3 Ways Developers Are Planning For Office Building Telecommunications Connectivity During The Early Stages
Developers can no longer think of technology as an afterthought. The infrastructure needed to accommodate office tenants' telecommunication connectivity needs requires a great deal of capital and is increasingly taken into account in the early stages of planning.
WiredScore director of business operations Aaron Meyerson said office owners are spending billions to redevelop existing buildings to accommodate the ever-growing tech needs of their tenants. This is an expense that would require far less capital if developers took these standards into consideration when first designing a building, he said.
“Developers and engineers when designing want to build what they think is best in class for buildings, but often don’t have the tenant in mind,” Meyerson said. “New buildings must be equipped to accommodate this smart tech, and you need to be prepared from scratch.”
From telecommunications rooms to mobile accommodations, the following are infrastructure standards office developers are employing today to address future tenants’ telecommunications connectivity needs.
1. Telecommunications Room
Office occupiers are increasingly looking for buildings that can accommodate their tech and telecommunication needs. This includes all of the hardware and equipment needed to keep their businesses up and running, from mobile to WiFi service. That is where the telecommunications room comes in handy. These rooms are climate-controlled and large enough to store equipment for tenants throughout the entire building. They are also protected from potential risks, including flooding and fires and are not accessible to the public.
“It comes down to the infrastructure of the building; if you’re building a new asset, you need to have space for the equipment [including] cables and fiber cables to run through the buildings,” Meyerson said. “Some buildings don’t protect those very well or have redundancies in place."
2. The Importance Of Risers
Risers are basically tubes or conduits that protect wiring throughout the building. If not factored into the building design during initial planning, these can become very costly to add later, according to WiredScore.
Risers provide pathways between the telecommunications room and the rest of the building and usually trail up and down the building from the roof to the basement hidden in different pathways within the walls.
“You want it protected just as utility [tubes] are hidden in the walls and protected,” Meyerson said.
3. Mobile Planning
One area of telecommunications planning that has become a major pain for tenants and landlords alike has been providing decent mobile coverage. Large buildings, like those exceeding 500K SF, tend not to have the best mobile coverage. WiredScore said this problem is best resolved during the development process. In addition to providing necessary space for mobile equipment, landlords are encouraged to determine the strength of carrier signals to ensure providers, such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, have existing coverage within the building that is adequate for tenants. Meyerson said landlords have to prepare their buildings so these carriers’ signals can penetrate the walls.
“Mobile coverage is a growing problem, particularly in larger buildings,” he said. “The Verizon and AT&Ts of the world networks are designed to work outdoors.”