Overview | DAS Solutions for General Contractors
When it comes to creating, reviewing, and approving building plans, it’s common to see things like floor layouts, plumbing and utility lines, proposed materials, land surveys, and myriad other components. However, one often overlooked feature in large public buildings is in-building cellular and radio communications. Wireless communications are evolving into what many are calling the fourth utility.
It may seem like an odd feature to consider at the outset of a project, but making certain to include them in the initial plans can avoid time-consuming – and costly – delays.
The Challenge | Ensuring Adequate In-Building Wireless Coverage
Navigating building codes can be difficult, especially since they vary from state and state and even town to town. Some, however, are fairly widespread and adhered to on a more universal level. Two codes, in particular, IFC-510 and NFPA-72, deal with in-building communications for public safety.
Unfortunately, common methods of building construction – including materials used – can make adhering to these codes difficult in large buildings. Per the two codes, the radio and cellular frequencies that public safety agencies use to communicate during emergency situations must be able to effectively propagate within buildings.
Due to the large amounts of wood, metal, brick, cement, and Low-E glass used in modern construction, signals can be weak or even non-existent. These weak signals can lead to a denial of building occupancy, which will likely result in costly delays and remediations.
The Solution | Including the 4th Utility Within Initial Design Phases
To prevent delays – and the costs associated with them – the design phase of projects should include systems designed to enhance wireless capacity.
Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) can be configured to distribute radio and cellular signals evenly throughout your facilities, enhancing your ability to send and receive radio or cellular transmissions from dead zones and other areas where wireless signals typically struggle to travel.
Installing a complete distributed antenna system throughout your building or facility serves a greater benefit than enabling first responders to communicate during an emergency. From an operational standpoint, reliable two-way radio coverage improves the productivity and safety of work teams engaged in building maintenance, engineering, operations, and security.
It’s also prudent to consider public cellular frequency enhancements (Cellular-DAS) in your initial plans. With the explosive increase in wireless communication devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops operating on carrier frequencies, in-building signal coverage can frequently become compromised. When your customers or tenants lose coverage, their dissatisfaction hurts your bottom line.
Public Safety-DAS (ERRCS) must operate independently from Cellular-DAS, and therefore each should be considered within its own scope of work in your planning.
The Result | Enhanced Communications Capabilities
Creating plans that account for both public safety and general communications needs will benefit your clients two-fold.
First, they’ll be able to rest easy knowing that their building has communications enhancements that will keep their occupants and any first responders safe.
Second, they’ll avoid the inconvenient delays and costly expenses associated with having to revisit the design phase, or worse – retroactively install a system to meet the minimum safety requirements.
The Team | Solution Engineering, Installation, and Support
For over 30 years, MCA has provided expertly tailored communications solutions to contractors and builders in need of two-way radios, job-site connectivity, and wireless signal enhancement systems. Our team provides top-tier support for every aspect of your business and mission-critical communications projects from start to finish. Our engineers assess your needs, design custom solutions, and install systems that fit your organization’s exacting requirements.