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3 Ways Property Managers Can Make Their Buildings Smarter


The office of the future has emerged. In many cases, what was once a differentiator — such as high-speed elevators or strong internet connectivity — has become an expectation. To stay competitive, building owners are making additional investments in their space. An increasing number of owners and developers are leveraging technology like the Internet of Things and Big Data to transform traditional buildings into smart buildings.

“Smart buildings deliver benefits such as more efficient use of space, lower energy consumption and a better tenant experience, and connectivity is at its core,” Corning Director of In-Building Networks Applications Marketing Mike Collado said. 

If connectivity is a direct or indirect catalyst to achieve smart building outcomes, successful planning and implementation is required on the part of building managers and landlords. Bisnow caught up with the experts at Corning to find out how to make a building smart. 

1. Infrastructure

Infrastructure is the paramount ingredient for a smart building. 

“Put simply, infrastructure is the ‘plumbing’ for connectivity,” Collado said. “But the plumbing needs to serve two functions. First, it needs to provide transport for bandwidth. And, secondly, it should deliver power to the active devices at the edge of the network.”

Like plumbing, infrastructure should last as long as the building does. For instance, just as a homeowner is unlikely to install new plumbing to change out a bathroom fixture, a building owner shouldn’t install new infrastructure to support new services. 

Fiber-optic cabling is the ideal medium for smart infrastructure because it delivers virtually unlimited bandwidth scalability and more efficient data transport than older alternative infrastructure systems, Collado said. 

One approach is composite cable, which incorporates fiber and copper conductors to deliver both bandwidth and power over Ethernet to active electronics at the edge. 


2. Utilization

Adding and supporting myriad services and applications in an ad hoc manner through single-purpose technologies and infrastructure is neither effective nor efficient, Collado said. As buildings become more intelligent with IoT sensors, the vulnerability of this approach becomes more pronounced. 

Building owners should look for better utilization strategy. 

“Converging multiple services and applications, such as cellular, video and building management systems over a single network infrastructure investment has significant benefits including space utilization, reduced energy consumption and lower operating expense,” Collado said.

3. Design 

When it comes to smart buildings, planning and design can impact operational success or failure. Landlords and building managers should seek to future-proof their buildings and create flexibility to prepare for different options, Collado said. 

“Buildings must be designed with IT infrastructure in mind, not the other way around,” Collado said. 

Smart design takes into consideration three modern-day realities: the need for constant connectivity, the demand for unlimited bandwidth and the inexorable growth of technological complexity. Designing based on these measures allows building staff to account for the increasing connectivity requirements from tenants and implement smart building technologies throughout their property.

This feature was produced in collaboration between Bisnow Branded Content and Corning Optical Communications. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.