SMART BUILDING TECHNOLOGY

Smart Buildings are something that could be considered to be an industry with huge growth potential just taken from the fact that the world we live in is full of buildings. Buildings use resources and take up a large portion of world energy consumption. Taking steps to optimize building resources including power usage, water consumption, heating, chilling,  improving overall building management, security, protection, handling waste and enabling smooth operation where it relates to personnel using building facilities only seem to be the beginning. Many modern buildings are now experiencing the sensor revolution due to the fact that digital sensor and instrumentation production has become more economical. Finding the right balance between the installation of hardware and implementation of intelligent software to manage many of the facets of a building is a smart topic of discussion. Just how intelligent can we make our buildings and what is in store for us in the very near future. Will advances in software and hardware bring about a drastic change in the way we perceive building management and control? In addition to this, we are faced with the impact by moves to come up with more environmentally friendly solutions and so investing in high tech building solutions might be hot on the table for those who want to be seen as active participants i.e. Green.



    


There are so many issues to consider but one of the main issues seems to have to do with electricity usage. This is because the buildings are hot on the list for high consumption and also for wastage. There are many buildings in the world that are operating inefficiently for many reasons but it seems that new legislation is one of the most powerful driving forces to move owners and managers to act, especially if there are other incentives from these actions including financial ones.  Previously we mentioned sensors but what types? We know that just for a start there are things that need to be monitored such as temperature, humidity, rainfall or snow, current occupancy, lighting and motion. This is only a few, but the logic behind a Smart Building System seems to be the task of connected all of these sensors and their data in centralized locations where information can be stored, processed, monitored and acted upon. Most of the actions can be automated since these processes are not unfamiliar and intelligent responses to changing conditions can be programmed into software or programmable logic controllers to act accordingly. The success of the projects seems to be on sensor , communication and control system reliability and longevity since these sensors and systems will need to work in such a way that the building owner can comply to standards which are set before him. There are ways in which electricity consumption and water usage can be reduced by using new an improved technology. This technology relies on accurate and reliable metering and sensing but also on software systems that are programmed to intelligently respond i.e. the purpose of the software system is not simply to control the processes involved but to also optimize them. An example could be taken such as "How efficient is your water cooled chiller system? "  How can we monitor it best? With new data, how can we optimize/size/upgrade  the equipment e.g. chiller and variable speed drives to the maximum so that energy is saved even at a peak demand time. There are calculations that can be made and data can be monitored after we have implemented new equipment or upgraded older equipment and systems and over time the data collected can be analyzed to show that "actual' improvements are seen.




    


Building Management Systems have to deal with several types of protocols and it is necessary to have all of these working together. They will also need to be adaptable for new changes in technology and new regulations that might arise. The ability to use a system and to be able to integrate something new into it easily could be considered to be a great advantage and a Smart idea.