Question: What could be better than building a Smart Building where the lighting, HVAC, security and access controls communicate together on a common network and lower operating costs by reducing energy consumption and maintenance?
Answer: Building this Smart Building for less cost than a traditional building.
It may sound impossible, but we’ve done it. We have been working with property owners, developers, construction companies and architects to develop a Smart Building practice utilizing technology to provide not only greater control of the building systems, but to do so in a manner without incremental cost at the construction phase. This is analogous to providing the benefits of 6-lane super highway for the same cost as a gravel road.
Utilizing traditional construction methods, a building would require a combination of disparate networks for maintaining the building’s HVAC, lighting, security and access systems. Economies can be driven by combining all these applications on to one common network and using HVAC, lighting, security and access controllers which incorporate Ethernet connectivity. In addition to eliminating multiple networks, the use of IP native solutions provides deployment cost savings, as they do not require conduit and use lower cost twisted pair wiring.
In two recent opportunities, the ‘Smart Building Design’ drove over $400K of CAPEX cost out of the construction of a downtown Toronto hotel and over $600K cost out of a commercial office tower. The key to achieving these cost savings is being able to influence the design at the early architecture stage and the collaboration among the providers of the HVAC, lighting, security and access solutions working together in a win-win situation.
Not all companies have embraced this new way of designing and constructing buildings. However, new Smart Building collaboration processes require consultants, architects and construction companies to step outside of their comfort zone. In the future, this will become common practice as both clients and tenants demand greater energy conservation and increased amenities within their building.
After all, who doesn’t want more for less?