News Release

Belgrade's 'B2' Residential and Business Complex Redefines Concept of Smart Building

Cisco Connected Real Estate Solution Helps Reduce Operation and Energy Costs
Nov 12, 2008

BELGRADE, Serbia, November 12, 2008 - Cisco today announced that the Serbian investment and real estate development group Mali Kolektiv has chosen the Cisco® Connected Real Estate platform for its latest development project. Opened in October 2008, the intelligent building known simply as B2 is aspiring to become both a unique real estate development and a Belgrade landmark.

View of B2 residential and business complex in Belgrade

View of B2 residential and business complex in Belgrade

B2 is a 24,728-square-meter complex that combines a shopping mall, offices, residential and business apartments, and four levels of underground parking. Owing to the building's location in the heart of the city, Mali Kolektiv's objective was to create a world-class living and working environment in a smart building that can be operated in a cost- and energy-efficient way with high levels of physical security.

"We wanted to offer tenants luxury accommodations, world-class entertainment and communications services, environmental flexibility, as well as customized levels of building and personal security. We knew that the key to achieving these ambitions was utilizing information and communications technology. When preparing the project, we evaluated proposals from the world's leading information technology companies, but no other vendor could match the vision and technology of Cisco Connected Real Estate," said Dragan Prastalo, Mali Kolektiv's chief operating officer.

At the heart of Cisco's approach is a service-oriented network architecture designed to reduce costs and complexity by replacing disparate systems with one simplified, flexible and scalable Internet Protocol (IP) network.

"A modern building typically has around 30 discrete subsystems, including lighting, power, video surveillance, telephone, Internet, intercom, heating and ventilation. In contrast to traditional buildings, where each system requires its own network using proprietary protocols, in B2 virtually all systems run over the converged IP network," Prastalo added.

Heating and energy management is a key area that benefits from the building's added intelligence. A small weather station on the roof is monitored to anticipate and react to changes, for example, by raising exterior shutters to reflect or retain heat. The central system takes real-time data from more than 1,000 sensors in the building and is thereby able to better manage overall energy requirements.

Mali Kolektiv estimates that, thanks to the converged network, it can reduce capital costs by 20-25 percent. Mali Kolektiv also expects a 30 percent reduction in total operating costs, and a 40 percent reduction in energy consumption.

"With the B2 project, Mali Kolektiv has redefined property development in Serbia," said Can Habib, Cisco's manager of real estate advisory services in Central and Eastern Europe. "The integrated digital network infrastructure can streamline operational processes such as energy, comfort, life and safety management while delivering additional services to improve user experience and reduce operational expenses. This has resulted in the development of a fully networked residential and commercial facility that provides cause for attracting higher rents, potential for increased tenant retention, offers fantastic services and is more environmentally friendly."

Additional information

The local-area network (LAN), based on Cisco® Catalyst switches and Cisco Integrated Services Routers, is the building's nerve system across which the subsystems run; they are monitored and managed, day and night, from a central control room. The LAN also supports TV, voice, data, and messaging services, in addition to transmitting physical security images from the 300 IP video surveillance cameras installed throughout the complex. Upon arrival to B2, visitors receive a smart card that enables them to access those parts of the building that their host authorizes them to visit. A Cisco Unified Communications Manager system provides advanced voice and messaging facilities throughout B2.

Internet access with high levels of security is available to all tenants, typically at speeds of 50 to 100 megabits per second. The entire complex has wireless connectivity with Cisco Aironet® 1242 Series Access Points, which not only gives tenants the freedom to access the Internet from laptops or mobile devices, but also allows them to operate various systems in their apartments from any point in the building, or even any point in the world. So, for example, they can turn on the heating in their apartments prior to returning from vacation.