Keeping your building portfolio viable can be a problem. Fortunately, system integrators have the answer, explains Alan Johnstone, Honeywell’s channel excellence leader for Europe.

How and where we work have been transformed by the pandemic. As a result, a hybrid workforce and home working has become the ‘new normal’ and is set to remain in place, in some form, even once the virus is in full retreat. This will dramatically reshape the role of commercial buildings as full occupancy for many will be a thing of the past.

The result is a potential over-supply of some property types, which will increase competition and constrain bottom line performance. Those that offer the best occupant experience, combined with the flexibility required by businesses, are those that will be successful. Those that don’t deliver could fail.

Spotting the trends

There are three broad trends that all building managers need to address. The first is the demand for healthy buildings, which predominantly centres around air quality, temperature and humidity. Second is growing demand for sustainable, energy efficient, low carbon buildings. And finally, there’s a need for buildings to deliver a high degree of flexibility so they can accommodate the variable needs of occupants: daily, weekly and into the future.

To meet all of these diverse requirements, building technology must adapt to provide innovative, specialised solutions.

However, healthy, sustainable and flexible buildings not only require advanced building management systems, they also need to be carefully designed and properly implemented. Their ultimate success is dependent on the effective incorporation of forward-thinking system integrators, both pre- and post-occupancy. It’s only when the system’s design team is fully involved in the wider project that the greatest benefit can be delivered.

And it’s not just a matter of delivering today’s tech – there needs to be a clear and cost-effective upgrade path. This requires specialist knowledge and access to best-in-class hardware and software. It also needs to be properly planned from the outset of a project – these are no ‘bolt on’ technologies; this is core functionality. To ensure a building project fully returns on its investment it is essential to talk to system integrators at the start.

Maximising the value

The vast majority of today’s building management systems are designed and installed by dedicated specialists but the value they offer is frequently overlooked. Ill-advisedly, traditional construction contracts often relegate systems integrators to a subsidiary role and as a result miss out on their extensive application expertise and specialist integration knowledge, despite them being uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between mechanical and electrical building systems.

Systems integrators need to be given a primary role in the supply chain. The solutions they offer should sit at the heart of every building, providing tools to monitor, analyse and proactively maintain it throughout its life, engage with building users and track its performance against statutory requirements. To maximise this value, the building management system needs to be procured under a dedicated contract and systems Integrators should be involved early in the design process and have oversight of the wider project.

In an increasingly competitive commercial building market it is crucial to integrate a flexible infrastructure to support the evolving needs of its occupants throughout its planned life. To realise that goal you need to ensure that your chosen systems integrator has the appropriate experience, training and application expertise, validated by a leading building management system manufacturer.

Honeywell has launched a BMS Partner Programme, built on the strengths of the Trend, CentraLine and SBC brands, to ensure a consistent level of service across all technologies and regions. Technology Partner, Certified Partner and Registered Partner qualifications carry the same quality guarantee for all brands. Building owners, operators and specifiers can select a Honeywell BMS Partner safe in the knowledge that they are verified by one of the world’s leading manufacturers of building management systems.