Trends Shaping the Future of Connected Smart Buildings: Power over Ethernet

Part 2: Insights from industry expert Casey Talon

Power over Ethernet. Automation. Wireless. The future of connected infrastructures and smart buildings are being shaped today. What do building owners and managers need to overcome to convert commercial facilities into smart buildings? In order to keep up with the latest infrastructure technology trends, we spoke with Casey Talon, a Research Director at Navigant and consultant specializing in market research. In the second part of a three-part series, we ask Casey about the true value of today’s most intelligent infrastructure.

Question for Casey

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is poised to become the new power grid in modern buildings. How will your clients benefit from PoE? What infrastructure considerations should they make as they adopt PoE?

Casey’s response

PoE holds a lot of promise for the smart buildings market. The reduced installation costs, real-time data, and scalability of PoE makes it an attractive technology for smart buildings. While PoE first entered the commercial buildings scene with VoIP phones, the IEEE 100W standard opens the door to more compelling applications relative to smart building goals that benefit from integrating point of sales machines, digital signage, smart lighting, cameras, and other devices as IoT becomes mainstream. Integrating the data streams from smart lighting and cameras, for example, can offer building owners new insight into space use that can inform decisions around leasing or safety.

Building owners will rely on their IT staff or technology partners to define the requirements for their network as they look to implement PoE smart building solutions. Choosing the right cabling and management strategies will help future-proof their buildings as they look to an era of exponential growth in IP-connected devices that need to be integrated for the data analytics that come with IoT. Again, many organizations will struggle to manage a cohesive strategy across their IT and OT systems with existing staff, but understanding the importance of data and the opportunity of smart buildings opens the door to new engagements with service providers.

Benefits of Power over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet promises flexibility for growth, operational efficiency, improved network control and easier, more cost-effective installation. Customers that deploy PoE will also benefit from devices that operate ongoing without the worry of unexpected failure when batteries need to be replaced. To learn more about its significance in today’s smart buildings and how to navigate the opportunities and obstacles of adapting PoE, read our eBook The Role of Power over Ethernet (PoE) in the Modern Connected Enterprise.

There’s more to discover about the latest trends and tech in smart buildings. Join us next time with Casey when we discuss wireless, retrofitting and the emerging Energy Cloud.

Trends shaping the future of connected smart buildings

Part 1: Insights from industry expert Casey Talon

In order to keep up with the latest infrastructure technology trends, we spoke with Casey Talon, a Research Director at Navigant and consultant specializing in market research. As the first part of a three part series, we ask Casey about the true value of today’s most intelligent infrastructure.

Navigant Research’s Building Innovations program focuses on the design, construction, and maintenance of efficient commercial and residential buildings. As Research Director, Casey manages Navigant Research’s Intelligent Building Management Systems research service. This service is focused on assessing market opportunity for data-driven tools for energy and operational efficiency in commercial buildings, go-to-market strategies for intelligent building solution providers, and other major market dynamics.

Question for Casey

 As buildings become more automated, new systems and technologies are finding a home on the network. In what ways does your research suggest this will optimize building functions?

Casey’s response

Best practices in network design and cybersecurity are critical elements of a successful smart building strategy. Deploying individual smart systems that run in isolation can only deliver so much benefit. Facilities management is transformed when systems are integrated, data is accessible, and analytics deliver real business insight and direct automated improvements.

IT/OT convergence is a necessity for smart building success. The market is still maturing when you consider the people side of the equation—this is where the significant challenges lie. A secure, seamless, and future-proof network requires cross-domain knowledge, a bridge between legacy facilities and IT teams. Many building owners and managers struggle with this change management process. There is a lot of room for new partnerships and services to support the conversion of commercial facilities into smart buildings.

Today, building owners look to two core value propositions for investing in smart buildings: optimizing system performance and customizing the occupant experience. New applications translate data from diverse building systems, occupancy, weather, energy, and IoT and building equipment into actionable information on strategic business challenges.

Smart building solutions offer a unified approach to deliver energy savings and other business goals such as tracking customer flow in a store, occupancy rates for rented offices, and time for locating shared assets in healthcare to maximize asset value; these are often challenges that may be even higher priority than saving energy.

