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Intelligent building demands future-proof architectures

By Max Burkhalter
February 4, 2013

Home automation and other intelligent building systems are gaining prominence as advanced network systems and smart appliances form a stronger hold in many sectors. But if you look closely at the smart building industry you will notice that there are a few hurdles that need to be overcome for projects to be successful. The sector as a whole is positioned for strength, but the long-term viability of intelligent building depends on being able to future-proof structures so they can withstand changes that take place over time, CNS Magazine reported.

The importance of future-proof structures in intelligent building
According to the news source, the structured cabling and other network systems used to support smart building have to be implemented in a way that is conducive to expected future technologies. It is also important to consider connections to various utility, telecom and other systems that facilities need, as changes in various sectors can impact how the systems function. As a result, a holistic approach to future proofing has to be a priority when considering intelligent building.

The importance of future proofing is pretty clear if you stop and think about how most buildings functions. There is a complex interplay of various power, water, sewer, HVAC and telecom systems that represents the primary core of most buildings. When these systems are constructed they have to be interoperable with the technologies used by service providers. In some cases, vendors can step in and adapt the internal systems to their needs, but this can be an expensive task. Making sure such systems are adaptable over time is important. Building to the highest possible standards for future proofing is essential in intelligent building because how these various architectures interact is integral to the success of smart infrastructure as a whole.

While these core solutions have to be future proof, the cabling may be the most important component for intelligent building. Industry expert Pete Newman told CNS Magazine that designing a future-proof network is often extremely difficult, but also a process that is absolutely necessary. Having an intelligent plan in place for migrating to new systems in the future is necessary to sustaining intelligent building systems over time.

Considering media conversion
Media converters play a vital role in enabling future-proof architectures in buildings because they provide interoperability between diverse infrastructure. For example, fiber to Ethernet systems are ideal for allowing copper backbones in facilities to connect to fiber-based telecom networks. This type of functionality is integral to supporting cost-effective smart building systems over an extended period of time.


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