ISJ Exclusive: The importance of getting smarter


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Building Information Modelling (BIM) is now a major component in the design of greener buildings, as ASSA ABLOY explains.

As buildings get smarter and greener, the construction process is digitising to enable this.

Sustainability is becoming a more urgent goal for building owners and users. One result is fast-growing the demand for green building certifications — and therefore specification.

At the same time, the method of delivering these specifications — alongside the information that accompanies every project — is beginning to digitise. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is now a key tool.

BIM is not just a 3D design of a finished building. It is a data-rich, digital collaboration process. Its goal is to place every product and component in a comprehensive model with ongoing value through a building’s life-cycle.

Why green building is becoming urgent

For both new builds and refurbishments, construction’s direction of travel is clear: smarter and greener. Motives for this shift easy to find. According to UN Environment Programme estimates, buildings consume around 60% of the world’s electricity.

Reducing waste with some urgency is critical to cutting carbon emissions and addressing climate change.

The importance of “greening” applies to technologies deployed inside a building, too, including security and access control systems. In a survey for ASSA ABLOY’s most recent “Wireless Access Control Report”, 90% of industry professionals said sustainability would influence their future security commissioning.

Green buildings’ return on investment (ROI) can be financial as well as ethical. In another study, property experts Knight Frank “found a positive and significant effect of very good, excellent and outstanding BREEAM ratings on prime central London office rents – ranging from 3.7% to 12.3% premiums”.

The benefits are not only in asset value: these buildings are more energy efficient, which helps reduce a growing and unpredictable running cost. They also promote healthier and more productive workforce and are future-proofed against the risk of future regulatory changes, according to the World Green Building Council.

BIM and green building projects

BIM makes the process of building design intelligent and adaptive. To the relatively new field of green building, BIM brings transparency and knowledge sharing.

“ASSA ABLOY has local BIM and specification consultants based all over the world,” says Marc Ameryckx, BIM Manager at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEIA.

“They can enhance any project team with specialist knowledge about door solutions and technologies; regional regulations and certifications around the door; and much more.”

This is especially valuable when specifying security solutions, which is often complex and quickly eats into design time. With detailed specifications supplied digitally at an early stage, architects render door and security solutions accurately as soon as possible. This way, aesthetics and usability are not disrupted by last-minute changes.

In addition, the value of BIM extends through a building’s life cycle. The digital model — end-point of a successful process — becomes a centralised store for up-to-date documentation. This final resource can inform site audits, health and safety policy, maintenance schedules, refurbishment projects and more.

ASSA ABLOY supports green building certification

“Globally, ASSA ABLOY has great expertise in supporting green building projects,” explains Marcello Aiolfi, Sustainability and Quality Director at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEIA.

“As well as local support through the specification and BIM process, we have created a number of resources to support a submission to the most important global green building certification schemes.”

Detailed contribution sheets for six leading green certification schemes are available to download: BREEAM, LEED, Green Star, WELL, DGNB and HQE5.

Each sheet identifies the contribution made by multiple ASSA ABLOY products and technologies towards criteria or credits in the scheme. They cover electronic access control solutions; doors and door closers; mechanical and electromechanical locking systems; and accessories including handles, panic devices and drop seals.

“ASSA ABLOY Group is also an official partner in the World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network,” Aiolfi adds. “This enables us to advocate for the transformation of buildings and the construction sector — and to help communicate the advantages of greener building.”

Wireless solutions can be energy saving

As home of the renowned St Andrews Prize for the Environment, the University of St Andrews has a commitment to sustainability at its heart. For student accommodation, managers sought an energy-efficient access solution which respected and reflected these principles.

New Aperio wireless access control devices integrate fully with both the university’s existing security system and their student ID card.

Facility managers enjoy the efficiency benefits of controlling access from a single point, in real time, for multiple buildings.

In comparison to a wired access control solution, Aperio devices offer significant energy efficiency benefits. Escutcheons are wireless, so can be installed with little energy use and no need for cabling to the mains.

They draw no power when idle and their standard batteries consume minimal energy during operation. Maintenance typically demands nothing more than a battery change every couple of yers.

“Aperio gives us central access management and control and contributes to our award-winning track record in energy efficiency,” says Pauline Brown at the University of St Andrews.

“Here and elsewhere, a wireless access control solution can be an important part of the picture as we design buildings and businesses to help create a more sustainable future,” adds Aiolfi.

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This article was originally published in the special September show edition of International Security Journal. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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