There is an important link between optimized building systems and the occupant experience. Optimized performance delivers metrics that satisfy demands for sustainability and occupant-centric operations that increasingly represent brand, thereby connecting investment in smart building solutions to the bottom line. Loyal customers equal sales, happy employees equal productivity, and healthy students equal school success.

Benefits of smart buildings

Advantages of smart buildings go beyond energy savings and optimized building operations. For many organizations, the true benefit of a highly connected building is a more satisfying customer experience, higher employee productivity and satisfaction, better student performance, or even improved patient health. To learn more about the key systems found in digital buildings, the benefits of converging systems onto the IP network and the infrastructure that supports it, check out our eBook The Agile and Efficient Digital Building.

There’s more to discover about the latest trends and technology in smart buildings. Join us next time with Casey when we discuss Power over Ethernet.

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Planning for Wireless Growth in Buildings

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the number of wireless devices in the world is increasing. Five years ago, digital analysts declared that the number of devices had officially surpassed the number of people in the world. And, by 2025, analysts predict there will be 6 to 10 networked devices per person.

wireless demands strain building infrastructure
The number of wireless devices continues to grow, pushing the evolution of wireless access points, as well as Wi-Fi standards and technologies

To keep up with this demand, wireless access points (WAPs) have evolved. Today’s largest WAPs can support up to 200 client devices. This sounds like a lot, until you think about a large office building, university lecture hall, convention hotel, or airport. In facilities like these, large numbers of employees, students, and travelers are connecting multiple devices: a laptop computer, wireless phone, tablet, smart watch, handheld game console, or any number of other connected devices – potentially all at the same time! And, don’t forget building functions: many of the sensors and devices that connect and control lighting, HVAC, and security systems connect wirelessly. Suddenly, those 200 client devices are accounted for pretty quickly.  

Wireless standards and technologies have also evolved to meet demand. In a span of just 10 short years, wireless technology has seen Wi-Fi 4, 5, and 6. The newest standard, Wi-Fi 6, offers improved data rates, better performance in high-density applications, and reduced latency over previous versions, and is poised to become the fastest growing wireless standard in history. And, while Wi-Fi 6 is not yet commonly deployed, engineers are already working on the next evolution: Wi-Fi 7.

This ongoing evolution of WAPs, standards, and technologies makes it imperative that the layer 1 physical infrastructure also evolve. The move to bigger and faster WAPs has put a strain on the underlying network and the cabling infrastructure that supports it.

Install Wireless with an Eye on the Future

Whether you’re looking to add or upgrade WAPs in your building to support your wireless needs today, when it comes to the infrastructure connecting those WAPs, you should consider not only what you need today, but tomorrow, as well. Because, as we can all see, wireless demand isn’t going to decreas.

For two key reasons, Category 6A cabling is the cabling of choice for WAPs:

  • Category 6A supports 10GBASE-T, a requirement for Wi-Fi 6 and 7
  • Category 6A has optimal PoE performance

To ensure your cabling plant can support wireless growth in the future, Panduit recommends the installation of four Category 6A cables per access point. Why four?

  • Many buildings often need to increase Wi-Fi density, and having additional cables in the ceiling makes upgrading Wi-Fi density quick, easy, and cost-effective
  • The Wi-Fi 7 standard is expected to require two 10GBASE-T links, both running over Category 6A cable
  • Therefore, 4 cables are recommended for both increased density and future Wi-Fi 7 needs
  • Installing the 4 cables upfront provides the lowest possible cost

Learn More!

The impacts of these latest Wi-Fi advances are spelled out in greater detail in our new white paper, Wi-Fi 5, 6, and 7: Insights and Impacts on Cabling Infrastructure. Download it today to learn more about the improvements and advances in wireless technology and how to make sure the cabling plant you install to meet today’s wireless needs will grow with your building.

Can your cabling support the demands of the future?

Are you equipped to deliver the healthcare of the future? In the first of our five-part blog series, we explore key areas of consideration to help you make the decisions that will improve the lives of patients, doctors, and nurses.

