Developers are increasingly realizing that if you are going to integrate the latest smart technology in a building, it is critical to include the latest in building security. During the Light + Building trade fair from March 18 to 23 in Frankfurt am Main, several manufacturers focused on the most futuristic building security products.
To promote the field, Light + Building featured the exhibition, “Secure! Connected Security in Buildings,” addressing the shift from outdated analogue technology to digital technology and the impact of these changing processes on building services management. Additionally, the conference Intersec Forum, running concurrently with Light + Building, focused exclusively on security technology.
The Need for a Standardized System
At the moment, all of these so-called smart technologies—routed through different operating systems which may or may not talk nicely to each other—are a colossal mess for even those who make a smart building their life’s work.
“The smart building market is lacking standardization and adoption rates are growing but are still slow,” explains Mitchell Klein, executive director of Z-Wave Alliance, an industry leader in home and office security that assembles individual security products like smart locks, lighting, sensors, cameras, touch pads and security panels under one holistic security system.
Fragmentation across building automation is still confusing for homeowners and project managers. Many are afraid to invest without reassurance that their products will be future-proof.
One way to navigate the confusion is customer service. Two new products manufacturer ABUS is debuting include the Secvest Touch wireless alarm system, which combines the ABUS alarm, video surveillance and access control technologies into one intelligent home security system. Both Advanced and Basic IP video surveillance systems controllable via an app and come with customer support, easing the transition in the form of on-site technical assistance and the ABUS service hotline.
Despite the complications, as the shift to integrated digital systems becomes more widespread, standardization will follow—and the benefits are clear. Klein states:
Many professionals who install lighting and building automation systems are starting to see smart technology as a great fit for both residential and larger commercial projects as they can help save energy costs, reduce operational redundancy, provide a productive working environment, streamline lighting, security and more.
Either way, while there was a time when integrated security technology could be considered an afterthought or the final touch on a project, developers are increasingly realizing it—and all smart technology—needs to be incorporated in a project’s early stages.
“Electronic security technology will be an integral part of the smart home and smart building,” says Uwe Bartmann, CEO of the security division of ZVEI, an organization dedicated to Germany’s electrical industry. Zumtobel Lighting, for example, presented its new emergency light Rexclite Pro. With an optimized optic and an inconspicuous design, “the luminaire blends in perfectly with a building’s architecture,” according to the manufacturer.
Zumtobel Lighting short video:
Wireless Technology, a Solution for Existing Buildings
However, for existing buildings, installation flexibility depends on wireless technology, which does not require rebuilding from the ground-up with dedicated cabling or batteries for power.
No Wires. No Batteries. No Limits.
“The key advantages of wireless control are the ease of upgrading existing buildings and expanding a system at any time,” explains Graham Martin, CEO and Chairman of the EnOcean Alliance, based on the principles “No Wires. No Batteries. No Limits.” EnOcean Alliance is a non-profit organization consisting of 400 member companies offering 1500 interoperable products based on the EnOcean wireless standard. The inventor of the patented energy harvesting wireless technology, EnOcean Alliance provides maintenance-free wireless sensor solutions based on self-powered wireless switches and sensors.
All of today’s security developments dial home an essential reality: In a world with more and more sensitive data, the more critical modern security systems become.