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Managing Smarter Buildings

[Editor's Note—After participating in the Integrated Systems Europe Show’s Smart Building Conference, we checked in with Jon Melchin, director of architectural business development with FSR Inc., about notable industry trends and how to manage smarter buildings.]

Smart building technology is a growing trend that is impacting the construction industry and is converging with audiovisual systems integrators, architects, and IT people alike. Building information modeling will become increasingly instrumental in maintaining this convergence with its ability to draw various parties together to share information about a building, its components, and the energy efficiency performance assessment of the intelligent environment.

Integrated Building Systems: Challenges
Many technology requirements of integrated building systems such as energy efficient HVAC systems have been around for years. Some innovations such as building energy management systems and building information modeling are relatively new concepts, and the major challenge today is tying mature systems and new technologies together in a way that maximizes profitability, and results in not only smart rooms, but potentially smart buildings, smart campuses, and smart cities.

Managing Smarter Buildings
One thing is certain; demand for smart building technologies will continue to grow. Building owners, facility managers, CEOs, and CFOs have all realized that advances in technologies today have made it easier for designing smart structures for tomorrow. The AV industry is poised to help make the commercial building industry more sustainable and smart building technology is key. The STEP Foundation (Sustainable Technology Environments Program) is an organization put together by InfoComm and BiCSI, to help guide AV professionals to get more involved with sustainable practices.

The US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program has been very successful in facilitating the construction of sustainable, high performance structures. AV professionals have an opportunity to use systems such as video-conferencing and distance learning technologies to demonstrate how innovative systems can be beneficial in designing intelligent, functional, energy-efficient environments where building occupants can be safe, healthy, and productive.

Jon Melchin is the director of architectural business development with FSR, Inc.