Technical innovations are driving faster, more accurate diagnoses, streamlined care and better outcomes for patients. By 2021, the health technology sector is expected to reach $280 billion, according the 2019 US and Global Health Care Industry Outlook report by Deloitte*.

What’s more, Deloitte suggests the US healthcare industry is moving towards a model based on value rather than volume. This means keeping people healthy and out of the hospital will be key. Rather than seeing people as patients, healthcare providers should treat them more like members – a shift that could result in greater customer loyalty. The successful deployment and management of wireless technology can ease this transition by providing a reliable, always on network which is critical to the success of future digital tools, workflow and patient care.

But wireless data transfer is only as reliable and fast as the infrastructure that supports it. Data has to be funneled through a cable at some point, and you may find that your existing cabling infrastructure can’t keep up with the demands of the modern healthcare organization.

Too often, cabling is neglected when planning for new technology investments. The reality is that robust cabling is essential for the success of wireless technologies. It provides the reliability and performance that always-on healthcare networks demand. A 10G infrastructure provides the bandwidth to support the most demanding technology, delivering high-resolution imaging across a hospital in moments, while keeping patients and staff wirelessly connected, and medical records secure.

Not investing in physical infrastructure, may mean not getting the best from the wireless technologies that help deliver competitive patient care. Here are four use cases.

Fast and efficient data collection

Wirelessly connecting medical devices to Electronic Health Records systems has reduced the time it takes to enter vitals from 7-10 minutes to less than 1 minute per patient, according to Becker’s Hospital Review**. What’s more, having access to up-to-date test results and medical records electronically enables staff to provide more streamlined care.

Reducing errors

With the help of wireless technology, patient information no longer has to be interpreted and uploaded to a hospital database manually, significantly reducing the risk of errors.

Location tracking

Wireless technology offers the ability to track a patient’s location, providing a sense of freedom and security for those with long-term illness living outside a medical facility. For example, if a patient with Alzheimer’s diseases goes missing, they can be easily located.

It also provides better care in medical facilities. Wireless, wearable sensors track patient movement, alerting nursing staff when someone leaves their room or suffers a fall.

Remote monitoring

Wireless smart devices allow doctors to monitor patients remotely. Medical devices such as vital sign monitors and infusion pumps transmit data to electronic records, giving doctors remote access to critical information. What’s more, doctors can provide patients with advice via video conferencing.

These examples simply scratch the surface of what’s possible with wireless technology powered by high-performance cabling. Our solutions can serve as the backbone for platforms that improve the quality of care today and beyond.

Discover how Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare relied on Panduit’s Enterprise and Data Center Solutions to create a home for high-level medical services to grow and thrive. Learn more now.

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/life-sciences-and-health-care/articles/us-and-global-health-care-industry-trends-outlook.html

**  https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/the-connected-hospital-wireless-technology-shapes-the-future-of-healthcare.html

Can your infrastructure meet the requirements of MiFID II?

With GDPR still a prevalent concern across the financial services industry, financial institutions face another major regulatory challenge in the form of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II). In the UK alone, the Financial Conduct Authority received 1,335 notifications of inaccurate transaction reporting under (MiFID II during 2018*).

The directive is multi-faceted. Ostensibly, the EU designed it to offer more protection to investors by introducing greater transparency to asset classes, whether they’re equities, fixed income, exchange traded funds or foreign exchange.

But this has consequences for your underlying networking infrastructure, which is required to support greater and more timely data transactions. This is especially pertinent for trading firms in the High Frequency Trading (HFT) sector, where trimming network latency by nanoseconds results in increased profits and competitive advantage.

With this in mind, MiFID II mandates latency standards across global banking networks. It also requires communication across those networks to be captured and recorded in real-time, and time-stamped accordingly.

Time stamping is a critical factor, requiring correct handling, with uniform latency across a network helping to create a consolidated view of network transactions which all carry accurate time-stamps.

