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Waste less, have more

Author : Mike Welch, Control Networks Solutions managing director

20 December 2016

As commercial and high-end residential new builds transition from completion on day one to move-in on day two, wholesale changes to fixtures, fittings and controls are commonplace - resulting in an unfathomable amount of waste.

Organisations with a lot of resources extensively plan and commission the migration or move-in stage to new premises and so can decrease the relative amount of waste incurred.

These companies may even employ a specialised team to ensure elements such as the fit-out of specific office areas, installation of IT systems and building management system (BMS) are coordinated in the most optimised manner.

However, for the majority of businesses, this is not feasible, affordable or logistically possible.

Additionally, the likely elapsed time from the initial discussions to the completed building means that the business, regulatory and operational needs of the occupiers will have changed dramatically -potentially rendering much of this work irrelevant and inappropriate.

Take the example of a major commercial developer who has overseen the construction and fit-out of a large office block.

The development is divided into units that commercial enterprises will rent or buy. It is usually the case that everything within the building’s interior will be fitted in a homogenous manner.

When a business moves into the office space they will want to put its corporate mark on its new surroundings. For most companies this can entail a lot more than simply applying a lick of paint.

It can essentially mean that everything, including furniture, lighting fixtures, carpet, flooring, building and lighting controls and even the kitchen sink will have to go.

Undoubtedly, companies increasingly recognise the strong correlation between a building’s visual appearance and corporate identity.

A business’s interior aesthetic is a visual signifier that communicates a sense of culture, ethos and modernity to its staff and associates. Thus, it is understandable that certain fixtures and fittings such as carpets and wall colour are changed to reflect the company’s corporate branding.

However, replacing vital building services such as air-conditioning, heating as well as building and lighting controls can be an expensive, stressful, wasteful and time intensive operation for facilities managers.

Moreover, when considering the technology used to control a facility’s lighting, removal or major refurbishment can be completely unnecessary.

Investing in a flexible solution at the build stage can circumvent the need to ‘rip out’ the lighting control system or replace the lighting fixtures. The latest smart, Internet of Things (IoT), convergent lighting controls solutions offer a more economically viable and convenient alternative.

Combining de-facto multi source building management system (BMS) platforms with Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) IEC 62386 global lighting standard, such solutions can provide optimal flexibility for facilities managers when it comes to the specifics of the move-in stage.

DALI IEC 62386 guarantees 100% interoperability between all manufacturers of products that are designed to the standard and is the only truly open, international, interoperable standard within the lighting sector.

Therefore, using smart, IoT lighting control solutions based on existing BMS platforms and DALI standard light fixtures, enables changes or reconfiguration of lighting to occur through direct communication, both locally and remotely.

This negates the need to invest in additional hardware - cutting cost and time. By in effect ‘talking to’ other components on the BMS platform, such as heating, air-conditioning, access control and security systems, informed and intuitive decisions can be made that can make your lighting more cost effective and efficient.

Smart, IoT lighting control solutions enable pinpoint control and real time access to value data. Requiring less of an initial financial outlay, the DALI–based lighting control solutions also have the ability to halve total lighting energy consumption – contributing to significant energy savings, whilst accounting for less than one per cent of the building’s energy use.

Furthermore with the increasing emphasis placed on workplace productivity and the importance of human centric lighting, lighting control solutions that offer comprehensive control down to the individual light fixture level, are of paramount importance.

This level of control enables the intensity and colour of the lighting above a single desk to be altered as necessary to provide the ideal work environment for each individual.

By harnessing the power and potential of DALI-based, IoT, convergent lighting controls solutions, facilities managers can deliver significant cost and time savings to their company - reducing waste and stress during the move-in phase.

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