24 Aug 2018

As we discussed digital buildings and their benefits in our previous post, we now have to take a look at the demand they put on a cabling infrastructure. A properly designed, high-performance cabling infrastructure is what brings these digital buildings to life. All of the data is circulating throughout the category cabling and allows the systems to communicate. If the systems aren’t communicating properly, it can lead to a variety of issues. 

 

Let’s take a look at the demands on a digital building’s structured cabling system.

More Cables

There is a possibility that upgrading a structured cabling system will result in a higher number of cables in order to support a digital building. This will depend on the building’s current network infrastructure set up. To avoid using additional cables, some will chose to use a smaller-diameter cable to save space and for faster and easier installation. 

Higher Power Levels

Outdated cabling infrastructure will not be able to support a digital building’s power level. PoE allows data and power to be safely transmitted over a single standard network cable. This then allows wireless access points, cameras, etc, to be deployed anywhere in the building.  As digital buildings keep getting smarter and more complex, the power they require will also keep increasing.   

Increased Temperature

As more power is running through these outdated network cables, their internal temperature can increase significantly. This can cause an increase in insertion loss and a chance for unplanned downtime throughout the building’s network. In addition, cables packed too tightly in trays can cause even more heat throughout the cabling system – which can lead to many costly issues. 

More Bandwidth 

In addition to the number of systems communicating through the digital building’s network, more and more people are connecting to it with their tablets, phones, and computers. If a building doesn’t have enough bandwidth, it will cause connectivity issues and slow down the network. This is common in sports stadiums as thousands of people are connecting with their devices. 

 

Looking to upgrade your structured cabling infrastructure to meet the demands of your building? Let’s talk about how we can help. Get in touch with us here!

 

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17 Aug 2018

By definition, a smart building is any structure that uses automated processes to automatically control the building’s operations including ventilation, heating, cooling, lighting, security, fire alarm, and other systems. The building uses sensors and microchips in order to collect and manage data flowing through each system based on the building’s functions and services. This infrastructure efficiently communicates what’s going on in the building to facility managers and occupants. These systems integrate with the goal of reducing energy consumption, reduce operational costs, minimize impact on the environment, and become a more productive place to live or work. We can see that with each year, buildings are becoming more dynamic and intelligent – which optimizes overall performance.

 

Optimizing Performance 

Connected Systems

Throughout a building, there are a lot of systems involved in improving the safety, comfort, and productivity of the occupants. Whether it’s an access control system, fire alarm system, or HVAC system – the better they are able to communicate with one another, the better they are able to serve the occupants. For example, a building can use the information from a security system to determine when occupants are not present and turn off lights or cooling to reduce costs. 

Cost Savings 

Consider a smart building one giant “supersystem” of a bunch of connected subsystems. As mentioned in the example above, the HVAC system turns down the air because of the information given by the security system. This saves energy consumption and overall cost.  As all of these interconnected systems are constantly communicating and finding new paths to reduce consumption and becoming more productive, costs are being significantly reduced.  

Environmentally Friendly

This supersystem continuously flowing with data and information allows facility managers in charge of sustainability to see the bigger picture of the building. They are able to detect what systems are running effectively, what systems are using a larger amount of energy, and make better decisions for the future of the building. The more aware managers are of how their buildings are running, the more they are able to make mindful changes in decreasing their carbon foot print. 

Connecting to the Smart Power Grid

Smart buildings are able to take their efforts outside the walls of the structure by connecting to the smart grid. Electricity markets are evolving in order to become closer to ‘real-time’ – which means that buildings can receive requests to reduce demand when costs are high or reliability is jeopardized. For example, a smart grid might be programmed to read the weather forecast, which can anticipate an increase in demand if there is a rise in temperature. They can then offer the smart building an incentive for any decrease in its average electricity use. 

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We’d love to help your building become more productive with various information technology systems. Get in touch with us here!