There are certain technical standards for time-stamping that firms must meet under the new directive. Among these are: choosing the clock that you will use as a reference; indicating the type of organizations involved in a trade; defining the type of trade; and the level of time-stamp granularity -e.g. microseconds or nanoseconds. If you, as a trader, are dealing with a dual-listed, cross-border stock that covers two time zones, your infrastructure needs to be sufficiently uniform so you can document well and timestamp accurately. Once again, latency is the key.

The consequences are even fiercer than with GDPR, as non-compliant companies risk fines of up to €5m, or up to 10% of global turnover**. This is a concern for the 65% of capital market firms across Europe who stated in a 2018 survey that they had no adequate or systematic method in place to monitor trades in accordance with best execution criteria***.

Read this blog to find out how else you should be equipping your network infrastructure to ensure efficiency.  

*  https://www.ftadviser.com/regulation/2019/04/10/more-than-1-000-mifid-ii-breaches-reported-to-fca/

**  https://www.pwc.ch/en/publications/2018/solgari-industry-report.pdf 

***    https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/16488/mifid-ii—one-year-on

Supporting Video Games (and Academics) at Universities

With the ever-increasing popularity of video games, it’s no surprise that there’s a day dedicated to recognizing video games and the gamers playing them. July 8 is Video Games Day, so whether you’re more inclined to crush candies or join friends for a round or two (or 10) of Fortnite, today’s your day!

In the world of online gaming, players want fast upload speeds, even faster download speeds, and low lag. When multiple players are using the same internet connection, the required capacity is multiplied by the number of players.

For most of us, that’s a function of our home internet connection. However, there’s one location where this need for bandwidth is crucial because of sheer volume: the college or university residence hall. Gaming consoles are among the average of eight wireless devices students bring with them when they move on campus. (Curious about the others? Phones, laptops and tablets, as well as smart TVs, wireless printers and wearables are among the other common devices.)

What’s a university to do when the primary gaming demographic is the same demographic as their enrollment … and they all want those fast speeds and low lag rates at the same time? Fear not. There are solutions. And the good news is, when wireless coverage is sufficient to support online gaming, it is adequate to support academic needs also!

Look at Coverage and Capacity

Coverage and capacity provide two approaches to improving the performance of a wireless network.

Coverage: With 100 percent wireless coverage in all areas of the residence hall, students and staff will be able to connect and have Wi-Fi service everywhere they need it. If there are areas where interference and dead zones are an issue, a wireless site survey can determine coverage needs and identify any remediation that is needed. It’s also a good idea to keep an inventory of all wireless devices and their operating frequencies to manage and limit interference between devices.

Capacity: Wireless capacity is the ability of the network to provide reliable, responsive wireless access to the growing number of wireless devices that are competing for bandwidth – in other words, each of those eight devices that students are bringing to campus. This could require more access points in closer proximity, higher power access points, or a mix of both.

Without addressing the wireless needs, you might find that students will take matters into their own hands and bring personal routers, which can wreak havoc with the university’s installed infrastructure. A robust wireless network that meets both coverage and capacity will eliminate these rogue routers before they become a problem.

Increase your Bandwidth

For more than a decade, wireless has been the application driving the need for higher performance cabling infrastructure. The latest generations of WAPs are designed to simultaneously support more than 200 client devices. To get the promised performance, however, the cabling infrastructure that connects the WAP has to perform to those standards.

Wi-Fi 6 (the common name for IEEE 802.11ax) is poised to become the largest and fastest growing wireless standard in history. And, Wi-Fi 7 is fast on the heels of Wi-Fi 6, with significant improvements beyond Wi-Fi 6. If you’re installing or upgrading cabling infrastructure today, you’ll want to be sure it meets the requirements for Wi-Fi 7 at a minimum, so you’re prepared for future generations of access points.

This means Category 6A cabling, to support 10GBASE-T, plus two to four cables per access port. Why four? A minimum of two cables is required to allow for speeds up to 20 Gbps with link aggregation. An additional two Cat 6A cables are then recommended to allow for increased densities over time. It’s easier and cheaper to install the added cables today, than it is to add them later.

