This book deals with the deployment of advanced technology in buildings. It's meant to be informative and useful. It covers major control systems and attributes of a smart building. Smart buildings are distinguished by the use of advanced technology. Advanced technology can come in many forms and can be deployed in many ways. Some of the advanced technologies addressed in the book are proven to provide value and results, while others are new to the marketplace and appear very promising. The conclusion is that advanced technology can improve building performance, provide superior operation of building systems, lower the cost of operations, reduce service orders and maintenance, deliver higher satisfaction to tenants and occupants, and generate greater financial returns for the building owner.
A smart building is consistent with the holistic principal that it's the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It's not one system or attribute that makes a building smart, it's a combination of systems and practices that comprise a total approach. This book provides a summary with details regarding the roles of different participants in the smart building technology implementation process, various control systems, practices such as enterprise data management or energy management as well as emergent technology like indoor positioning systems, eye tracking systems, and software analytic applications.
The primary focus in the application of advanced technology is ongoing building operations. It's estimated that 75-80% of a building's lifecycle costs and duration is related to building operations. Whether it's an existing building or new construction the building owner who is not turning over real estate quickly has to take a long term view of the building operations. Astute owners will make longer term investments in smart buildings systems, equipment and building attributes if they're to be assured of positive results, value, and return on investment.
There has been constant innovation in building construction since the first building was built for purposes other than just personal shelter. In the 19th and 20th centuries major innovations such as running water, sewage systems, concrete, construction cranes, power equipment, electricity, and advanced materials all had an enormous impact on buildings. Likewise modern elevators facilitated high rise buildings and denser urban cities. Today's technology produces new materials and innovations as well. The impetus for these advancements is related to the global focus on energy and sustainability with a growing and dynamic marketplace of new energy products, services, and companies. Efficient geothermal heat pumps, coatings for windows, companies aggregating utility demand response, microgrids, direct current electrical infrastructure, and renewables, are some examples.
The other major driver of advanced technology in buildings is information and communications technology (ICT). In many ways ICT is much broader than energy and sustainability because billions on the planet are now habituated to ICT via smartphones, tablets, and computers in their daily routine. The eventual vision to be created from ubiquitous ICT devices is the Internet of Things where any sensors, devices, or software applications that can be connected will be connected. These networks will be things to things, people to things, and people to people. ICT is a major underlying foundation of smart buildings, as well as smart cities.
The penetration of ICT into building control systems has started with typical building control system communications protocols such as BACnet, Lonworks, and Modbus already incorporating the transport of those protocols over an IT network. Many traditional building systems such as video surveillance, access control, and other components now operate over an IT network. We also have the crossover of IT cabling standards for building automation systems, automation controllers for mechanical equipment using Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and power to devices provided by Power-over-Ethernet (POE), an IT creation. In addition, the building management systems are IT devices; computers and servers, operating systems, databases, software applications, and IP addresses.
The facility management industry is in its infancy using IT as part of managing a building. However, facility management has already seen value in advanced building management tools, enterprise data management, data analytics, software applications, and leveraging and incorporating ICT. With the initial positive results of incorporating ICT into building construction, we can expect increased utilization. The penetration of IT has created issues organizationally; that is, how IT and Facility Management departments work together in their responsibilities to monitor and maintain building systems. Eventually new organizational structures will be created, such as an umbrella department for IT and facility management, or embedding IT experts in facility management.
Despite recent advancements we're not close to the full potential of automation and advanced technology in improving and optimizing building performance. Increased automation would not only improve a buildings' performance, but, will also support the facility management challenge to manage increasingly complex buildings at a time when the skills require- dare constantly changing and in short supply. An example of where we are currently and where we need to go would be a software application like fault detection and diagnostics for HVAC systems, probably the most effective building analytic software application today, (still only half a loaf.) What if we had an application that could not only automatically detect system faults but also automatically repair the faults (perhaps something similar to an autopilot?)?
The autopilot for airplanes was born one hundred years ago. We've now developed driverless automobiles. Why can't a building operate via auto pilot? Not only can buildings have autopilots but they should. Buildings are not airplanes or driverless cars, but, the idea of total automation should propel the control system and automation industry forward.
The roadmap to advanced, automated, and smart buildings involves several key issues the industry must address. One is the use of granular data. Granular data provides for more precision in properly managing specific spaces within a building, which can result in squeezing out the smallest amount of excess energy consumption and increase occupant satisfaction. Going granular will mean more sensors, tailored controls for individual spaces and a bit more investment which would ultimately lead to improved and less costly building operations. Another issue is policies and logic. For a building to be fully automated it requires the logic or policies of the automation use an array of data, data sources, and predetermined rules. As buildings become more complicated the decisions on their performance become more complex as variables increase. The third issue is data mining and the use of data analytics applications. Analytics for the HVAC system has provided outstanding outcomes. We need to applythat template to other building systems. Such applications are based on rules of how the system should optimally operate, generally obtained from the original design documents, and monitoring key data points in real-time. For those systems that are not process based, applying analytics generally uses statistical monitoring of key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor outliers. Accurately analyzing data in a building with enhanced levels of automation is crucial as that data will be the foundation of the logic and policies of the automation process. The remaining issue is the increased use and maintainenance of sensors. Yes, highly automated buildings will need additional sensors and metering. With the market moving increasingly into developing information based on data, we need to generate more data.
Smart buildings encompass many things, but, the primary goal is the use of building technology systems to enable enhanced services and the efficient operation of a building for the betterment of its occupants and building management. The main drivers of smart buildings are the positive financial impacts of integrated systems, energy conservation, greater systems functionality, and the continuing evolution of technology.