System Integration, Audio-Visual Systems, and Water
Integration functionally links two building systems to provide functionality that neither system could by itself. The best example of this process is the integration that takes place with the fire alarm system. The fire alarm triggers the HVAC system to control smoke and ventilation, the access control system to provide egress for occupant evacuation, and the elevator cabs are automatically recalled to a facility's predetermined floor of egress. Without the automated systems' integration each of these components would have to be separately and manually adjusted. The theory is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Another reason to integrate systems is to combine the system data. Rather than simply looking at data from one building system a database with data from multiple systems is created so that holistic data can be analyzed, correlated, and insightful building metrics can be developed.
Many times the deployment of audio visual systems are undervalued and marginalized. However, AV systems can affect tenant satisfaction, energy usage and operations, and are an important part of a building. The AV industry is interesting because contractors, manufacturers, AV managers, and technicians have hands-on experience with system integration, albeit at a different point than the integration issues building owners and facility managers generally deal with. Also they have experience with the design and construction process. Typical AV integration may include IT, shading, security, and other building systems. There are several AV facets and options that are needed to make a building smarter: