November 2013

Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

(Click Message to Learn More)

System Integration for Energy Efficiency

Comprehensive building automation system (BAS) and energy management solutions help reduce energy, operational, and maintenance costs by up to 60% while optimizing occupant comfort and property value.     

Dr. -Ing. Gert Ulrich Vack
General Manager
and Einat Shlomiuk
Product Manager
SysMik GmbH

New Products
Secured by Cimetrics
Site Search
Control Solutions, Inc
Past Issues
Securing Buildings News

Buildings’ Effect on Energy Efficiency – Introduction

We all know that energy demands are increasing dramatically while energy resources remain limited, making costs grow steadily higher. Along with increasing energy demand, environment pollution is spreading around the world and already showing its deadly effect. Not everyone is aware that buildings account for 41% of primary energy consumption, of which 85% is used for room heating and cooling as well as 15% for electrical energy, in particular lighting (source: Siemens, Building automation – impact on energy efficiency). That amounts to a significant portion of energy global usage. Reducing these costs can play a major role in reducing pollution levels around the globe, and huge expenses reduction.

Comprehensive building automation system (BAS) and energy management solutions help reduce energy, operational, and maintenance costs by up to 60% while optimizing occupant comfort and property value. Building automation has an ever growing universal market which is estimated to top $36 Billion in 2015.
Along with the growth in the market, control solutions have also evolved rapidly the last decade.

The Evolution of Building Control Automation

A review of the development this field has been gone through the past decades shows the following picture:

Analytic systems can achieve a huge value by cutting energy costs while maximizing energy efficiency; however, optimal analytics require comprehensive data from all around the building – down to the lowest level of the room. Analytics require big data in order to provide fault detection and predict possible future problems, and as a top level add-on to an existing system, its capabilities are limited.

Today, it is clear that the highest level of energy efficiency requires a fully integrated and networked BAS, which is designed from the start to be networked all the way down to room level. As the technology and experience we have today open possibilities we never had before, seamless BAS integration is available and affordable. This, along with analytic capabilities and user friendly interface, make energy efficiency easy and quicker than ever and our environment greener and healthier.

The Future is here: Today’s Building Automation Best Practices

The experience accumulated around the world along with major technological breakthroughs in this field, combine together and offer today highly advanced methodology and practices for design and construction of control automation systems.

An ideal automation system, which would provide the highest level of energy efficiency, shall follow these guidelines:

A great example for successful macro integration would be the 54 floors, 4.09 million sq. ft. Mori Tower in Tokyo, Japan. In this project’s design, an emphasis was put on open system employment and full integration. The building’s system points total more than 368,000, with 64 projects included into one common runtime database. Mori's initial estimates for energy savings attributed to the LonWorks based air conditioning system of 16,500 intelligent devices are over 20% per year. (Source: Schneider Electric and Business Wire).

Another success story would be the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs building in The Hague, The Netherlands, of 41 floors and 1.42 million sq. ft. In this impressive project, Celsius Benelux, a leading system integrator in the Netherlands, implemented the ComfortKey® system, which included Tridium JACE controller on the floor levels and SysMik’s ICS controller on the room level. These ICS controlled 60,000 light devices as well as floor and water heating and cooling, sun-blinds and is also connected to Distech VAV controllers. The building’s energy consumption is considered highly efficient and its maintenance costs are significantly low. The combined control of floor and water heating and cooling is a significant efficiency factor.

Figure 1

Figure 1: System Architecture, The Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs building in The Hague

A popular implementation of room automation includes programming of HVAC and Lighting systems to turn on only in case of room occupancy, thus saving energy costs and extending the equipment life span.

A perfect implementation of such a format can be seen in Berlin, Germany. Telekom Innovation Laboratories’ building has been using the smart room and desk space booking LiteDesk system, which enables scheduling rooms for employees and configuring those rooms in advanced according to the occupant’s preference of temperature and light. User’s configurations are loaded automatically via oBIX based interface of the room automation and the booking system. The rooms are controlled by BACnet ICS controllers, via DALI sub networks. The central monitoring is done using Tridium’s JACE via NiLS (Niagara Lighting Solution) protocol.

An ideal BMS system will be designed based on open systems, will be fully integrated and cover all systems in the facility, will be networked, go all the way down to room level and will use the data for analytics and fault detection.

