Ayo Smart Building Technology
With the surge of demand for increases in efficiencies by developers and businesses themselves, carbon emission reductions, and wholly-unified workplaces, commercial buildings are fast-becoming more intelligent. Rather than just delivering technology to individuals/contents within a building, Smart Buildings have this technology embedded into their fabric. Developers and construction firms are fast becoming aware of this new state of affairs, and most are now implementing preparation for such technologies into their build specifications. The main four derived drivers of Smart Buildings include Technology, Integration, Flexibility and Longevity (Chinnelli, 2020).
The huge rise in Smart Buildings and Smart Technology implementation is driven by a variety of factors – these could be categorised by economic, technological, and energy efficiencies. For example, energy consumption of the building itself – with HVAC systems, heating, lighting and power usage is monitored and automated autonomously, ultimately helping to reduce both the carbon consumption of the building, cost of electricity and heating.
Ayo Smart Building
Each coloured dot can be matched with a use-case in the example environment above
Voice & Data ◉
Building Mgt (BMS) ◉
Backbone/Supporting Infrastructure ◉
A large driving factor of Smart Buildings of course comes down to rapid acceleration of new technologies – notably data cable. From the 1990’s data cable was used merely for data/connectivity transfer at rates of no more than 10mbps – we’re now at a point in time where data cables can achieve 1,000 x this speed, 15-20 X frequencies, and even power devices at the other end with the same cable. In the last 5 years, authorities have passed much higher powers (W/Watts) of data cable, opening the door for an even greater range of technology it can power. Thus, the evolution of the data cable, in terms of network capabilities and also improvements in power capabilities, has bridged a lot of the gaps that would have made today’s ‘Smart Building’ look an impossibility even 10 years ago.
As you may know, our Hosted Telecoms solutions can be powered by the network cable which serves them. Through use of PoE (Power Over Ethernet) fibre cabling throughout a building, combined with the systems mentioned above, examples such as office lighting can be powered and regulated by a central unit (in network cabinet), with the power consumption over PoE sitting at around 75% less than that of standard electrical cables, and the PoE-enabled lighting lasting 25 X longer than standard incandescent lighting (Primex, 2018).
However, in terms of existing commercial buildings where this smart technology is just as applicable and vital, there is still a huge lack of even basic fibre-optic or high-performance data cabling. Of course, it’s far more straightforward implementing such technology into a ‘new build’, than it is overhauling an existing building – but it can be done, with the correct survey, planning and experience. The problem for many is that given most buildings without such existing technology and structured cabling were built before much of this technology was ever a consideration, their construct and architecture is rarely forgiving or accommodative for such implementation – thus in-depth surveys (occasionally with the expertise of a QS if warranted), robust planning and some ultra-lateral thinking are some of the essential requirements when carrying out such a project. In terms of planning for both WLAN & LAN network, we’d carry out an on-site survey of the building to ascertain the general structure & architecture, from here we’d investigate the best placement and routes for cable runs & carry out network testing in order to achieve network heat maps to work from.