By Chris Grundy

I was asked the other day what an intelligent building is, I responded as “puts tenants first, fully let and not likely to be knocked down for a long time”.

Not really, the response you might expect from someone who works with technology for a living. The reality is technology alone does not make a building intelligent or smart without it solving real problems and providing long term benefit to building owners and tenants.

The majority of coverage about intelligent buildings has been focused on new buildings. However, the overwhelming majority of buildings are not new. Often building owners and tenants need to find a balance of capex investment and working with what they already have to:

  • Adapt to multiple tenants
  • Reduce cost (Rents in London have soared in the last few years!)
  • Improve collaboration

Below I outline a few key areas and features to do this.

Tenant profile: Know your market and how this relates to building/fit-out requirements

Tenancy splits: Design for sub division

Density/transit/escape: Use fire engineering analysis and lift designation controls

Avoid duplication: Consider a common IP data network for building services systems such as BMS, Energy and Security

Information / Silo’s: Consider what information is required to monitor and manage a building to improve performance. Avoid multiple systems that lock data in silos. Link databases but avoid bespoke API’s (application programming interfaces)

Think opex: Widen environmental conditions; Challenge space utilisation and diversities (measure to provide quantitative evidence); Light the space you need rather than blanket coverage; Make it is easy to turn equipment off; Only use technology to automate processes that already work

Collaboration: Design spaces that invite the meeting of people. Have technology that does not constrain you to a specific desk.

Find out more about Cundall’s IT and audio visual consultancy services go to –

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Chris Grundy, IT and Audiovisual


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