The more recent definitions of "smart buildings" focus on the use of a "structured cabling system" or "structured connectivity solution" (SCS) to provide a common cabling foundation upon which various building services can be delivered: data networking, telephony, environmental controls, security systems, etc. As shown in the diagram at right, a SCS provides heavy-duty connectivity between the various floors of a building, as well as individual network connections to each workstation in each tenant area. The entire building SCS is connected to one or more telecommunications service providers at a "building distribution facility" (BDF).
Most historic definitions of "smart buildings" have focused on the use of a "building automation system" (BAS) that controls building heating, air conditioning, and security systems. These systems are often implemented independently: one cabling system used to support the building security system, another to support the HVAC systems, and so forth. In addition to cabling installed to support a BAS, telephone wiring is then installed to all work spaces due to the historic monopoly held by local telephone providers. Finally, data networks are installed, usually on a tenant-by-tenant basis due to the wide gaps between tenants in the use of networking technology.
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