Grab the opportunity

Poised for a big return, this market will re-emerge strong with integration


According to Steven Turney, security program manager for Schneider Electric's Building Business in Dallas, the current state of the office and high-rise market, as far as technologies and infrastructures, can be described as disparate and outdated. "Most buildings are not integrated; they have security and mass notification and building management systems but they don't talk to each other and therefore, don't provide any type of energy savings," he explained. "They don't have wireless deployments 95 percent of the time and there's no wireless infrastructure. They generally have hardwired copper-based Category 5 cabling that's proprietary or dedicated to security only."

Turney added that there is a huge capital savings from integrated systems that needs to be explained to the end-user, including the property manager and the developer.

"Anything associated with energy savings, reduction of carbon footprint and a positive return on investment is something the end-user is looking for," said Turney. "The projects that have a three- to five-year payback and return on investment but no longer than that are generally the projects that tend to get funded. End-users want to know what the carbon footprint is for a property and that's a selling point for the tenant who is much more aware of these terminologies and their meaning in the marketplace."

Turney also confirmed that there is increasing interest in video analytics, visitor management systems, optical turnstiles and anything that can be used to save energy and reduce consumption. There's also an interest in preventative maintenance contracts because now property owners don't have staff, especially in a commercial office, to do simple tasks, like clean and maintain locks.

Gil Neuman, team member at Kent Security Services Inc. in Miami said there are many opportunities for business in the office and high-rise market. He recently tested the SafeRise system and while he said it's reliable and absolutely "out of the box" as far as technology and capabilities, the real question is how and if the end-user will embrace these biometric solutions. Neuman, who has been in the security industry for some 30 years and is an electrical engineer by trade, said his company believes in trying to save manpower by using technology and educating customers on how they can do that.

There's opportunity in the office and high-rise markets. More people are moving back into cities, so of course crime is a factor. In addition, properties that have state-of-the-art surveillance, biometrics, video analytics and access control will likely win over property owners and their tenants, especially if it's wrapped around an integrated solution.

WATCH IT GROW

With the surge in urban dwelling-urban migration of one million people each week-population densities in our city centers continue to grow. In 2040, the population of the U.S. will be 400 million, with 80 percent of the growth in the next 30 years coming from urban centers. This acute urban migration trend has created over 20 mega cities today, with the forecast for 2015 being 33. This, in turn, has led to infrastructure challenges with regards to energy, water, transportation and employment.
An ongoing challenge is to find the right balance between securing a project and providing a feeling of safety/security for the tenants, yet not interfere with the quality of life and overall accessibility.

WIRELESS WANTED

Elevators are especially prime candidates for a wireless system. While traveling cables are routinely included at the time of installation, they are often ill-equipped to reliably transport credential data from the cab to the elevator controller. Elevator shafts are harsh electrical environments and are often the source of data corrupting noise that becomes induced onto the card reader data lines. This causes inconsistent performance, which often gets worse over time as cable shielding decays due to continual movement.

Conversely, wireless solutions eliminate the need for the data lines in elevators up to 1,000 feet. In fact, they thrive in this environment and provide consistent, reliable data transport that doesn't wear out. With traveling cable installation costs ranging from $2,600 to $13,000 or more per cab, wireless alternatives can save thousands of dollars per elevator.

WHAT IT MEANS

IN THE U.S. ALONE, BUILDINGS ACCOUNT FOR:

- 72% OF ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION
- 39% OF ENERGY USE
- 38% OF ALL CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) EMISSIONS
- 40% OF RAW MATERIALS USE
- 30% OF WASTE OUTPUT (136 MILLION TONS ANNUALLY) AND
- 14% OF POTABLE WATER CONSUMPTION.

SOURCE: U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL