Based on the predictions of Research and Markets and MarketsandMarkets, the smart building industry, also known as building automation, will grow between 23% and 34% by 2025. Although smart buildings offer significant advantages, managing the networked assets and infrastructure in a smart building poses real challenges.

This article describes what a smart building is, and illustrates the typical challenges with the management of their related infrastructure. Following this, it outlines how a suitable software solution can help you overcome these challenges.

Smart building

What is a smart building?

A smart building is a structure with automated and centralized control of the building’s operations such as heating, ventilation, lighting, air conditioning, humidity, security, and work space control. These operations are optimized for the occupants’ comfort and safety, while energy and maintenance costs are minimized.

To implement these operations, networked devices, such as sensors, controllers, and actuators (some of which are referred to as IoT devices), are embedded in the smart building network infrastructure. The amount, variety and inter-dependencies of these network devices can constitute a very complex system, that is vulnerable to failure if not managed correctly.

How to successfully manage a smart building?

Typically, the initial focus will be on implementing a Building Management System (BMS), which makes sense when it comes to managing and monitoring the devices themselves. However, a BMS won’t track the end-to-end physical layer connectivity (including the patch panel and switch connectivity) and whereabouts of the devices, and this leaves a gap in the capability to effectively troubleshoot and manage operational changes. This can be overcome with the implementation of a cable and asset management software solution to supplement the BMS.

Supplementing the BMS with a cable and asset management software solution

Key requirements of a cable and asset management solution to supplement the BMS are:

  • Integration capabilities: to achieve the benefits of the systems working together, the solution should offer extensive bi-directional API (Application Programming Interface) capabilities.
  • Detailed end-to-end physical layer connectivity and asset tracking: to be able to troubleshoot the connectivity and assets that constitute the smart building, the solution should offer detailed modeling, visualization and reporting capabilities. These capabilities should be applicable to not only the BMS components, but also the network switches and patch panels in the equipment rooms.
  • Operational change management: to be able to control change and auditing processes, the solution should offer comprehensive change management capabilities across all components of the smart building infrastructure.

Computer IoT

PATCH MANAGER as the best cable and asset management solution to supplement your BMS.

PATCH MANAGER is a powerful software solution to manage your smart building infrastructure. Its flexibility and extensive template library allow you to model and manage smart building assets and connectivity in a realistic, accurate, and detailed manner. User-defined data fields enable you to store custom information against any asset. With PATCH MANAGER, not only do you have detailed insight into your smart devices’ whereabouts, you can also easily and quickly report on anything you need to know about your smart building’s assets and connectivity.

PATCH MANAGER provides a comprehensive Work Order system for managing your ‘Moves’, ‘Adds’ and ‘Changes’, with a wide array of features to seamlessly coordinate work across teams and projects.

PATCH MANAGER offers a mature and extensive REST API for integration with your BMS.

If you would like to know more about PATCH MANAGER’s features and benefits, request a personal online demo here!

Aside from managing smart building infrastructure, if you are interested in how PATCH MANAGER can help you manage your office building network more efficiently, read our previous article, which focuses on this topic.