There are no two ways about it – new buildings will continue to incorporate more and more data collection into the infrastructure. From the headquarters and manufacturing facilities of the largest multi-national corporations to residential and retail units, intelligent infrastructure is becoming the standard for building across the country.
Creating an Intelligent Infrastructure
To take advantage of smart building capabilities, you first need to create an intelligent infrastructure. This needs a change in the way we look at a building’s infrastructure, dividing it into four important parts.
- From the start, taking on a technology consultant and creating a technology roadmap can start your building on the right foot. The former can help to identify scope gaps, identify and eliminate redundant technologies, and improve system integration. They will also help with said technology roadmap, which is needed to plan and enumerate information technology requirements, sustainability requirements, identify opportunities for future adaptability, and create a timeline looking over building use and demands for the foreseeable future – usually around 20 years. Having the right planning infrastructure is the key to a successful program
- Everything that goes into the building that you can touch – from cables to controllers, lighting to security systems – makes up the physical infrastructure. For smart buildings, this means adding in a few components not found in standard buildings, such as an integrated building management system (IBMS) that connects different physical systems so that they can communicate with each other.
- With the amount of data that will need to be collected and processed, a smart building needs a robust information infrastructure. Consisting of four main components – the IBMS, data collections, data analytics, and fault detection and diagnosis (FDD) technology – the information infrastructure allows you to apply data to your building systems so you can maximize results.
- In order to react appropriately to the data collected and processed, and to keep your smart building running at an optimal level, a well-trained service infrastructure needs to be in place. With an intelligent infrastructure, your service team will be less worried about keeping up with repairs, instead being able to create strategic service plans and look at future trends, along with potential faults and failures before they occur.
- These four infrastructures work together as a team, creating the skeleton and nerve system of your building
- Energy analysis that benchmarks key performance indicators, provides ENERGY STAR™ benchmarking, identifies billing errors from suppliers, and compares budget, pricing, actual energy costs, and potential hedging positions.
- System performance reports that can allow for an in-depth view of your infrastructure’s performance, providing insight for improving operational efficiency. This can also allow for remote access to building management systems, so reports and results can be viewed from a centralized office or maintenance center.
- Environmental analyses that can measure CO2 emissions against targets on a per building or time-based basis, collecting data in real time to measure compliance with existing external regulations. These analyses can integrate sustainability benefits into the reporting to help make decisions for further activities.
- Real-time data analytics allow you to track and improve equipment efficiencies through performance assurance reporting. You can measure and verify data against improvement projects you implement, and identify additional opportunities for energy and system performance optimization.
- All of this comes together to provide better reaction to any issues, better optimization of energy usage and spending, and constant measurement of performance indicators. Above all, it creates unrivaled transparency into your building’s performance.
Reducing Costs: By integrating systems and networks at the design phase, building can eliminate redundancies while reducing the cost of unexpected change orders. By laying out a plan for equipment acquisition and migration at an early phase, it helps you to ensure compatibility within the system. If you’re retrofitting an older building, new systems can be used in conjunction with the older systems, allowing you to maximize the potential of those systems in place. The new systems can be used to detect faults in existing systems, identifying how often they occur, and allowing you to prioritize repairs and improve response.
Enhancing Productivity: In a new building project, incorporating intelligent infrastructure can help push the project towards lean construction by identifying issues and redundancies ahead of time, and avoid change orders and budget fluctuation during the project. Older buildings will become more profitable through regulating air control, temperature, humidity, lighting, and other variables to help the systems sync up and perform better as a whole, instead of trying to regulate each one individually. By having these systems work together, you decrease individual load while increasing overall productivity.
Elevating Performance: In an existing building, incorporating intelligent infrastructure allows for building technology to be continuously monitored, meaning that faults are detected and reported instantaneously. Even better, a well-implemented infrastructure will be able to pinpoint, diagnose, and prioritize issues, directing your service infrastructure to the exact problems at the necessary times. This avoids delays in finding and diagnosing issues, as well as allowing service personnel to react with the necessary hardware, instead of delays in attaining new parts. Service moves from reactive to proactive, and allows problems to be addressed before they expand and effect the comfort of building occupants. Similarly, putting an intelligent infrastructure in news construction helps to reduce project risk and set the building up for long-term success.
Allowing for Future Adaptability: Intelligent infrastructure allows you as the building owner to plan into the future. Having a roadmap will let you integrate early systems into new systems and new solutions, instead of discarding these past investments. After all, you’ll have planned ahead. Open technology allows for constant adaptation, and you add to your investment and build on your planned evolution. This means staying ahead of the curve, and being profitable by being ready, and by ensuring compatibility.
All of this combined allows you to make your smart buildings even smarter and more efficient – which means they are better money-earners in your portfolio. Profitability is the name of the game for building owners, property managers, and investors alike, and the age of intelligent infrastructure means you can be better informed to make the right decisions. It’s not just good for the environment, or good for your tenants – it’s good for your bottom line.