Access Flooring: Prerequisites to IoT-Ready Building Designs


Technology is changing the way in which real estate is done. Clients’ needs for physical space are also changing due to the increased use of technology and enhanced environmental consciousness, among other things. This, in turn, is changing the nature of demand for physical real estate space.

Having the ability to adapt to changing technology is vital. As we get further into the IoT, designers, architects, and facility teams are realizing a missing component in this technology’s vision—adaptability. Because there is currently a “grand rethink” underway, meeting space, connectivity, and workloads are all being reimagined.

Fueled by the new work paradigms and the need to evolve workspaces, even the layout of the rooms where work is taking place has greater demands placed on it. The room must have the ability to adapt quickly—facility managers and commercial real estate owners must heed IoT prerequisites to achieve this feat.

Access Flooring Adds Easy Installation to IoT 

Access flooring like PoE cabling, is essential to adaptive design. Reconfiguring cabling and power is simple using pre-integrated solutions like the Gridd® Adaptive Cabling System® and Gridd® Power. The floor can be reconfigured easily without special tools. Gridd Power is a plug in play system. 

Gridd® Mobile, an augmented reality application, is another example of technologies that are simplifying the adoption of IoT. When used in conjunction with Gridd Access Flooring, the mobile application allows facilities support teams access to cable and power layout of a commercial building through augmented reality. In contrast to labor-intensive reconfiguring, this view pinpoints areas where panels can be lifted and data and power re-routed, leaving the rest of the room undisturbed.

Technologies That IoT-Ready Buildings Support

As the access flooring ecosystem evolves, so do the IoT prerequisites for building designs. As such, there is a need to adopt the emerging technologies to adapt to the changes in access flooring building designs.

Power over Ethernet (PoE)

The PoE technology transmits data and electrical power over one twisted Ethernet cable-powered device. It is often used instead of conventional electrical wiring, which typically supplies power only and requires a separate cable to supply data.

Given that PoE transmits both data and power over a single Ethernet cable, it requires less wiring for a network. Moreover, PoE can be used to transmit power to devices located in difficult-to-reach places with no electrical outlets.

This exceptional technology has the capability to send 10/100/1000 Mbps of data and between 15 to 100 watts of electrical power to network devices over different Ethernet cables, including Cat5e, Cat6a, Cat6, Cat7, and Cat8 for a distance of up to 100 meters.

Among the notable benefits you can accrue from PoE technology include: 

  • Quick and Easy Installation: PoEs are simple plug-and-play devices that can be installed easily into a network. 
  • Lower Costs: Given that this technology requires only one cable to transmit both data and power in a network, it requires significantly less cabling compared to traditional wiring. 
  • Flexible: With this technology, powered devices can be placed almost anywhere. For instance, shields can be used for outdoor equipment, and PoE extenders can be used for distances longer than 100 meters. 
  • Scalability: The plug-and-play feature of PoE devices makes it possible to add new equipment to the network. 
  • Safe: This technology uses relatively low voltages. As such, there is a lower risk of an electrical hazard.

The Expanding Portfolio of 90W Powered Technologies

There is a rapidly growing ecosystem of touchpoint technologies that help office workers become more efficient. Additionally, these technologies are helping businesses attract new talent, as competition reaches the highest levels in recent years.

Here is an outline of some of these technologies: 

Thin Client Touch Screens 

In today’s agile environments where workspace design is implemented, these workstations enable employees to gain access to their accounts through the intranet. Not having a fixed desk is among the top priorities for a sustainable working space. It allows buildings to conform to the workers’ needs at the moment. 

Ultra High Definition (UHD) Cameras 

These cameras provide up to 4k resolution real-time and recorded footage over an IP camera. Their ultra-high resolution capabilities enable both private and public organizations to monitor activities both indoors and outdoors. When combined with proper lighting, ultra-high-resolution provides fine imaging required in facial recognition. 

Biometric Door Locks 

Using a combination of personal information such as facial recognition and PIN, organizations can effectively limit access to restricted areas while assigning security levels throughout the building. This type of technology ties management of security directly to individuals and provides transparency for various activities within the organization. 

Environmental Sensor Hubs 

This technology works together with IP rating protocols to provide alerts and levels of environmental contaminants that can jeopardize the health of people and assets. Sensors track the levels of smoke, humidity, water, and air-borne pollutants such as dust that can impede the functioning or damage electrical equipment. 

Display Screens 

These are typically placed in public places like transition stations, airports, roads, courthouses, or motor vehicle departments. These screens communicate important updates without disrupting traffic. Display screens have become essential where many people, such as hospital visitors, sporting event attendees, travelers, college students, and a wide range of other groups of people, need quick access to information. 

Smart PoE LED Lighting Systems 

LED Lighting is transitioning to a phase where infrastructure supports bright lighting. Some years back, facilities relied on traditional AC wiring to power these systems—IEEE 802.3bt is transforming the upper thresholds of power delivery. The 90W capability of the new PoE lighting architecture delivers more power per port with less waste.

Access Flooring Brings PoE and IoT Together

PoE delivers power and data over a single cable, thereby making it easier to install without needing a qualified electrician. Among other things, IoT enables you to view the layout of your commercial building through augmented reality. Applying these technologies to raised access flooring makes it more agile and ensures that the building works for the inhabitants and not the other way round.

Having an infrastructure in place to support the flexible use and addition of connected technologies will allow commercial properties to shine in a competitive market. 

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