Smart buildings continue to hold a prominent role in the evolution of commercial building solutions. Constructing new facilities with the appropriate technology to improve efficiencies and self-regulate essential functions has become the new standard with the cutting edge. However, there are plenty of efforts to renovate and update existing commercial buildings and their infrastructures to support this technology, as well. What many facility managers are surprised to discover is that integrating the new technology into their older structures is not so simple. Today, let’s examine a few common commercial building challenges involved with upgrading existing facilities and some potential solutions.
Updating Data Technology and Records
People expect smart commercial buildings to gather, process, store, and utilize tons of data to optimize its functions and its building management systems. Of course, for all of this to work, the system capabilities must be interconnected with several devices to capture the data, then store and analyze it. If an existing building does not already have any building management or automation system in place, it is a considerable undertaking to install all the necessary components. Furthermore, if the facility already has some system in place, the facility managers need to be sure it is compatible with the new technology. Otherwise, the entire facility will need a complete overhaul. Making sure the data and records get transferred over correctly into a new system is critical for making strategic and informed decisions in the future.
In the previously mentioned scenario, one can imagine the substantial costs involved with installing whole operating and management systems throughout the facility. But maintaining and upgrading existing commercial buildings incurs more expenses than that. Older buildings are more likely to use inefficient and unsustainable energy sources, which, on top of being bad for the environment, is not cost-effective for the companies that operate them. Wherever possible, opt for energy-efficient changes.
Another way older buildings are lagging and create costs is how they weren’t designed and planned to accommodate today’s needs. Inefficiently using the layout of a facility can render some space unused. If facilities like data centers or higher education institutions don’t optimize their space allocation and usage, it almost always entails lost revenue or paying excessive prices for utilities. Simply put, updating old infrastructure is expensive, but not implementing updates is just as costly. As a result, we must construct new commercial buildings with change and adaptation in mind.
Keeping Life Safety Systems Updated
Inspecting the life safety systems is already an essential task to keep a building and its tenants safe. When factoring in updates to the building technologies and integrating all these systems, it becomes more crucial that the life safety devices all work and respond to the new collective system. Updating existing buildings with the appropriate life safety response may also require a reexamination of safety and evacuation protocols. A reassessment is necessary to identify and ensure that critical systems — especially the new to the building ones — remain functional without interfering with the appropriate emergency response devices and procedures.
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At Critical Systems, the people come first, from our employees to our customers. We strive to attract and develop the best talent in the business. Our goal is to deliver innovative solutions for the purpose of making every building secure, efficient, and effectively managed. Serving the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Baltimore regions, SEBCSI provides innovative solutions for your commercial building or facility. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn today! If you’re looking for more information or interested in working with us on your next project, please contact us!