Every challenge is backed by the need!! Similarly, the challenges faced by older buildings is also backed by the need of occupants to have modern connectivity, mobility, workplace quality, sustainability, security, and efficiency.
This lack of ability to support smart, intelligent technologies with existing, outdated systems is posing a challenge for older buildings to survive. Especially, buildings build in the 80s and 90s don’t have the wiring and connectivity for internet that today’s occupants demand. Moreover, the core operational systems and infrastructures of many buildings are above optimal 10 to 15 year of lifecycle and need repair or replacement.
They may be updated in between in a piecemeal fashion, but the newer systems are mostly not integrated with the older systems as it creates unnecessary havoc and increases costs.
The cost of running an older building
A building that does not have reconcillable legacy systems, proprietary system architectures, and the operating systems that are dysfunctional can lead to higher operational costs and won’t even attract tenants.
Listed below are few of the most common issues:
- Increased maintenance costs: Buildings that are older than 25 to 50 years have higher maintenance budget as compare to those that are 10 years or less old. Some buildings that are very old, maintenance costs account for almost as large a percentage of a facility’s operating budget as energy expenses.
- Inefficient energy usage and outdated systems: Some buildings have a higher consumption of energy as compare to others. Consider office buildings to justify, their energy consumption is highest followed by mercantile, education, healthcare, and lodging. With the introduction of new types of electrical equipment like computers, office equipment, telecommunication equipment and the existing ones the energy consumption have increased manifolds since few decades. Moreover, more electricity is required for cooling and ventilation of buildings that use this electrical equipment. If these systems are older, outdated and requires upgrades then the costs get magnified.
- Lacking IT and communications infrastructures: In today’s world, occupants require buildings to support them technologically. Buildings older than 40-50 years, don’t have a design with laptops and mobile devices in mind. They simply lack electrical outlets for every occupant and visitors to use a laptop and one or more mobile devices. Today’s buildings require advanced IT and communications infrastructure to support innovations like the global collaboration that is important in office and on campuses. This calls out for modernization of buildings!
- Inappropriately used space in facilities: The design of older buildings is such that they cannot accommodate the extensive communication network of fiber optic cabling, Wi-Fi routers, and other data center equipment. They even don’t have sufficient parking facility, games and entertainment amenities or play zone for kids. As a result, such things are accommodated in spaces that are ill-fitted for it, which can compromise its functioning and cause excessive use of energy. In addition, the older buildings lack the need for today’s requirements. For example, in hospitals, all the beds are not occupied all the time. Yet they account for 40-80% of hospital energy consumption.
All these together lay down high needs for the building owners to have updated infrastructures with up-to-date IT and communications technology as well as advanced energy management, mechanical, and space utilization systems.
AAG Engineering Technologies can help you to deploy few key strategies that buildings owners can use to modernize their buildings, save costs, and better satisfy tenants.
At AAG, we have years of experience in modernizing the older ones as well as deploying up-to-date technology for the newer ones.