Simple Networks are better networks
When talking about functionality, people consistently say that simple is better. If things become too complicated usability can become difficult and as a result the frequency of use may decrease. While repairs and maintenance costs soar, it happens with almost everything. If a tool, process or system is simple there is less risk of failure.
With this in mind let’s take a look at how building cabling has been done traditionally. Each system in a normal high-rise has to-date operated independently, meaning that it functioned on its own unique cable and data protocol. Whether it’s HVAC, access control, emergency lighting or even energy monitoring, there could be anything from two to twenty discrete networks running in a standard high-rise. Each system needed to be individually monitored, maintained and managed in order to keep the building working and the property and tenants safe.
However, new integrated and accessible technology has made it unnecessary to install all these discrete “clunky” networks. Telco grade cable infrastructure means all of these systems can be run over a single fibre and centrally managed using one of many software platforms available that allow buildings to be “smart”. Service calls can happen automatically when maintenance or repair is needed. Imagine engineers being on site before a system fails rather than after. Building managers can have easy access to a building’s global overview from anywhere enabling them to monitor and manage one or even multiple buildings and assets at the same time.
Sounds good, yes? So why are “Smart” Buildings not common place? Why are new high-rise developments still using an overly complicated cabling infrastructure when there is a better, smarter and cheaper option available? Simply put, it’s a lack of knowledge of what’s now available by decision makers, also a ‘doing what’s always been done’ with the mentality of ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Only it is ‘broke’ because future owners have grown up expecting a higher level of technology, who have a conscience when it comes to being environmentally aware and who want to manage their own power consumptions to be greener and to save costs.
Thankfully, system vendors are beginning to realise the benefits in the world of IP and are recognising the value in unifying onto one common platform embracing technology rather than playing catch up from it, as they have been. Developers are seeing the benefits that smart building services offer in terms of cost saving and adding to property value. High rise development is escalating and potential buyers are being swayed by how smart the building is. Not only is ‘futureproof’ a nice and reassuring term, it can actually be a true statement. Knowing that over the next 25 years or so that your investment will always be ready in terms of building technology is a very real selling point and of course having a proactive approach to asset management as opposed to a reactive approach can significantly reduce body corporate expenses. It’s time to decide... Are you ready to use / learn more about this integrated and accessible technology? A small but worthwhile learning curve will bring you up to speed with this technology and put you in touch with all the facts and put you in a significantly better place to make a well informed and smart decision.