Green Buildings: How to Create and Sustain Smarter Building Infrastructures
According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, commercial buildings consume 19 percent of all energy in the United States. Given this energy intake, many organizations are under pressure to meet environmental regulations and reduce energy costs.
Green buildings designed with intelligent management systems can address these concerns while streamlining building and maintenance operations, but only if the right infrastructure is in place — one that is reliable, resilient and able to scale to meet future demands.
A Holistic Approach to Building Management
According to Federal Computer Week, Navigant Research found that 80 percent of facility managers use just 20 percent of their building management system’s potential functionality. The underutilization of building management system capabilities is partly due to the complex infrastructure required to run green buildings and campuses. Unlike in the past, when lighting, HVAC, security and IT were all siloed systems, today’s green buildings now require a holistic approach to infrastructure.
Eco-friendly business complexes must integrate software and services to maximize energy and operations efficiency across all systems. However, interoperability of disparate and proprietary technologies can be challenging and lead to reliability issues. One solution is the use of converged networks to optimize and integrate communication services between systems and improve system monitoring, control and performance. Instrumentation, which brings all systems under one dashboard, is another way facility managers can get a holistic view of all systems and enable better decision-making.
The Role of the Data Center in Green Buildings
The data center is a vital component of a green infrastructure. Due to the number of connected devices and systems they contain, green buildings and campuses generate vast amounts of data. Therefore, the data center is essential to storing and analyzing incoming data.
Minimizing Data Center Energy Consumption
There are several considerations organizations must take into account when designing and building their data center infrastructure. For starters, data centers are large consumers of energy within a building. As part of an organization’s green efforts, minimizing the data center’s energy consumption should be a priority. One way this can be accomplished is by examining how to better manage powering and cooling. To this end, some organizations choose to deploy a modular data center. A modular solution can integrate subsystems to deliver efficiency gains in power and cooling.
Managing Data From Smart Buildings
Other considerations include whether the data center has enough storage capacity and whether it is flexible and reliable. Again, a modular data center solution can be valuable for these purposes. Not only can modular data centers be quickly deployed at any location, but they can easily scale to support current and future needs. They are also flexible and able to support multiple technologies, helping to further unify systems and improve interoperability.
As the world becomes more connected, the need for intelligent building solutions across facility and IT systems will only increase. Organizations must be prepared for this more connected world, deploying the necessary infrastructure to not only optimize their buildings for energy savings, but also for improved operational processes.