Getting it right first time
A smart building system is no longer just a fancy must have. A well designed and carefully planned smart building system will provide increased value for money by saving on your energy used and allowing you to strategically control your building for the best and most efficient use by controlling the following areas:
- Optimal user convenience through intelligent automation of:
- Building Services – boilers, air conditioning & ventilation.
- Essential Services – lighting control, security & access.
- Entertainment Services –home cinema, multi-room audio, music & TV.
- Distributed AV – Conference rooms, interactive media, AV lounge spaces
- Enhancing services – passive heat control.
- Improved building efficiency such as energy saving for the changing weather.
- Operational efficiency – 24/7 monitoring allows for fast rectification of problems.
- Simple user controls to give optimum building operation of intelligent automation.
The following steps are key when designing a smart building system and help avoid future problems:
1. Have an integration plan. A smart building integration plan is a great starting point. It is important to select systems with open protocols that meet the highest levels of integration whilst still ensuring that each node of your smart building system is still providing the desired specification.
2. Develop a common control platform. Historically speaking, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were designed to stand alone without integration being considered. Consequently, these systems developed over time in isolation with both manufacture and installation. In more recent years many manufacturers have realised the essential need to provide their products with “bolt on” common integration control connection like bus based communication protocols and IP networked hardware. These IP network connected hardware and bus communication systems should allow different manufacturers hardware and software to integrate with each other, creating a system of parts to work in concert with each other as a whole. We have also seen approx. 99% of all technology based hardware now adopt free smart phone apps for “out the box” single manufacturer control with a few multi branded control apps being offered by group companies with the affiliated brands. Installer trades have been keen to push the app based single and multiple system control apps for simple control and hassle free setting up, but less accepting of non-affiliated manufacturers being connected. This is largely due to installers wanting a simple fit and go approach and often a lack of appreciation of the importance of integration control to the end user. This leads to installer trades designing their systems short on integration thus reducing the capability of the building systems as a whole and actually providing lower value for money despite their low quote based on their fit and go policy.
3. Collaborative annual service plan. Smart technology system collaboration between installation trades and client/end users is not just desirable it is essential to gaining the best complete system for the installed budget with a designed service and sustainability over a specified lifespan. Considerate collaboration amongst the installation trades is also as important to the client as it is for the trades themselves, by allowing all the experienced trades to be retained as a “good team” with a valued year on year service plan to the client. Should the future plans change you have your “good team” of installers on hand to redesign the system again in concert and supportive of each other.
Modo Solutions have spent years integrating with and assisting other trades helping you get it right first time!
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