Leveraging the Technology of High-Performance Buildings

The technology systems in new buildings can give facility managers valuable data on how their building is being used.

A wide range of forces including security, environmental concerns, market demands and regulatory factors are driving architects and building management leaders to focus on designing and constructing high performance buildings (HPBs). This movement, coupled with the drive toward advanced connectivity and the near explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, presents security professional with many challenges and opportunities.

According to the federal government and the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, an HPB has to achieve optimum efficiency on a continuous basis. This means a building has to integrate and optimize all major performance attributes including energy conservation, environment, safety, security, durability, accessibility, cost-benefit, productivity, sustainability, functionality and operational considerations in order to be considered an HPB.

However, it’s the building managers, designers, architects, and systems professionals who define HPBs on a daily basis as they make decisions to balance the multiple objectives for a specific building use. Building and facility managers need usage data and dashboards – with video and access control data included – to gain insights on how a building is being used. Any system that helps make the total environment more visible and more accessible has an opportunity within high-performance buildings.

Beyond the design elements, there’s a clear emphasis for managers to prove the worth of these buildings. When it comes to sustainability, functionality and monitoring within HPBs, managers need to be able to show data that demonstrate positive results. Because of this, there is a greater need for more and better sensing and monitoring technology. This is where security integrators and installers can come in and provide value.

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Connectivity and IoT
As connected devices become more relevant, facility designers and managers need to assure that a building’s occupants stay connected in countless ways. From controlling lights and power outlets to monitoring energy consumption, to contributing to the endless usage data stream, IoT will be leading the way.

While it’s a small percentage today, some estimate that IoT will generate approximately 10 percent of the global GDP by 2020. IoT has strong business momentum and all market projections toward 2020 are bullish. A survey by FNAC in 2014 shows that for consumers, the main categories for which connected objects can bring value are:

Security Systems

  • smart alarm systems 85%
  • smart surveillance cameras 85%
  • smart smoke detectors 80%

Health Systems

  • smart thermometers 65%
  • smart blood pressure monitors 64%
  • smart pill containers 53%

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