Consider Power over Ethernet

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is the new power grid in today’s buildings, with the latest PoE standards allowing for up to 99W of power via the same structured cabling that is moving data to and from the device. Wireless access points are a prime candidate for PoE. With PoE, WAPs can be moved, added and reconfigured at will, without worrying about whether there is an electrical source near the access point.

Once again, Category 6A is the go-to for PoE. The construction of Category 6A cables means they are better equipped to handle the heat rise that comes with PoE. Panduit’s Vari-MaTriX Cat 6A cables are designed with improved thermal capacity, to provide the ultimate in heat rise protection for PoE.

Design for Aesthetics

If you’re adding wireless capacity to existing residence halls, you might not be able to run cabling infrastructure above the ceiling, where that infrastructure typically lives in newer buildings. In cases like this, we’ve seen universities have success using a raceway to contain the cabling infrastructure.

Purdue University successfully added wireless capacity in historic residence halls using a raceway solution plus small diameter cabling. Learn more about the award-winning Purdue project in our Purdue University Case Study.

Game On!

Adding or improving wireless capacity for resident students doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right infrastructure in place, paired with our recommendations above, your students will be ready to game – or study – to their hearts’ content.

InfoComm 2019: Atlona and Panduit Showcase End-to-End AV Solution

In just a couple days, the Pro AV industry will begin to gather in Orlando for InfoComm 2019, an opportunity to learn from industry leaders, see new products, and connect with colleagues in North America’s largest AV show. Panduit, in conjunction with recently acquired Atlona, will be showing a complete end-to-end AV over IP system, featuring Atlona’s OmniStream™ solution, plus the infrastructure and connectivity needed for a quality AV ecosystem.

Visitors to Atlona’s booth (3012) will see everything needed to add collaboration capabilities to a conference room, classroom or huddle space, or to add or upgrade digital signage within their facility. This includes a variety of components from Atlona, no stranger to InfoComm and the AV environment. Panduit, which acquired Atlona in January, will demonstrate its latest enterprise-level equipment racks, cabinets and connectivity solutions for AV, with a focus on helping integrators and end users streamline the installation and management of their core system architectures.

The big change in the Atlona booth this year is the addition of Panduit’s infrastructure solutions:

  • Quality twisted pair copper cabling and connectivity to connect switchers and extenders
  • Equipment racks and wall-mount cabinets that house AV and networking equipment
  • In-room solutions including table boxes that provide connectivity for meeting participants, in-wall boxes to house gear behind monitors, and Above Floor Raceway to safely and efficiently route data, power, and AV cables in rooms where core drilling isn’t feasible

For Panduit, InfoComm provides us an opportunity to close the knowledge gap around how to identify and choose the most appropriate Layer 1 infrastructure for each AV project. We’re excited to speak with Atlona partners and customers about how Panduit can help them deploy Atlona products easier and faster with quality cable management, reliable infrastructure, and secure connectivity.

Panduit AV Infrastructure

Panduit will emphasize key solutions at its dedicated station in the Atlona booth:

  • Panduit Two-Post Rack System: This dual-column data rack offers a reliable foundation for mounting AV and data center equipment and is ideal for installation in enterprise-wide IT distribution closets. Its modular design offers side access with plenty of space to efficiently install, manage and organize cables, patch panels and other accessories, reducing installation times by up to 15 percent compared to competitive solutions. The display will feature a wide variety of Panduit cabling and connectivity, as well as cable management solutions.
  • Panduit Wall-Mount Cabinets: Offering the same foundational strength and systems integration efficiency as Panduit’s two-post racks, these compact cabinets provide a secure and reliable solution for facilities requiring infrastructure and patching solutions in open spaces, or in equipment rooms with limited real estate.
  • Panduit Field-Terminable Plugs: These modular plugs allow contractors to run horizontal cable direct to equipment, eliminating the need for jacks, surface-mounted boxes and/or patch cords – reducing installation times and upfront costs by up to 40 percent, while eliminating multiple points of failure.
  • Panduit In-Room AV Solutions: In-wall and in-table boxes, while not the central point in any AV system, make it easier for users to connect and collaborate. And, Panduit’s award-winning Above Floor Raceway is easy to install, easy to use, durable and ADA compliant – everything you want in your conference rooms or huddle spaces.

