What You Need Before You Can Roll Out a Smart Building
Not that long ago, smart buildings were seen as the wave of the future of commercial real estate. But the future is here now, and it's not just new developments that are being built smart. Existing buildings are being refitted as smart buildings. And while the benefits are many, from cost savings to convenience to comfort, nobody wants a poorly functioning smart building. That is why it is critical to make certain that your building is prepared for the upgrade before you go smart.
6 Things a Smart Building Requires
1. Excellent Wireless Network
At the heart of smart buildings is network connectivity. And it is also a major requirement of both building occupants and the needs of the smart devices themselves. Nowadays, a strong wireless infrastructure boils down to two factors. One is the amount of optical fibers providing high speed service throughout the building. The other is cell service. More often we're seeing cell towers built on buildings specifically to strengthen the building's wireless network.
2. Robust Security
For all the good that smart buildings offer, the one biggest weakness is the greater exposure to cybercrime. It's important that a system is in place to properly safeguard data.
3. Retrofitting Research
Part of the purpose of a smart building is to save money, and a major way to do that is to use existing structures and systems and retrofit them with the new smart devices. When doing this, it's critical to research thoroughly the interoperability of different systems.
4. Strong IT Skills
With a smart building it's more important than ever to make certain that software stays up to date. Additionally, it's unlikely that the building manager will have previous experience with the technology applications involved in a smart building. For these reasons you'll need a team ready to meet the IT challenges that a smart building requires.
5. Technology with a Long Future Life
When installing new technology, it's important to consider how long it will be around. Will you be able to get support or parts replacement in a couple of years? Or will the entire company have gone entirely out of business? By doing research into the products and companies that you choose, you'll be able to get a sense of what has true staying power.
6. Starting Small
Do not try and transform into a smart building overnight. Instead deploy automated tasks in one area, such as allowing for AI-assisted conference room booking of a single room or sensor-enabled parking spaces. Expand from there slowly, giving time to allow building managers to adjust to the new workflow, before adding additional platforms or systems.