the ability to penetrate surfaces which can cause false alarms. Continuous waves of microwave radiation or a high radio frequency are sent outwards and the reflections off an object are measured by noting the shift in frequency as the waves return.
 Dual tech/hybrid
Dual tech/hybrid sensors are a combination of the above, so that both sensors need to sense changes to cause a trigger which reduces the number of false alarms, from wind movement or temperature changes etc.
 People counters
People counters are a more general term for any of the above that focus on recording the number of occupants at a post or entering and leaving a space, they do so through a variety of technical means.
Time-of flight sensors are similar to people counters, often using the reflection of an infrared beam on a sensor, to calculate if occupants are moving towards or away from a point, for example as an entry/exit sensor.
Infrared arrays use the same technology as described above but have greater capacity to detect directional movement within spaces and as such are able to assess how occupants might move around a building or room.
 People flow sensors
People flow sensors, is a more generic term for sensors that can detect more accurately movement in a space in the same way infrared arrays can. These can monitor the real-time movement or flow of people around a space. They only detect movement, not faces, and as such are not cameras which makes them privacy and GDPR compliant.
- Access control.
- Commercial security systems.
- Digital door lock market.
- Distributed fibre-optic strain sensors
- Electric motor.
- Electrical energy.
- Electrical power.
- Entry control.
- Home security solutions market.
- How door locks work.
- MEMS and Sensors Market Segments, Size, Emerging Growth Factors, Top Key Players and Business Opportunities till 2027
- Outbuildings security.
- Perimeter security.
- Proximity access control system.
- Security and the built environment.
- Security glazing.
- Types of alarm.
- Types of door.
- Types of lock.
- Types of sensors.
- Ubiquitous sensors to assess energy consumption and wellbeing in domestic environments
- Visitor door entry system.
- Volatile organic compounds VOC
Featured articles and news
Two new research reports published by APM.
50% off APM Associate membership for Designing Buildings users.
A commentary from the insurance perspective.
In brief with further links.
A definitive book on a pioneer of green architecture.
Using heritage as a catalyst for reviving historic centres.
Declaration prioritising sustainable urbanisation adopted.
Some brief words about the actuator.
After 34 years at the Institute.
To support the next generation of engineers.
CIAT reporting from the Competition and Markets Authority.
Making sustainable construction number one priority.
Interview with ECA CEO.
Many provisions came into force on June 28, 2022.
With room to expand.
Refurbishment, Energy Efficiency, Indoor air and process.
Why building acoustic considerations must be non-negotiable.
Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) is one example.
Inventors and innovators at ICE.
Life, death and art at the Stuart court. Book review.
Real estate, place adaptation and innovation.
Review and comment on the revised draft before July 11.
Write about something you know, help us build and grow !
A blended event and triumphant return.
Mark Reynolds succeeds Andy Mitchell as Co-Chair of CLC