Panduit will populate the two-post racks and wall-mounted cabinets with Atlona equipment, including OmniStream AV over IP devices – a springboard for a broader conversation about how quality infrastructure and connectivity will ensure that video, audio and data signal integrity is maintained across the ecosystem. Panduit representatives will also be on hand to discuss other infrastructure concerns, including the benefits and ideal scenarios of applying unshielded cable versus shielded cable, for example.

Beyond offering a robust and reliable infrastructure, we look forward to demonstrating how our systems provide the generous headroom and bandwidth required to support the higher resolution of 4K/UHD and HDR signals moving across the enterprise. Quality infrastructure directly relates to the quality of the AV signals being deployed. The better the quality of the cable and connectivity you have, the less you need to worry about pixel drops, discoloration, and other undesirable visual artifacts.

InfoComm 2019 takes place from June 12-14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. If you haven’t already secured a free pass, you can register for a free pass using code ATL175.

Physical Security is First Line of Defense Against Network and Equipment Threats

Former student destroys 59 university computers using USB Killer device. This was the latest headline in tech magazines about damage to computer equipment, caused by someone gaining access to an open port on equipment. This incident cost The College of Saint Rose in New York nearly $60,000 in equipment and the labor to replace. Whether it is destroyed equipment or data breaches, open ports on equipment are costly for institutions of all shapes and sizes.

Fortunately, it is easy – and inexpensive – to prevent these types of activities.

Physical security is easy to overlook when IT departments look at information security, but it is often the easiest and best place to start, forming a first line of defense against malicious activity. Access control measures, including locked doors on server rooms and telecommunication closets, and even locked cabinets or tamper resistant faceplates are a great place to start. However, that won’t stop a disgruntled employee – or student, in the example article above – from doing significant damage to computers, monitors, or any device that has an open port.

A simple fix is to block those ports to anyone who shouldn’t have access. Because many peripheral devices connect to computers via USB drives (think headsets, printers, wireless mouse, and more), virtually every computer has at least one USB port. When those ports aren’t in use, especially on equipment that is easy for many people to access, a USB block-out blocks the port and can’t be removed without a removal key. This solution costs just a few dollars per port, and prevents incidents like the headline above, where the student used a “USB Killer” device to render thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment unusable. Similar to a lock on a door, it may not keep every thief out, but will encourage most of them to move on and look for an easier target elsewhere.

USB ports aren’t the only ports that can be protected. Panduit offers block-out devices for USB ports, RJ45 copper jacks, and LC duplex fiber adapters, and lock-in devices to secure patch cords or plugs in RJ45 jacks.

Learn more about Panduit’s physical security solution in our Network Infrastructure Security Solution brochure.

And, be on the lookout for a new USB block-out that will be hitting shelves soon, with a smaller form factor that sits flush with the device, making it ideal for laptops and other applications.

New Lab Delivers Best Practices for AV Deployment

World Laboratory Day is observed on April 23 each year and the timing couldn’t be better to announce the opening of Panduit’s new Audio-Visual Lab. Panduit has a long history of providing superior category cabling solutions for enterprise applications. We are able to offer our customers the best infrastructure solutions for their networks, thanks to the breadth of our expertise. Customers can rely on Panduit as a trusted advisor covering all aspects from installation, testing, industry standards, network topologies, along with the performance and capabilities of the infrastructure deployed.

With the acquisition of Atlona a few months ago, Panduit can now be that trusted advisor for emerging audio visual (AV) applications that make their way onto ethernet networks. Combining Panduit’s existing expertise with Atlona’s AV expertise, we can now give our customers a unique end-to-end perspective covering all aspects of an AV solution. To realize the benefits of our combined expertise, we have built a new research lab at the Jack E. Caveney Innovation Center. The lab was developed with three key objectives:

  1. Leverage our expertise of infrastructure and networking in AV over IP applications using Atlona’s industry-leading OmniStream solution
  2. Create an environment to understand the best practices for configuration and deployment of Atlona hardware on ethernet networks
  3. Enable competitive testing of AV infrastructure as well as alternate networked AV solutions

From these objectives, we defined key areas of focus for various AV technologies and set about to develop a site with all the necessary equipment, infrastructure, and hardware needed for a world-class lab. 

