This is the third post in a new blog series about intelligent buildings, based on content from the Connected and Efficient Buildings e-book.
Throughout the years, we have seen many examples of the benefits of connecting multiple building systems through a common physical infrastructure:
- Ave Maria University saved over $1 million on building costs by converging 23 disparate systems on a common IP network
- Pennzoil Place reduced energy usage by over 20% by connecting all building systems to a core IP network, enabling more attractive lease rates
- Melbourne Sunshine Hospital reduced the cost and complexity of multiple separate cabling installations by serving all systems with a single infrastructure
While these examples clearly demonstrate the cost savings that can be achieved by integrating IT and facilities systems through a common physical layer infrastructure, there’s more to the story.
In a recent blog, Dave Tanis described an office scenario in which the access control system, Wi-Fi network, occupancy and temperature sensors, and lighting controls system worked seamlessly together to provide an improved employee experience, as well as a more efficiently managed office. This scenario perfectly exemplifies the increased benefits of connected and efficient buildings, but also shows that as we move further into the Internet of Things, the role of the physical layer infrastructure is becoming more varied, and more important.
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Technologies such as Power over Ethernet (PoE) and HDBaseT are expanding the universe of devices that can be connected and powered by the network infrastructure. 2.5G/5G/10G Ethernet is increasing data rates to support the growing use of wireless networks, as well as the growing desire for faster connectivity. What was once connecting phones, PCs, and building automation systems, is now also connecting and powering digital displays, security cameras, access control panels, LED lighting, sensors, in-building cellular systems, Wi-Fi access points, Bluetooth beacons and RFID readers, among others.
To support this growing diversity of devices, it is important to provide a reliable, high performance infrastructure. To ensure the infrastructure is able to meet bandwidth and power requirements, CommScope recommends Category 6A cabling for the horizontal and OM4 fiber-optic cable for the backbone.
It is clear that leveraging a common infrastructure for all building applications brings a variety of benefits, and is a key enabler of Connected and Efficient Buildings. And by optimizing the infrastructure with Category 6A twisted-pair cabling, you’ll be opening possibilities for current and future applications.