Contracting Smart Building technology and infrastructure
Technology has moved on at a rapid pace over the last ten years and no more so than in the buildings we occupy. Taking advantage of such rapid advances requires a different approach to contracting and managing the vast array of solutions that are now deployed in buildings if they are to operate in a seamless and integrated manor. The ICT network is at the heart of this and the Master Integrator now plays a pivotal role to successfully deploying Smart Building contracts.
Managing convergence and integration between vendors
At RedstoneConnect we understand the challenges our clients face and address them early through a methodology that aligns all parties and sub-systems in a converged IP network. Through alignment and communication of design, pre-staging, implementation, commissioning, security and validation the outcome of multi-vendor/system contracts becomes a known entity and risk is significantly reduced for the contractor and client alike. We have mastered the integrator role and provide a dedicated service that provides flexibility and choice with certainty to deliver the business outcome desired.
A proven process from a trusted partner
Buildings are more complex than ever before, technologies are smarter, and our clients are demanding more from their workplace along with greater efficiencies and higher security within their buildings. These complexities in smart buildings have an underpinning reliance on the IT infrastructure that provides the backbone to delivering these needs. Following many years of experience, RedstoneConnect have built a proven process that can be implemented and scaled from blueprint designs through to an operational managed service for clients.
• Reduce Opex
Reduce long term operating costs through single network convergence
• Future proof
Manage long-term security, compliance and validation
Contractual responsibility for delivery of the converged network
• Mitigate risk
Contractual and client risk, through a managed and proven process
• Early warning
Identification of issues early, minimising costs for clients, contractors and suppliers
• Software tools
A toolset that has been developed to assist in the delivering of complex IP infrastructures
In a network infrastructure that can be tailored to meet future occupant demands
• Best of breed
Competitive bidding on sub systems that encourages best of breed solutions
• Avoid lock-in
Single proprietary solutions being procured with long term client ‘lock-in’
The advantages of a single infrastructure reach into almost every aspect of a building — including reduced up-front construction costs, lower life-cycle costs, improved system management, enhanced back-office reporting, better service, and proactive maintenance.
Smart Buildings in their very nature require integration of multiple systems communicating with each other and as every system has some mechanism to interact with another, managing this effectively becomes a role within itself. Integration requires managing at many levels from the physical network right through to the cause and effect that one system has on another. No longer can we rely on good contractors, project managers and communications between parties to simply figure this out, the challenge today is beyond this and unless a specific organisation is tasked with this role, the desired outcome will be almost impossible to achieve.
Facility managers, developers and main contractors are no longer dependent on the manufacturers of primary control products as the sole source of bidders on their projects. New products, which are more cost effective, offer better performance and more features, will take the place of those traditional suppliers. As the market opens, competition will follow, and innovation will become paramount.
As IP has by default become the standard, with more systems and more devices connecting to IP networks than we could have ever predicted, with more to come, a role has evolved to manage the network, systems, devices and applications that are procured as part of a Smart Building contract.
Whether a single corporate network infrastructure or a split network between corporate and facilities/building systems (sometimes referred to as the ‘dirty network’) there is no getting away from the fact this must be designed, planned, deployed and managed. With the internet of things (IoT) exploding and a future where largely anything can be connected, as well as the established systems we all expect in our buildings today, the Master Integrator’s role doesn’t simply become nice to have, it becomes a necessity.
Historically IT was more straightforward. Not simple, but the engagement was simpler – the business needed a network, so they spoke to network companies who then specified a network.
Today the Master Integrator is becoming the IT department of the construction contract. The business may have extremely nebulous goals now: we need to reduce power, we need to be more efficient, we need to meet regulations – but how those aims are achieved could be any one of a number of ways. Then through those diverse ways are any number of technologies. They could span different areas – the desire to aid green credentials could be reducing the lighting in unused rooms, controlling HVAC more efficiently or cutting down on wasted print jobs. Three entirely different technology areas traditionally from different teams – but all linked to a common goal.
Managing this role is about expertise, process and technology; in that order. We are navigating the many options and taking on the role of the trusted advisor, project manager and technology partner, while managing and policing the 3rd party systems that are connected to the network such that the clients vision and aspirations are met at the end of the project.
As the Master Integrator, RedstoneConnect take away the unknowns and replace them with accountability, process and visibility.
A logical and proven process has been developed over a number of years at Redstone to deliver a fully converged network that allows interoperability, security and convergence within a typical construction project framework. For this to work, an early engagement of the Master Integrator is necessary, this will ensure all system providers are aware of the process that needs to be followed. This process should be documented in the specification of any sub-system that is to utilise the facilities network to ensure a common and compliant approach across the project.
What we are seeing in the market is the formation of a 2-tier specification coming out of the engineering community. One specification is for the specific building controls for a project. The other is for the integration of that building into the Facility network or the enterprise network.
The controls specification defines the working requirements of the facility with all of the related control sequences — what we typically see today on a single building project. The second specification —(space)defines how each building is connected to a common graphical user interface, how the higher level monitoring and control are to be performed and the cause and effect between systems.