Equity of Access to Data

Equity of access to data is a concept designed to eliminate the trend towards data siloing – and instead put forward the notion that all systems should be able to access any data about any other system – real-time.

This is a bit of revolutionary idea in the building industry.  So often we find the “easy” – namely the way it’s been done for years – as the default position.  There are several reasons for this – principally amongst them lower risk – while it may cost a bit more, and do a lot less, at least we know it will be delivered and won’t hold up the construction schedule.
Here are some typical systems we find:Schematic

  • BMS
  • EMS
    • local reporting
    • web platform
    • In home/tenancy display
  • Billing
  • CI (continual improvement system)
  • BIM
  • Guest management
  • Way-finding
  • Retail display
  • Intercom
  • Access Control
  • Public information displays

And this list is by no means comprehensive. It also grows all the time.

Generally we currently see this list being approached as a list of separate systems, each with their own vendor, engineer and installer.  As a consequence, there is an enormous cost being borne by developers – largely in an unnecessary manner.  As more systems enter the lexicon, a logarithmic increase in cost and complexity is being discovered by those following the traditional approach.

This is a fear of doing anything different, largely because everyone has been burnt by vendors and consultants with all noble intentions, but without understanding the big picture.  Without the big picture, you can’t plan, and without planning you are guaranteed only one thing – a bad outcome.

  1. Understand the big picture and define a strategy
  2. Research and information at hand
  3. Engage everyone and bring them on-board
  4. Co-ordinate detail design around the agreed strategy
  5. Undertake rigorous planning; and
  6. Appoint competent contractors

With a staged approach, the enormous benefits of technology that we have seen delivered via integrated devices such as cars, smart phones and tablets can be realized in the built environment.  The key to all these ‘smart’ devices is absolute integration and equity of access to data for all their programs and systems.  The built environment is no different.

By integrating electrical, mechanical and hydraulic services, a proper overarching layer can be established delivering innovation such as demand response, building information modelling (BIM) data feeds as well as integrated power management across all systems.

And the result?

  • Complexity is removed
  • Flexibility is introduced
  • Capital expenditure is reduced
  • Maintenance becomes preventative and comprehensive
  • Operational expenses are reduced
  • Innovation like demand response can be realised
  • A better user experience is delivered


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