- Buildings should be ready for a change
- High-tech buildings to be considered as a smart gadget
- Efficient planning and simulation of a building and its systems allow for reduction of expenses
RICHHILL BUSINESS CENTER is one of the most high-tech buildings in the capital of Sofia. Designed as a digital and innovation hub, it is not by chance that the building claimed first place in the category BUILDING INNOVATION AWARD of 2019 Building of the Year Contest. The concept of the business center reflects the essence of technological companies – innovativeness, dynamicity, and entrepreneurship. Since its completion in 2018, it hosts the headquarters of the technological group Telelink Holding, part of which is Telelink Infra Services, one of the market leaders in technological integration.
What benefits and advantages do high-tech buildings bring to their occupants; how do they adapt to the New Normal; what technologies should be applied to make the investment successful and sustainable? All these questions were posed to three representatives of Telelink Infra Services EAD who are directly involved in the project and its development and are also occupants of the building. Some tips about what BMS solutions should be used, how to plan and build a business center of a new generation are shared by:
Paun Ivanov, General Manager, Telelink Infra Services Group
Ruslan Papazyan, Executive Director, Telelink Infra Services EAD
Bilyana Popova, Security and Automation Manager, Telelink Infra Services EAD
- Mr. Papazyan, would you please tell us more about the project RICHHILL BUSINESS CENTER from the point of view of a tenant of the building? Please, elaborate on the history and the mission of the building.
R. P. Тeleleink Infra Services has been a tenant of the building since 2018. The mission of the high-tech business center is to provide its tenants and occupants with a safe and sustainable environment, now and in the future.
- What were the major objectives, set during the planning stage of the building? And what about the main challenges you faced?
R. P. RICHHILL started as a project, intended to show how the latest technologies could be applied in a modern building. The main objective was the building to be sustainable and flexible enough to be adapted to the needs of its occupants.
To fulfill that objective and mission, we relied on comprehensive solutions which gave us the option to integrate all systems into one platform, managed in a synchronized way.
In that way we created a safe and comfortable environment for the occupants of the building, whereas the technologies contributed to applying a successful business model for ROI.
High-Tech buildings should be considered as a smart gadget
This is an important prerequisite for proving a sustainable investment in the future. What we know about a smart gadget is that it should have enough memory, enough power for data processing as well as a screen and peripheral devices which are good enough. I believe that this analogy is quite relevant, because when we build a high-tech building, we should make sure that the base is strong enough and it can be upgraded over time with respect to the software, the peripheral devices, so that we can change their position or purpose of use at some point in the future. When we have such a base, the investment shall get reduced in the long term and no frequent upgrades shall be necessary in case a change of in the use of the building is required. Last few years have taught us that we should be ready for changes. Here comes the importance of
The price of energy resources has been increasing over recent years which prompts us to use them more efficiently. This high-tech integrated building system is very essential for providing energy efficiency.
We, as a society, have passed through two stages as far as energy efficiency is concerned. The first one was to use energy efficient equipment for lighting, heating, etc. The next one is to upgrade the first stage by an efficient management of this equipment. An integrated, smart, well-developed system provides us with this option.
- What innovative solutions and technologies by Siemens have been applied in RICHHILL which ensure maximum level of efficiency and futureproof operation of all systems?
- R. P. To meet those objectives, it was essential to find out an integrated system of different peripheral devices, managed from a single point. Thus, it could be guaranteed that necessary future transformations could be performed smoothly and effortlessly. Desigo CC platform met all those requirements which explains why it was our choice. I think that it gave us a prerequisite to make the right investment which could be paid off with the correct parameters over time.
- B.P. Another innovative system is the autonomous zonal management of lighting which provides tenants with highest comfort and contributes to electricity savings.
- How does Desigo CC BMS operate in RICHHILL?
- B. P. Our role was to adapt the system to the needs of the tenants of the building. In that platform, we integrated all systems: security and fire safety systems, video surveillance, fire alarm, lighting, air conditioning, diesel generator, etc. The platform is open and allows for the integration of all systems in the building, irrespective of their manufacturer.
- What benefits and advantages does the system bring to the building?
- B.P. The major benefit of this platform is that all systems in the building could be managed and visualized from a single interface. This allows for remote access - 24 hours /7 days in the week; it functions autonomously and does not require to be monitored by an operator.
Desigo CC is flexible to changes
which become necessary due to changes in the parameters or changes in the architecture, made by the tenants. By integrating a BMS in RICHHILL we ensured a better predictability of electricity and maintenance expenses. We can react much faster in case of a problem, an accident, a change in the occupancy of the building. For instance, during the pandemic when the occupancy of office spaces was decreased, electricity expenses could be reduced by regulating the air conditioning.
is an autonomous system, whose operation depends on the presence in a room by ensuring the maintenance of a certain degree of lighting for each working space. In RICHHILL we integrated the lighting of the common parts, façade lighting, outdoor advertisements as well as the lighting in the office units. Тhis solution results in energy efficiency and reduction of electricity costs, without interfering with the comfort of the tenants.
Another key role of the BMS
is collecting and analyzing data
from all systems. Based on the gathered data, certain decisions could be made for improving the electrical consumers in the building, without causing any discomfort to the occupants. Thanks to the continuous energy monitoring options we save operators time for reading the meters in the building. The system generates reports over certain periods of time for each separate consumer of the different tenants.
- Considering that you have been a tenant of the building for 3 years and have gained certain experience in its maintenance, do you think that the BMS contributes to the reduction of expenses (for electricity, operation, and maintenance)?
B. P. Last two years were marked by a lot of changes related to the management of buildings. A great part of the office spaces remained empty or with reduced occupancy which prompted us to configure the systems in such a way that they work only when necessary. In these spaces we can decrease the operation of the air conditioning and of the electrical consumers to reduce the expenses of both the tenant and the owner of the building.
- How do you manage the access control and the security of so many people considering RICHHILL’s capacity, especially in the context of a global pandemic when the measures need to be strictly observed?
- B.P. The installation of fire safety and security systems enabled us to build strong relations between them. For instance, the combination of fire alarm systems and video surveillance makes it possible for you to see the camera of the respective zone in case of a fire and to react quickly and adequately. Access control, integrated in video surveillance, allows for more secure access as you can see whether the person who enters a given zone corresponds to the card they use.
- As a tenant of one of the most high-tech business centers in Sofia and a manager of a company, leader in the implementation of infrastructural projects, what would you recommend to investors in buildings related to planning of future projects? What technological solutions you consider important to guarantee long term profitability and ROI?
- P.I. If we assume that today the perfect building provides the highest quality and the greatest levels of comfort and security at the lowest price, the first question we pose to a future investor is where they would like to position a new project. What levels of comfort and security are required and at what price? Then, planning gets essential. Planning is the project stage that can contribute to saving significant financial resources. The main objective is optimal synchronization of all project stages related to planning of the façade, the architecture, the building systems, the BMS and the security of a building. In the second decade of the 21st century when the most advanced planning and simulation tools are available, we have no excuse to develop a project that can mislead us and cause excessive expenses. Therefore, after positioning the project with respect to comfort, security and price of operation, the most essential thing becomes planning and simulation of the building and its systems.