Smart building technology allows you to control everything in your space, from an advanced HVAC system, security cameras, power outlets, LED lighting, and access points. The ultimate goal of utilizing smart building features is to make spaces more comfortable, secure, and convenient for all. However, note that having Internet of Things (IoT) tech or utilizing intelligent devices within a facility isn’t sufficient to position the specific space as a smart building. An intelligent building incorporates various connected, intelligent systems that are interoperable via a platform that detects, accumulates, anticipates, shares, and analyzes the smart building data. IoT devices serve as components that link together to form an intelligent building.
While it’s clear that smart buildings come with many benefits, many are unsure how to achieve this intelligence. At the same time, managers face many smart building project roadblocks while trying to implement these technologies. Read on as we go through the roadmap to a smart building and the roadblocks that prevent businesses from achieving this goal.
Steps to Navigate Your Smart Building Approach
Building and Technology Assessment
When considering a new facility, you should first assess some vital features. These can include facility age, computing power, compatibility with IoT, location, technology infrastructure, and integration with another platform. This evaluation can be conceptual, virtual, or both. You’ll need to consider lighting, HVAC controls, electrical infrastructure, MEP infrastructure, and critical electrical components on existing buildings. You can have a detailed survey of the facility to reveal the existing data points or the interconnection of these items. The data obtained will show whether you can upgrade the system to source more granular data.
Establish Your Smart Building Objectives
It would be best to have an end in mind while beginning this journey. Therefore, make sure you identify your short and long-term goals. Think about what you want to accomplish in the next five or ten years. Perhaps you want to attract top-tier investors or build a better brand reputation to help you gain a better competitive edge. Still, maybe you are looking for a better way to ensure compliance with regulations, or you want to lower operational costs and improve productivity. You must have a clear plan of your portfolio’s limitations and strengths to prevent unnecessary roadblocks and help inform your strategy. The smart building implementation checklist comes in handy in helping you establish your company’s specific set of goals. The proper evaluations help you avoid costly errors and understand the portfolio operation that requires improvements.
Enable the Stakeholders and Appoint a Smart Building Tech Champion
Identify an intelligent building tech project champion to gain buy-in from all the necessary departments to attain your goal. The project champion should also ensure that the procurement team is fully involved from the start. The tech champion should have the ability to bring all the teams together in support of your digital facility management program. Additionally, the individual should demonstrate a genuine passion for IoT technology and fully understand the facility management team’s daily issues.
Apply the Plan
At this point, you can apply the plan. Three issues are prioritized on the existing buildings, including facility interruptions, time of the year, and the budget. If you don’t have a separate innovation budget, you can draw a smart building budget from various departments. An intelligent building platform touches different elements of building operations, from facility management, IT, tenant well-being, and sustainability. You can begin with incremental budget adjustments across various departments to have a better chance of getting approval of your expenditure.
Upgrading infrastructure and systems will be less costly in existing buildings if you opt for products like those from FreeAxez, that are adaptive to business growth. Raised flooring systems, for example, are those that can be easily reconfigured as business priorities evolve. Also, consider creating an intelligent building upgrade plan that considers the project upgrades and schedules the facility interruptions.
Common Smart Building Project Roadblocks
With all the success of smart buildings, there are still various hindrances preventing the implementation of this innovation. But as we all know, no road worth traveling is without roadblocks that hinder success. Below are the smart building project roadblocks.
IT and Cybersecurity
Organizations often put their individual IoT components and the intelligent building system on the same network. Although companies opt for this option because it seems more cost-effective, it may not be ideal. In fact, the biggest challenge in utilizing a single network is the inherent cybersecurity risk. A good example is the 2013 Target data breach. Many companies are now opting out of their configuration by having a dedicated network for their intelligent building components.
Lack of an Intelligent Building Champion
Note that intelligent building is cutting edge in both the technology required and the vision for the future to achieve real intelligence. As a result, you need an internal champion who can implement such great undertakings of a truly encompassing and intelligent building. The internal champion should build a team and have a budget with adequate provisions to push and achieve smart building integration. The champion should also have visibility and insight into the numerous aspects of the desired integration and the enterprise’s mission, including productivity, security, operations, and more.
Whether you want to implement the intelligent building system on an existing building or one under construction, you’ll need sufficient space. This is a significant hindrance to many companies implementing a successful smart building and IoT. Prior decisions are crucial in determining how intelligent your building can be.
The proper application of IoT technology will enable easy integration of today’s emerging technologies. Also, as you look into implementing intelligent building integration, you need to consider cabling infrastructure, building out additional power, capacity, and space for the future. Therefore, you should collaborate with an industry leader in the cable management system, to help you with the cabling distribution.