For AV over IP applications, we will have the ability to explore aspects such as network topology, infrastructure, congestion, and redundancy. The lab will consist of a highly configurable network topology to emulate real world local area network (LAN), core campus, and wide area network (WAN) configurations. A diverse array of cabling infrastructure is being installed to allow networks to be connected with either Category 5e, 6, or 6A in unshielded or shielded applications. Each cabling option will also be available in worst case configurations covering maximum and minimum four connector channel lengths per Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) guidelines. We will have the ability to evaluate the impact of network congestion on AV traffic when it is converging with other ethernet traffic such as email, voice, and web. For redundant network applications, we will be able to study the impact of various network failure modes on AV traffic. From this type of experimentation, we will be able to provide our customers with a detailed understanding of an AV network’s capabilities, along with recommendations and best practices for equipment configuration and infrastructure deployment.

Along with studying the various use cases of AV over IP and deployment options, the lab will have the ability to test other emerging Enterprise applications in the future. For this reason, the lab is known as EARL, or Enterprise Application Research Lab.

With the knowledge and insight gained from EARL, we can provide the best customer experience and guidance based on a cohesive Enterprise solution.

Earth Day 2019: Your Infrastructure can Help your Building Reduce its Environmental Impact

On Earth Day, environmental sustainability becomes a hot topic. But, the environmental impact of a building is around every day, and there are things you can do to lessen that environmental impact 24/7/365.

At Panduit, we do more than just talk about sustainability. Our world headquarters, which will celebrate its tenth birthday next year, is a LEED Gold Certified building and is just one example of our commitment to healthy, energy efficient, and sustainable business environments.

We can help you achieve that LEED certification as well. Panduit copper cable and jacks hold Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs), which contribute points towards your building’s LEED certification.

A couple of years ago the US Green Building Council adopted LEED version 4, which allows cabling systems to be counted toward LEED points. In response, Panduit was the first manufacturer to offer both EPDs and HPDs on copper cabling and connectors.

If you’re thinking about LEED certification, here’s what you need to know to make sure your cabling infrastructure can help:

EPD and HPD defined

  • EPD = Environmental Product Declaration
  • HPD = Health Product Declaration

EPDs and HPDs are both issued by a third party after they verify reports supplied by the manufacturer. EPDs disclose potential environmental impacts of a product, while HPDs disclose what a product contains and how it impacts human and ecological health.

What products carry EPDs and HPDs

A wide variety of materials used in the construction of buildings carry these declarations. Panduit has EPDs and HPDs on 18 types of RJ45 jacks and 22 different copper cables. This offering includes:

  • Unshielded and shielded applications
  • Category 5e, Category 6, and Category 6A
  • Riser and plenum flame ratings

How EPDs and HPDs equal LEED points

LEED requires the installation of at least 20 different products that have third-party certification to qualify for one LEED point. These products must be from at least five different manufacturers. So, when you install at least four different certified products from Panduit, that counts as one portion of one point for EPD and one portion of a second point for HPD. Different levels of LEED certification require different numbers of points to qualify. Our alliance partner, General Cable, also offers EPDs and HPDs on their cabling solutions, so if you use a PanGen solution, it equals a second manufacturer toward the requirement to have five different manufacturers.

Not all cabling and connectors are equal

Panduit is one of a handful of cabling manufacturers that have EPDs and HPDs on copper cabling and RJ45 jacks. So, if you’re looking for an end-to-end solution that can help you earn LEED certification, Panduit is a great choice!

We’d be happy to share more information on our EPDs and HPDs. You can find links to our EPD and HPD documents bundled with each product. For instance, here are the EPD and HPD for our Category 6A, unshielded Mini-Com® jacks. You’ll find similar documentation for other products in our online catalog at www.panduit.com. Or, reach out to your sales rep or customer service for more information.

We like to help companies do their part to help sustain the environment, and not just on Earth Day!