3 min read

Transform new and existing buildings into intelligent facilities

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Today’s buildings require an array of complex systems to support the diverse populations and purposes they serve. But until recently, conventional wisdom held that each system required separate networks and controls, creating an environment that was difficult and expensive to operate and maintain. 

Advances in networking, automation and Internet of Things (IoT) technology has changed that, transforming the way we design, construct, and upgrade buildings; how we operate and maintain them; and how their occupants experience and use them.

Now, building services can be delivered over a single centralized IP-based network that dramatically reduces cost and improves efficiency. Such converged networks enable a new building paradigm that provides better monitoring, analysis, automation and control between all of a building’s complex systems, and lays a future-proof foundation for growth.

Simplifying control of complex systems

Internal control systems for heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC), fire and safety (video surveillance and access control), lighting, elevators, parking systems, and other industry specific sensors and controls are historically standalone and proprietary in nature. Communication and IT infrastructures such as telephones, computer networks (both wired and wireless), and location tracking systems are often on discrete networks. In the absence of a centralized infrastructure, these individual systems can’t communicate with one another.

The result: multiple inefficiencies and expensive cost of installation, operations and maintenance.

By integrating all of the previously disparate systems onto a high speed, centralized, wired and wireless Internet Protocol (IP) network core, Zones can create an environment where all of the previously disparate systems can interact efficiently with one another and be controlled remotely, from a single pane of glass.

We can bring together all the building’s systems into an IoT Gateway Platform (IGP), where various protocols, wiring types, and languages will be converted to IP, be translated into a common language, and be normalized from a data perspective. Additional sensors are added to ensure availability of the data needed to manage and control the environment. Analytics software will interpret the information for additional levels of automation and control.

The new fully converged environment transforms the facility into a secure, intelligent building. Interoperability across all systems creates options for the systems to interact and work together in ways that improve operations, management, reduce energy cost, and enhance safety and security.

Just as important, it allows for the addition of new interactive services in the building that create a more productive, responsive building environment for everyone involved.

A proven roadmap for success

Working with Zones, facility owners can develop a comprehensive and cost effective implementation plan to achieve their goals for an intelligent facility:

The Envisioning Session
We recommend that every organization start with an Envisioning Session. It’s a white boarding session facilitated by Zones IoT solution specialists and industry experts who will work directly with your key stakeholders to develop an understanding of how these solutions can solve your problems. The Envisioning Session also helps you create a high level strategic roadmap.

The Readiness Assessment
The Readiness Assessment follows the envisioning session. It’s performed by Zones IoT solution specialists and engineers, and runs up to one week. The Readiness Assessment creates a well thought-out plan and a detailed investment strategy that will:

  • Create a single comprehensive solution to implement at once for maximum benefit.
  • Provide a roadmap of multiple phases and projects that meet investment/ROI strategy and budget constraints.
  • Address a specific project to resolve an urgent need, and help you develop a long term transformation strategy.

In addition to providing an on-site evaluation to determine capability and readiness for new IoT solutions, the Readiness Assessment is primarily a technological assessment that will address current capabilities and capacity, but takes goals, objectives, budget constraints, and high-level changes applicable to process and staff into account.

Accelerated Prototype
Our Accelerated Prototype service combines an Envisioning Session, a Readiness Assessment, and a proof of concept prototype. Following the Envisioning Session, our specialists will join you in selecting a single IoT project that will address a specific business need.

The Zones team then performs a Readiness Assessment to ensure compatibility, and will deploy the IoT Gateway Platform as part of your selected solution to prove the goals of the project will be achieved when placed into production. This entire process – from concept to measurable results – is typically accomplished within two months, and is designed to confirm the solution meets long-term objectives.

It’s your move

Together with leading technology manufacturers like Cisco, Zones is transforming commercial and residential buildings of all types and sizes into intelligent facilities featuring unprecedented sustainability, performance, and building control. Find out how IoT technology can help you:

  • Reduce energy cost
  • Increase occupant safety
  • Speed time to ROI

To find out more about enabling intelligent facilities, or to schedule an intelligent facilities consultation, contact your Zones account executive or call 800.408.ZONES.

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