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Training a new generation of multi-skilled digital building engineers

IP-based networks are enabling a new, integrated approach to digitising the built environment. However, changing how building technology is delivered – and embracing a converged platform model ­– means that we also need to take a new approach to how we train the people that manage the delivery.

There is no point in adopting a converged technology approach if you are still reliant on sub-contracting out work to multiple specialist installers. In fact, it completely eliminates the benefits of the converged approach. And this is true from the initial install all the way through to ongoing maintenance and support services.

The only way to achieve the efficiencies that are promised by the converged platform approach is by having one number to call and one person that can deal with a multitude of technologies and issues.

Without achieving that ‘one-stop-shop’ capability you are still left with unnecessary complexity in delivery and on-site management.

We know it isn’t easy to develop these capabilities – we know because we’ve had to earn our spurs. Talk is cheap, so at LMG we have invested in developing a high-calibre, multi-skilled team to be able to deliver on the promise of the converged approach.

New requirements need new accreditations

We have been at the forefront of innovation in the training and accreditation space for a number of years. LMG was instrumental in the creation of the CNCR qualification in response to the low voltage cabling trend and now we are working to create the next step of this development.

We have been working in partnership with Cnet training to develop new pathways for apprentices and engineers that will create a new generation of multi-skilled engineers.

This has led to the creation of the Certified Integrated Infrastructure Technician (CIIT®) program. This initiative develops the practical skills needed to install and commission intelligent network devices – including wireless access points, AV systems, CCTV cameras and access control systems – on converged infrastructure.

Beyond installation, the program also supports the understanding of the effect of bandwidth demand on the network based on the operating parameters of these intelligent devices and the effects of power demand by Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices on the cable infrastructure.

Leading the charge

These capabilities are crucial to realising the full benefits of the converged approach – and LMG is taking the lead in setting standards and upskilling engineers to meet the new model.

The combination of practical skills and knowledge the CIIT program delivers has multiple benefits for building owners and contractors. Not only does it mean fewer people are required on site – simplifying health and safety requirements ­– it also means CIIT certified engineers are empowered and able to make more decisions locally – not everything has to be referred back to HQ. This means sites can be completed not only more safely, but also more quickly.

The results of these efforts speak for themselves – take a look at the work we’ve done with Gatwick Airport to see for yourself just how powerful the benefits can be.

This training is just one of the building blocks required to help building owners embrace the IP network era – but it is a crucial one. With a new generation of multi-skilled engineers managing projects, a major technology refresh of the built environment will be possible.