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Smart buildings and the need for a Master Systems Integrator (MSI)

It takes brains to create smart buildings. From initial design and planning — to installation, commissioning, integration and operation — turning commercial properties into smart offices, shops and hotels is a complex job.

Upgrading traditional commercial buildings — some of which may have been built even before the need for IT infrastructure — isn’t just about fitting heating, lighting, water, communications, and security systems.

It’s about installing a network of interconnected essential services that makes life comfortable, safe and productive for those who use the building. And once up and running, the building should be autonomous, self–regulating, and able to function regardless of external conditions.

What is a Master Systems Integrator (MSI)?

What turns buildings from simply being user friendly to being ‘smart’ is that the use of sensors, systems and software mean all these services can be fully automated, optimised to adapt to changing conditions and user demands, and controlled from a single pane of glass.

Which is why anyone embarking on a smart building project needs a Master Systems Integrator (MSI) with the know-how and project oversight to deliver buildings that are intuitive, safe, healthy, productive and environmentally efficient.

At LMG, we’ve been working on the development of smart systems and smart building infrastructure for 30 years.

Our projects range from the upgrading of opulent spaces such as the Four Seasons Hotel London in the historic Ten Trinity Square building, to the delivery of cutting-edge smart building services for the state-of-the-art Cleveland Clinic — London’s first large-scale private hospital in four decades.

All buildings deserve to be smart

The two projects couldn’t have been more different. One, a historically important building offering unparalleled guest experiences in the heart of London. The other, an outpost of one of the world’s top research hospitals providing modern, world class patient care.

What links them, though, was turning them both into fully operational smart buildings. And we were chosen for this task because the clients both recognised the importance of total integration of all systems, delivered under the management of a single partner.

As an MSI, we work hand-in-hand from day one with a project’s Digital Building Consultant (DBC). We don’t just co-ordinate projects, we ensure the systems are operationally sound, fully integrated, designed to international smart building standards such as SmartScore – and all delivered within the agreed budget and timescales.

We take full responsibility for delivering the systems and infrastructure for a smart building including operational performance and user experience requirements.

LMG and our role as MSI

When it comes to tech, we specialise in both new, ‘open’ protocol deployments and ‘mixed’ environments which also contain traditional, siloed operational technology (OT) systems. Where required, we deploy smart bridges and gateways that enable siloed legacy systems to integrate with contemporary converged building networks, and our smart building enablement platform.

LMG’s approach – which focuses on an IP-centric, cloud-first policy – enables building owners and stakeholders to plan for the future. Our infrastructure, sensor technology and software allow buildings to be easily aligned with tenant demand depending on changing use and function.

It is only by having the complete understanding of the entire smart building ‘stack’ – including the wired and wireless, networks and software that underpin all smart building operations – that you can deliver a smart building that truly lives up to its name.