There are no secrets to creating a smarter, safer and more comfortable connected building environment for employees, visitors and occupants. Smart technology deployed in strategic ways enables this type of environment, creating innovative, optimized, efficient and sustainable spaces that deliver connected experiences for the people who work there.
By establishing the desired outcomes, along with the “as is” baseline and the “to be” measurements such as key performance indicators, at the beginning of a project with input from all stakeholders involved, you can more easily choose building, business and vertical market systems that can help bring your vision to life.
Part of this process includes determining which technologies are needed to achieve this vision. With an outcome and metric-driven approach, all decisions remain focused on the end goal. This better enables an on-schedule and on-budget project that delivers measurable outcomes on day one.
Facilities that have existing technology in place can achieve goals by strategically integrating previously siloed building systems such as HVAC, security, lighting and building automation systems. For example, if your overall goal is to reduce energy use and increase operational efficiency, security, lighting and HVAC systems can be integrated with the building automation system to help control energy spend. When an occupant badges into their building, the security management system communicates with the building automation system, automatically enabling HVAC and lighting within the appropriate zone. When the occupant badges out of the building, the appropriate lighting and HVAC will shut down.
When designing a new building — or updating one with outdated systems — intelligent technology can be integrated to lay the groundwork for future improvements. For example, connected lighting provides a platform for future smart integrations, such as incorporating video surveillance or advanced analytics.
Another benefit to systems integrations is an increase in data supplied by your building’s main systems. Building leaders and management can analyze information such as occupancy flow or peak hours of operation to optimize their building’s processes for improved efficiency and comfort. Analytics stemming from technology integration enables managers to make informed business decisions that provide long-term impact.
Whether you are embarking on a new construction project, retrofitting an existing building or refreshing technology, creating a smart facility is possible. Simply focus on the ultimate function of the building and determine how you will measure success, then begin the process of determining how it’s built.
By integrating building, business and systems onto a unified, intelligent infrastructure from the beginning, you can have a bigger impact on lifecycle costs, operate more efficiently and sustainably, all while achieving the desired measurable outcomes for the occupants within. With the right plan, partners and technologies, any building can be smart.
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