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Installing Public Safety DAS in LEED Certified Buildings

Oct 24, 2017

Installing Public Safety DAS in LEED Certified Buildings

This post provides an overview of installing Public Safety Distributed Antenna System in LEED Certified Buildings. We specialize in installing Public Safety DAS in such buildings.

What is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system that assesses the energy efficiency of a building and its impact on the surrounding environment. The LEED standard has been developed by the United States Green Building Council. The purpose of the LEED certification is to encourage real estate developers to build more sustainable designs.

What is Public Safety DAS?

Every building has to meet certain important public safety standards. This means first responders should have access to every part of the build, every nook and corner, basement, elevator or stairwell, through a Public Safety Band, in an emergency situation, such as when there is a natural disaster or a man-made one such as a breakout of fire.

Residents of the building should be able to get through to first responders such as the police, fire department or ambulance services in case of an emergency through their mobile phone, no matter where they are within the building. Most municipalities require buildings to pass the test for public safety communications.

One of the systems that ensures this is Public Safety DAS. DAS means Distributed Antenna System. It is a type of in-building wireless system, or a network of antenna nodes, which are meant to provide reliable wireless communication services within a geographical area, building or structure. Public Safety DAS, like LEED, is one of the leading trends in modern buildings. Every LEED-certified building has to have Public Safety DAS installed.

Why is LEED certification important?

There is a tremendous need for environmentally sustainable practices. The younger generation of today – the Millennials – are more than willing to pay extra for greener products or sustainable technologies. There is a clear momentum heading towards making all residential and commercial properties more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable.

LEED certification sets the benchmark as far as environmental sustainability is concerned. LEED certified buildings carry a higher value in the real estate market and are one of the most important building standards in place today. The market for green buildings or LEED certified buildings is estimated to be worth $254 billion by 2020. So you can imagine how important it is for a building to carry a LEED certification.

Why is Public Safety DAS important?

We live in a connected world. It is considered unthinkable for anyone to be without a mobile phone for too long. Public Safety DAS allows one to be in touch with first responders in a time of their desperation or in an emergency situation.

Many cities don’t offer building permits to a newly constructed building unless the public safety standards have been met appropriately. Installing Public Safety DAS is one of the best ways to ensure that these requirements are met. Also, the NFPA and IFC explicitly recommend setting up a DAS to improve the public safety communication systems within a building.

They have approved passive signal boosters or cell phone signal amplifiers or repeaters to be used to extend the Public Safety DAS of a building. Moreover, the in-building wireless market is huge – it is expected to be worth $16.71 billion in another 3 years. That is how important it is.

Why Install Public Safety DAS in a LEED certified building?

Installing a Public Safety DAS in a LEED certified building has many advantages. In fact, a LEED certification and a DAS solution are closely linked. DAS solutions are very much required in LEED-certified buildings which are characterized by low-emissivity glass windows which are capable of obstructing heat transmission.

But it is not just heat that such low emissivity windows obstruct; they also block the transmission of cellular signals through the building. That is why installing a DAS solution in a LEED certified building is so important. This technology ensures that the signals penetrate through the low emissivity windows successfully and are available in every nook and corner of the building.

What are the Challenges of Installing Public Safety DAS in LEED-certified buildings?

The biggest roadblock to installing a DAS solution in a LEED certified building is that these buildings have strict requirements with regards to their construction and finishing. These buildings have high standards with respect to energy.

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  • Interesting combination of two things that are important to society: our first responders and our ecosystem. Public safety boosters protect our first responders and I hope that LEED certification protects our ecosystem and isn’t just a way to pad someone’s wallet.

    Mo Palmer on
  • I’ve gone through several blogs on public safety DAS requirements and it makes me feel good knowing there are steps being taken for improving emergency responder coverage in buildings. I’m not the first person to say this, but why wouldn’t you want a good public safety radio amplification system in your building? Good to read about the NFPA and NFPA emergency responder radio coverage. I’m praying this is just the beginning of a step in this direction.

    Ricky Eubanks on
  • It seems like there is still confusion about public safety DAS requirements for the owners of buildings as well as new constructions. While it seems to be common sense that you want an in building public safety radio enhancement system to allow for first responders to communicate to each other, not everyone is aware of the requirements or the best way to put this into place.

    Wilson Franks on
  • There is no doubt Millenials are looking for greener solutions. At the same time, everyone wants the security of knowing there are devices that know how to boost cell phone signal strength and provide additional power for emergency services. It makes sense to have a multi-faceted system in place for the ecology and safety. I would argue it’s good business sense, both in terms of ethics and image.

    Tom Sutton on
  • LEED buildings are becoming trendy among real estate developers and it’s easy to see why. Having the ideal Public Safety DAS System in a building makes it ideal for escape and rescue in the case of emergency. Apparently, there’s the need for buildings to be constructed in line with LEED requirements, as this will enable more public safety band in buildings.

    Kennedy on

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