06.08.14

When does smart mean sustainable?

As buildings get smarter one of the promises is that they'll also become more efficient. Anna Mitchell finds out the great opportunities open to integrators who are willing to take responsibility for building systems outside the core AV installation, as well as the many barriers they face in doing so.

Monitoring of AV assets for maintenance and control can save energy. Whether that’s pinpointing energy hungry appliances, or shutting down technologies in unoccupied rooms, increased control paves the way for decreased power usage.

“Both Crestron and AMX offer solutions to track, monitor and control AV devices and resources,” explains David Thorson, senior manager of programming architecture at integrator AVI-SPL.

“These systems can report the energy consumption and take action to power down devices and systems when not in use.”

With the rise of smart buildings there is a lot of opportunity for AV integrators to take control of more of a building’s systems and assets. There’s also the threat that if they don’t someone else will and could take a portion of traditional AV-related products and solutions with it.

One of the arguments as to why AV integrators are well positioned to take advantage of trends sparked by increased monitoring and control is that they are accustomed to delivering, and in many cases programming, user friendly tools to access control.

The argument goes that if you can deliver a control solution for video and audio sources and end points then why not add control of blinds or lighting or even HVAC. In an ideal world AV integrators would even start to offer this level of management as a service, providing detailed reports and demonstrating cost savings with remote and, in many cases, automated control of all aspects of a building.

Electrosonic is one example of an integrator that is ramping up efforts in remote monitoring.

The company’s general manager of EMEA Service, Rob Smith, says: “We’re increasingly putting in capability to monitor all equipment we’ve installed anywhere in the world from our Service Operation Centres in the US and the UK.”

The full article can be read in InAVate Active where Crestron and AMX provide details of their offering and we find out more from integrators rising to the challenge.

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