The value of such a system is huge: Research shows that room automation saves an average around 30% and more in energy expenses. 

Return on Investment (ROI) using control automation systems varies from 1 to 7 years. The range is wide, depending on various factors, namely how deep is the system integrated. The deeper the control automation goes into the building down to room level, the more money is saved hence the ROI is achieved quicker.

Other returns take the form of increase in property value. Energy savings can be worth 10 times their annual value for potential buyers. An automated environment offers extreme comfort and less maintenance costs and hassle. In addition, lighting and HVAC systems are only used when needed, extending their life span and reducing maintenance costs.

Networked infrastructure for Analytics

Networked infrastructure in a decentralized architecture down to the room level side by side with powerful analytics capabilities are the ideal combination for every building automation system, of any scale, resulting with huge amounts of expenses cut and maximal energy efficiency.

The European example

The efficiency potential of fully integrated, networked and decentralized systems, along with the new Analytics technologies is amazing. Such methodology shall be used starting from the system’s design, to achieve the best results and quickest return on investment.  

Figure 2 

Figure 2: Energy Efficiency Labeling

Niagara AX with Sedona for Ideal Networked Infrastructure

Once reviewing the concept of system distribution and integration and their high value to building automation systems, it is easy to see why Niagara AX framework and Sedona programmable devices form the ideal solution for automated Control systems.

Using Niagara AX platform on top of field level Sedona controllers along with LonMark and BACnet enables true seamless integration of all control automation aspects of the room, floor, area, and building and Facility levels, while encompassing all building data and functions under one single system. In the case of using Niagara AX with Sedona – the entire project can be done using one single tool.

Niagara AX provides a unified development platform allowing integrating and programming networked products and software applications for controlling and automating programmable devices throughout an enterprise. The core concept of Niagara is transforming data from diverse external systems into uniform software components. These components form the foundation for building applications to manage and control the devices, across all layers of the device-to-enterprise solution stack.

Using one tool only, the Workbench AX, the entire system – from room / field level, through floor / management level, up to building / enterprise level - is being controlled and automated. The diverse protocols used for devices’ communication are transparent: once connected to Niagara AX all data points are being treated and displayed equally, and can be linked to each other and easily managed.

Data from all levels of operation is being collected by the Niagara AX framework, allowing sophisticated analysis of the system’s performance at real time. The data is collected in the cloud and can be managed everywhere, as the system at all levels of operation is fully web-enabled.

Sedona devices are the perfect solution for covering field level control, while seamlessly integrating into the Niagara AX system; they originate from the same stem, and are being programmed freely using the same tool used for Niagara AX. A project that begins with Sedona field controllers, Niagara AX floor and building controllers and on top of all one unified Niagara AX software covers the entire range of the building control management functions, using one single tool.


Figure 3: Structure model for a fully networked and integrated BSC

Conclusion - The Future of Automated Buildings is here

Across Europe, distributed automation from room level up to enterprise level is already widely standardized and being implemented throughout the continent. Organizations and system integrators already benefit the many values of a networked decentralized system for greatly improving energy efficiency, reducing maintenance and training costs and maximizing occupants comfort.

Using the Niagara AX framework, automation control down to room level is simpler than ever, and it is easy to build a system of smart devices that seamlessly integrate with each other. Data can be easily collected, processed and analyzed, allowing avoiding issues before they even happen, and reaching a great level of energy efficiency.

Today we have everything we need available for us: Advanced technologies, open protocols, excellent devices and breakthrough software. Let’s integrate all those components together and build systems the right way to save lots of money, maximize our efficiency, optimize occupants comfort and make the world a greener place. Let’s do it!

About SysMik
SysMik® Germany is a leading provider of control products and a pioneer of open systems since their inception. SysMik is Tridium’s partner in Germany, and also offers training and system integration services. “Intesa”, integrated server architecture, is our scalable solution suite for M2M and control applications; based upon the Niagara AX and Sedona frameworks, and open protocols such as LonWorks, BACnet, and web services. Our products answer the challenges of cost efficiency, flexibility, openness, and standardization in infrastructure und building automation and for distributed facilities.


[Click Banner To Learn More]

[Home Page]  [The Automator]  [About]  [Subscribe ]  [Contact Us]


Want Ads

Our Sponsors