Open standards become critical
It’s useful for us to first be clear about what we mean by “commercial buildings”. Commercial buildings can be defined as multi-tenanted premises where commercial activities take place and include offices, retail space, warehouses, and more. As these buildings are designed to house different tenants, it’s important that your plan for technology integration is prioritized at the planning stage.
While you’re constructing a new building, care must be taken when designing your base build to meet the basic requirements for operation and security. It’s critical that this base build is done with the potential for integration at the forefront of your mind. The technology involved at this stage is intended to last for the lifetime of your building and must be able to connect with any new systems which are introduced. To address this, the best approach is to implement technology based on open standards to ensure that existing and future tenants will be able to fit out the interior with solutions that suit their needs.
In some cases, certain tenants are limited to a specific type of technology. An example of this is National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) compliant technologies. Depending on the profile of the tenant, having banned or non-compliant technologies installed may limit your ability to lease floor space. In the worst-case scenario, these tenants will exclude your building, potentially impacting revenue. Best case, they ask that the technologies are ripped out and replaced at the landlord’s expense. Either way, this is a preventable outcome once these considerations are front of mind from the start.
For communal areas, it’s also important to think about the overall look and feel of the space. Integration shouldn’t only refer to how devices connect with each other, but how they fit seamlessly into your building’s structure so as not to detract from the aesthetic.