LEED and DAS are hands down the top two trends of today’s buildings. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system designed by the United States Green Building Council, and it assesses the building’s environmental performance and impact, and encourages the property development market to transform and evolve towards the sustainable design. A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is a form of in-building wireless system, a network of antenna nodes connected to provide wireless service within a set geographical space or structure. LEED and DAS represent two of today’s biggest industry trends in the building industry.
It goes without saying that the meaning of mobility has transformed, and everybody relies more on their mobile devices today than ever before. This trend is only on the upward slope, and is raising the need for reliable in-building solutions. Similarly, sustainability is becoming not only a preference but a priority - and the newer generation is more willing to pay more for greener and sustainable products. This momentum is only going to build up.
According to the research done by Markets and Markets, the market value for in-building wireless is expected to be $16.71 Billion by 2020. Similarly, report from Navigant Research shows that the market value for green construction is expected to be a sensational $254 Billion by 2020. While it’s likely that these two trends will move forth and grow in tandem, but there are some pros and cons to installing a DAS in a LEED certified building.
Why installing DAS in a LEED-Certified building have better advantages
For all commercial buildings, but especially for the Class-A buildings, LEED Certification and DAS Solutions go hand-in-hand, and line up to these buildings’ high standards. Also, low-emissivity glass windows that obstruct the heat transmission is a characteristic of LEED-Certified buildings. Not only heat, but these low-e windows also block the transmission of the cellular signals. This not only makes installing DAS in a LEED-Certified building a necessity because the external signals find it difficult to penetrate, but also makes it far easier to install DAS in the LEED-Certified building than in those with conventional glass because these insulating properties of the low-e glass block the exterior cell signals that may contend with the interior network. This helps the installation, as well as makes it less expensive, because there is no need to account for interference.
What are the challenges of installing DAS in a LEED-Certified Building
While there are many advantages to installing DAS in a LEED-Certified building, a single disadvantage is the potential for slowdowns due to the Class-A buildings’ high-finish demands and requisites. These Class-A buildings have higher standards for everything, from performance to capacity, and from efficiency to aesthetics. While LEED-Certified buildings may have better grounds for DAS installations than the conventional buildings, mainly due to the low-e glass, it is also possible that the antenna placements may have to be adjusted later due to the ‘unsightliness’ throughout the building’s premise. However, it is also true that DAS antennas are typically low-profile, which may help detract the building managers’ urge to reposition them.