What does TEECOM do? Sure, we can give you a rundown of our services, and roll out our new tagline (we’re “the tech in architecture”), but the world of technology and engineering is confusing, full of jargon, and involves a multitude of service providers. So when TEECOM Associate Principal Matt Flanders (MF) was asked this very question by a client, Daniel Newman (DN), Chief Compliance Officer at Stockbridge, we decided to share the conversation. Here’s what TEECOM does, in plain English:
DN: Tell me, in very simple terms, what exactly does TEECOM do?
MF: To try and put it succinctly, we work with architects and owners on construction projects to design and plan the technology infrastructure and systems needed in buildings to operate up to today and tomorrow’s technology standards.
Take one of our projects, the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, as an example. Like every building, occupants and users need:
- server rooms,
- security doors,
- card readers,
- flat screen TVs,
- proper sound masking,
What we do as engineers is design and plan, on architect’s “blueprints,” the pathways to provide the infrastructure that connects all these different systems. We also help architects and owners identify and specify the products and systems — phone systems, servers, flat screen, or projector options and sizes etc.
Similar to an electrical engineer, who identifies where all the electrical outlets, lights, and panels will be located in a building, TEECOM plans for all the technology required in a project.
More and more, all of these systems run on a single network, “talking” to each other. We call it integrated technology. The integration allows for cost savings, less cabling, fewer consultants to coordinate, early clash detection, as well as a number of additional benefits.
DN: As a Chief Compliance Officer my job is to make sure that we meet our budgets, that we build sustainably, and that we hire the best value and thought leadership for the dollars we spend. What benefit does TEECOM bring to my projects?
MF: We have built our practice around understanding what the future may bring, and how to plan for it so that, when technology evolves — and it does very rapidly — you do not need to rip out and replace the entire infrastructure. The cost of technology now represents — on large healthcare projects, for example — up to 25% of the entire project cost. Having to replace all of that five years from completion is a mistake no one wants to make. We are unique in that we have an in-house research department, TEECOMlab, that informs our designs.
We’re also big proponents of integrated technology, because of its benefits to our clients. Imagine having all your systems connected to one network, controlled by fewer servers. The result is less space required, less pathways, less cables. At the California Academy, where we provided our integrated technology package, we saved our client over $4 million in construction cost and close to $1 million in operational cost by minimizing the number of staff needed to operate the integrated systems.