The Intelligent Structural Panel (ISP) was first envisioned by WZMH Architects and later developed with a team of engineers and specialist consultants (Stephenson Engineering, Quasar Consulting Group and C3PoE). The ISP is a smart building component that is prefabricated, modular, energy efficient and includes the infrastructure to control the majority of all key building systems: mechanical, electrical, IT, security, audio-visual and other systems. The ISP team led by WZMH Architects, is currently collaborating with Microsoft through their IoT & AI Insider Labs to further develop the ISP and manage the potential for millions of connected devices through the Azure Cloud.
About the ISP
The vision for the Intelligent Structural Panel (ISP) is quite simple: take all the components and processes that go into constructing a floor and shear wall in a building and combine it into one product – but with a ‘brain’. The ISP panel is fabricated off site with skilled labour, installed on site with minimal labour and is 100% complete once ‘plugged’ in. Once installed, the ISP contains an intelligent highway to allow key building mechanical, electrical and IT components to be plugged in and operated.
The significance of the ISP is a ’10 in 1’ prefabricated component that will reduce the time it takes to build, provide safer construction sites and substantially reduces the materials used in buildings by as much as 25%. The ISP is energy efficient by means of utilizing a low-voltage system (direct current) that eliminates the need for transformation (which equals energy losses) typical in alternating current (AC) designs.
The ISP is a concept idea that combines two very different components – sandwich plate system and an internal layer of technology for all connected devices. These two components result in an intelligent building system that can be used for floors and walls in lieu of traditional structural elements (i.e. concrete /steel decking) but with the added benefit of containing the infrastructure to operate the building. The ISP includes a sandwich plate system pioneered by Intelligent Engineering, known as SPS® (www.ie-sps.com) which includes a top steel plate, polyurethane core (developed jointly by BASF) and a bottom steel plate. The thickness of the ISP can vary but generally a 50mm thick panel is equivalent to a 200mm thick reinforced concrete slab. (A proprietary structural panel called the ‘Peg Panel’ was developed by WZMH Architects along with Stephenson Engineering as an alternative to the SPS panel system.)
The ISP works by incorporating an intelligent highway within the panel that allows the connection of an unlimited amount of both ‘smart’ and ‘dumb’ devices: low-voltage (direct current – DC) or PoE (Power over Ethernet). These devices are connected with an industry accepted international connector (RJ45) that plugs and snaps in place without the need for electrical junction boxes – making the ISP extremely flexible, versatile and allowing virtually anyone to connect / disconnect and relocate devices.
All connected devices are controlled and monitored from a secure network (similar to devices that are connected via data cables). The fact that the ISP contains an intelligent highway, all connected devices can communicate to each other via the network (i.e. laptop computer, mobile phone, etc.) Connected devices can be easily programmed to ‘talk’ to each other and make the building and spaces user friendly, barrier free accessible, smart and energy efficient (i.e. lights interact with daylight sensors, fans will turn on and off with connected air quality sensors, roller shades will open and close based on natural daylight, etc.)
The Intelligent Structural Panel will target the following building types and markets: Office buildings, the Hotel and Hospitality market sector, mid to high rise residential buildings, the healthcare transportation and institutional market sectors.
The ISP has been featured in many respected publications and events which include Forbes, Fast Company, Maclean’s, and Canadian Architect, the 2019 AIA Architecture Expo in Las Vegas and the MIT World Real Estate Forum.
Recently, WZMH was thrilled to have received the True Disruptor 2018 award at the FCCCO Les Innovateurs Startup Competition.
“The Intelligent Structural Panel© technology reimagines the traditional approach to the design and build process, taking a critical look at how buildings are built from the inside out. Bringing smart technology directly into the fabric of the structure instead of applying it as an after thought will improve the quality of the building’s performance.”
Zenon Radewych, Principal, WZMH