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19 Feb 2021 | Industry Insights

Emerging Smart Building Terminology

Twinview as a single pane of glass

The Digital Twin is new to the property sector. The connection of systems, information and data are all-new and a number of terms have been adopted that are now relevant to buildings. There is also the emergence of prop-tech platforms such as Twinview.

Twinview brings all of the operational systems in a building together and aggregates them onto a single platform that can be viewed by anyone, for anyone, dependent on permissions.

The platform connects to new and existing systems to allow monitoring and control. With the collection of data, artificial intelligence is used to optimise performance, in turn, reducing costs and carbon.

With the complexity of buildings increasing, Twinview now employs a team of Master Systems Integrators to ensure that the systems align with the client’s day-to-day requirements, allowing them to maximise value from the technology.

Master Systems Integrator

For the last couple of decades, there has been a lot of discussion about smart buildings. Several buildings have often adopted the principals as pilot projects for research, however, today a smart building is an affordable reality. An increase in cloud solutions and Internet of Things devices have made this possible.

In the building management sector, there has been a rapid increase in technology and software which has left a skills vacuum.

Traditionally, buildings have had building management system specialists such as a security specialist and an IT infrastructure specialist. These roles are typically part of the construction contract and often do not interface with the building occupier or their particular requirements.

Technology is moving fast and complexity is only increasing.

Now, all of this information has to be brought together to allow data to be viewed and controlled centrally.

A new role of the Master Systems Integrator (MSI) is emerging on building projects. The MSI’s primary role is to ensure that the client’s voice is heard and that all technologies are integrated and are technically compliant to align with security needs.

The MSI should be appointed at the very beginning of a project, even before any design has commenced. This can help to understand the client’s existing systems and processes as well as understanding the requirements from the new building.

They will write the design and construction specification, ensuring that the installation is in accordance with requirements and is correctly commissioned.

Importantly, the role continues beyond handover and adds value to the client when in operation by analysing the data and optimising performance. With emerging artificial intelligence, there is an opportunity to simulate and predict performance to optimise performance outcomes.

The single pane of glass

A Single Pane of Glass (SPOG) is a term used in the IT network community to describe a management console that presents data from multiple sources in a unified display. Typically, the glass is a computer monitor or a mobile device screen.

The SPOG view is a starting point from which a building manager or operator can get a sense of the overall property performance. It presents operational data that is easier to read and interpret. The phrase ‘Single Pane of Glass’ can also be referred to as a dashboard, one of the latest features on the Twinview platform.

An effective 'Single Pane of Glass' dashboard would include:

  • An intuitive graphical user interface that is thoughtfully laid out and easy to navigate.
  • A logical structure behind the display that makes accessing current data easy and fast.
  • A display that can be customised and categorised to meet specific end-user needs.