Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
There are system integrators, facility managers, investors and end-users, etc.. Each one is a building user connected to the building automation system.
Key Account Manager
Global Control 5 Sp. z. o.o.
automation systems have definitely being transformed in the past few
years. Engineers all over the world develop this system to be more
intelligent, innovative, self-learning and, what is the most important,
user-friendly. But let’s think about this last one: user-friendly. What
does it mean? What makes the building automation system user-friendly?
I think this is the key point of our business. After all, every step to
create building automation technology and improve it - is for the user.
Let’s start from the beginning. How did it start? In 1883, Warren Johnson, a school teacher from Milwaukee, invented a thermostat. He created it to control the temperature in a building. When temperature goes under the setpoint, it indicated an alarm for janitors in the boiler room – they needed to shovel more coal into the furnace. This was the first time that someone created building control. Necessity is the mother of invention! By the way, this person founded a company, which still exists today and manufactures thermostats and other control devices. After over hundred years we are now at a very different point in technology development. Building automation consists of not only thermostats but also, and mainly of servers, computers and controllers. We had time to improve this technology and therefore increase user experience. We created the Internet of Things, which is inherent in building automation systems.
Nowadays, we have several types of building
automation systems, and we have plenty of vendors. We can control
almost everything in a building, every installation and device we need.
It seems that the only obstacle is the functionality of the system we
choose. Each building system has capacities and limitations. We can see
it in issues like integration, flexibility, openness and ability to
personalize the system. When we talk about building automation also
environment-friendliness and energy effectiveness come to mind. These
are important aspects too. Different types of users choose different
types of the most significant feature of a building automation system.
There are system integrators, facility managers, investors and
end-users, etc.. Each one is a building user connected to the building
Figure 1 - Types of Building User
Undoubtedly integration matters are the
most significant; it’s the fever dream of every integrator and
designer. Why? Because without integration, the building automation
system is only one separated organ with limited functionality. Thanks
to the Building Management System (BMS) we can make integration
possible. We can integrate HVAC controllers; energy, heat, water and
other meters; control access, CCTV, intrusion detection system, gas
detection system and other installations and devices. For the building
user, this means that he can have under control all these parts from
one coherent platform. BMS provides facilities managers with the
ability to quickly respond to problems and insights to optimize
building installations operation. For example BMS shows consumption of
energy in several points in building; it depends on number of meters.
This means that the facility manager can check where the largest power
consumption is in building, and if it’s not OK, then he can track the
problem and accordingly solve it. When we have the possibility to
control energy consumption, we can easily achieve greater efficiency.
Energy efficiency is a significant building subject. Due to applicable standards, we must control energy usage in all aspects: electricity usage, water usage, heat and cooling usage. Therefore several certification programs were created, ex. LEED and BREAM. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built according to improving performance strategies connected with: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality. BREAM is also an international scheme that provides independent third-party certification of assessment of the sustainability performance of buildings. BREEAM measures sustainable value in a series of categories like energy, water, waste, pollution, innovation, land use, management.
These certification programs help
building owners and operators identify and implement practical and
measurable green building design, construction, operations and
maintenance solutions. Certification is important for investors who
invested in the building and are expecting to have bigger income. In
this case it’s obvious that it will mean more tenants in the
certificated building. There are several reasons. First of all,
buildings with certification have better customer ratings and
reputation, which can be important for certain clients. Second,
buildings and installation in buildings must meet stringent
requirements and standards to have certification. This means that
all-important installations, ex. HVAC and light must be done with
extreme care to provide high thermal comfort, proper luminous
intensity and cost-effectiveness. Building Management System
helps to provide all these requirements. It turns off the lights
according to occupancy, regulates temperature and humidity in rooms,
turns off heating when somebody opens the windows, monitors electrical
installations and controls cooling and heating sources. It takes under
control energy consumption to provide higher effectiveness, makes
useful diagrams and statistics, which are relevant to the facility
manager and tenants.
In my opinion, all building users can agree
with the statement that “BMS is invaluable for all building users these
days.” BMS demand was boosted by Significant cost benefits to
industrial, commercial, and residential users. The building management
system (BMS) market was valued at USD 6.65 billion in 2016 and is
expected to reach USD 19.25 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 16.71%
between 2017 and 2023. Operating costs are the major worries for
building owners. In the past, they had to incur a big expense in the
maintenance of the building because of lack of advanced technology.
Today they have advanced technology dedicated to building users, such
as BMSs; therefore, buildings are more energy efficient. Reducing
energy consumption transcends directly into reduced spending on energy;
saving power provides a good financial opportunity for businesses and
helps improve their profitability.
The building evolution that we are
currently experiencing is definitely needed and unstoppable. It looks
like it's a win-win situation all around.
About the Author
Anna Koleja, MSc Engineer in Power Engineering. Automation systems and new technologies enthusiast. Involved in the building automation industry for nearly 6 years. Currently acting as Key Account Manager for Global Control 5.
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