Rogers has a specialized team dedicated to construction, ensuring that our work happens in the right sequence so that when the building is finished, the telecom is ready.
Construction delays are so common they can seem like a fact of life. But they cause real problems for builders who are forced to change their schedules, developers who have to deal with impatient investors, and for occupants who were hoping to move their homes or businesses – and may face unexpected costs when they can’t.
“In construction, every project manager only cares about two things,” says Stephen Foster, Senior Manager, Financial Services & Construction at Rogers for Business, “which are schedule and budget.” Historically, the infrastructure for telecom services was something of an afterthought. “Builders used to finish a building and then it waited for the Internet to arrive. Telecom was never part of that construction process, and then came in at the end asking for different conduit sizes, breaking down ceiling tiles, digging up brand new landscape. The builder would lay down all the unilock at the front and the telecom provider would come in and say no, we have tear it up because we need to bring in our fiber to the facility.”
A general contractor for telecom and IT
Foster has a background in construction, and when he came to Rogers he wanted to do things differently. “Think about the General Contractor model,” he says, “The GC model has been around for 50 or 60 years, in building everything from airports to hospitals to high rises. The GC is the firm that manages the subtrades, whether it’s the window glass installer, the drywall or the electrical subcontractor.” Foster envisions Rogers as the GC for the telecom and IT aspects of the building.
That means Rogers is part of the team from the beginning of the project. For a modern telecom system, there are not only the raceways and pathways for the fibre to consider, but also wi-fi antennas or repeaters and boosters for wireless signals. What’s more, developers both need to consider the needs of today and future proof buildings for tomorrow.
Construction solutions from Rogers Business, and proper planning for telecom infrastructure from the beginning helps ensure that projects stay on schedule (and thus stay on budget).
Aligning on the sequence of construction is critical
To ensure we are part of the planning process, the Rogers ICAT Architects are focused on working closely with the construction teams. “On new construction, aligning with the teams around the sequence of work is critical,” says Foster. “We've modified our approach to these projects to work with the GCs, work with the builders, the architects and the engineers. We’ve made it so that our work happens in the right sequence of the build. That means that when the building is done, it's essentially done for everything.”
“We’ve made it so that our work happens in the right sequence of the build. That means that when the building is done, it's essentially done for everything.”
- Stephen Foster, Senior Manager, Financial Services & Construction at Rogers for Business
Doing things this way also allows Rogers to provide on-site connectivity during the building process. According to Foster, “it wasn't too long ago that the trades didn't have access to Internet or Wi-Fi on the sites.” Today, Rogers is making the effort to get involved in the pre-construction phase. “As they're putting the floors up,” says Foster, “We're attempting to light up Wi-Fi or off-air cellular coverage to enable these subtrades to have technology to be able to see the drawings. This can be game-changing for sites that have no glass, or no on-site office.”
In doing these things, Rogers is really only keeping pace with the way people are using the internet. It’s required for work and required at home, so it needs to be there when construction work is being done, and people will expect it to be ready when they move into a new building. “We've been successful in delivering the Rogers services so that when the heating is turned on, the water is turned on, the hydro is turned on, so is the internet, the 5G wireless service and the Distributed Antenna System (DAS),” says Foster. “IT really is the fourth utility.”
Enabling even more for occupants
Having internet ready on the same schedule as the building also enables what Foster calls vertical systems. “When we make the network available from day one, wired or wireless powered by Rogers, we can take the data from various vertical buckets – whether it’s CCTV, card access, metering for utilities, elevators, Wi-Fi, phone systems – and help integrate it together to provide value for our clients.”
For example, in a hybrid work environment where someone only works on specific days of the week, when they arrive and scan their security card at the parking garage, the other systems relevant to them can be engaged. An elevator to take them to their floor, lights to come on where their desk is located and at the nearest washroom and coffee station. You don’t need to activate all the elevators or light up an entire floor. “This is how we help drive costs out of the model and build these use cases to accommodate the new ways of work going forward,” says Foster. “The technology is there and in many cases has been there for years, but the differentiating factor is getting the data from these systems on one consistent network to allow us to really make the end user’s life easier and more efficient, and give them a really great experience in their new building.”
Work with Rogers on your next construction project
“At the end of the day,” Foster says, “It's about time and money.” Leveraging the experience of our team, Rogers is making sure that we understand and work with the sequence of construction to help prevent delays and eliminate additional costs. What this ultimately means, in Foster’s words, is that “when the building is done, it's done” and the occupants can enjoy all the benefits that flow from that.
This post is part of a series on transforming industries with smart technology. Check out the related posts here.