In a lot of buildings, the most important systems – heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) are sourced via different vendors and therefore serviced under separate contracts. This is because traditionally most buildings are built with separate contractors for mechanical (HVAC), electrical (lighting), conveyance (elevators/escalators), and any other systems used during the build process. This therefore means that each system used is assessed and chosen separately without integration in mind.
Cost wise, this is the cheapest way to deliver all the features needed to run a building, but reduces the possibility of realising a smart building as integration relies on each component being compatible. Some smart systems i.e a smart lighting system can remain independent of the HVAC or elevator, but this reduces the opportunities derived from the data collected by the lighting system.
However, the data collected by the lighting system such as location and occupancy data can be used to optimise elevators, determine temperature settings at each location and more. This will help with energy efficiency and optimize comfort for building residents. Many building owners have integrated their systems to yield these benefits and many more.
A big question is whether vendors will come together and make their equipment and software’s around industry standards, making integration more efficient and cost effective. At the moment integration is a custom engagement, limiting the addressable market and driving up costs as there is a lot of work to do.
If you missed part 3 of this series, click here for ‘What’s Best… One Of Cost Or Recurring Software Service Costs? … (Part 3 Of A 5 Part Series)’