The term ‘intelligent building’ has become part of the common vernacular for most professionals working in the construction, IT, building services and related industries. When it is used, we all think we know what it means but coming up with a universal definition is not as easy as it seems. For instance, are those that use the term ‘smart building’ even referring to the same thing?
In order to gain a sense of perspective on the topic, Boston Networks Business Development Manager, Chris Burns, joined a panel of experts in this month’s Inside Networks to define the key features of an Intelligent Building and look at the role the network infrastructure plays in getting the most from smart technology.
The proof lies in the planning.
What makes a building Intelligent? Essentially, an Intelligent Building is a building in which the use of technology and process create a safer and more productive environment for its occupants and more operationally efficient for its owners. Thus dependant on the occupants the ‘key features’ will diversify accordingly.
Regardless of the buildings users or business purpose, System operability lies at the heart of any Intelligent Building solution and the IP network, often referred to as the fourth utility, is the pillar of any Intelligent Building Infrastructure.
The network infrastructure remains critical to the levels of innovation, reliability and performance achievable within an organisation and as a result has grown increasingly complex in terms of scale, speed and technology. A converged network delivers the mechanism to control, manage and maintain multiple systems centrally, thus accelerating the opportunity for interoperability and information sharing.
The criticality of future proofing the infrastructures is now a significant demand coupled with the relentless request for bandwidth, higher speeds and more efficient data storage. With the progression from Category 5E to Category 6A/7 and POE to POE+ and beyond, the scope of capability has greatly widened in regards to flexibility on the network systems architecture, performance and green credentials.
To truly maximise your investment and deploy a scalable solution, it’s important to explore your immediate business requirements but your long term, growth strategy should not be overlooked. The snowballing volumes of data and increasing demand to access it further highlights the necessity of an expertly designed network infrastructure; to deliver a stable foundation for an Intelligent Building solution.
The physical design of a converged network, should always sensibly distribute consolidation points to facilitate the addition of future devices and their connection to the network. The due diligence demonstrated during the planning and deployment phases, to deliver the efficient combination of technology, software and protocols, will enhance convergence potential, appreciably increase efficienciesand deliver a future proof infrastructure.
Essentially by deploying a robust and scalable IP network your Intelligent Building will become an effective, efficient business asset and accelerate the potential to benefit from the adoption of multiple technologies. Chris Burns, Business Development Manager, Boston Networks.