General drivers for intelligent building solutions
- Global economy means Companies need to be as competitive as possible, operating more efficiently, reducing overheads, may just give you the edge on your competitors.
- Reduction in energy usage. We all have a responsibility! Buildings account for approximately 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, with non domestic buildings accounting for half of this. The Kyoto Protocol established at COP3 in Kyoto has been heard of by most people, but most have never seen it, for more details take a look here.
Its key aims are the targets in reductions of green house gas emissions relative to the 1990 base year. These targets detail a UK reduction of 12.5%. The resultant emissions to be averaged over the period 2008 to 2012.
- Corporate image, there is growing evidence that customers want to purchase goods and services from Companies that are actively seeking to reduce their environmental impact.
- More controlled delivery of projects, integrated solutions generally use a reduced number of specialist subcontractors giving a flatter hierarchy, a reduce cost of duplication and by their nature are engineered earlier in the construction process than traditional standalone systems.
- Customers and building owners are aware of intelligent buildings; the technology is in the general public domain. They want buildings that are easier to manage, require less knowledge of multiple client interfaces used by standalone technology. They want open systems, using protocols such as BACnet. This gives them Vendor independent solutions ensuring the buildings can be maintained and future proofed with ‘best value’ providers. They want others to know how efficient their building is being operated and need the information to demonstrate this.
- Higher technology always comes at a higher price, independent reports have been done that demonstrate this is simply not the case, an example by the Converged Building Technologies Group is here.
In summary the report demonstrates how integrated ICT and control systems offer significant savings. The building used in this survey was an 8 floor office block, with a capacity of 1500 people and 13500m2 of floor space. All buildings are different but the concept remains true. The overall cost of an integrated solution was £1,066,370 against £1,406,912 for a separate approach. The savings don’t end there the lifecycle costs of the building were 57p/m2 for the integrated building against 90p/m2 for the separate approach, spread over 30 years the difference in costs would be £130,000 !!
- Integration results in greater risk of technical issues. By integrating systems using open protocols such as BACnet, this mitigates the risk of developing bespoke interfaces to third party systems. More and more vendors are using BACnet as their chosen protocol. By ensuring third party systems such as lighting, AC systems, chillers, fire systems etc are selected with this in mind the risk is removed.
- Integrated systems tie customers to the initial installer. This was partially true to some extent in early examples of integrated systems where bespoke interfaces were developed on a project by project basis making it difficult and costly for the building owner to get options for other vendors to maintaining and expand their systems. Integrated solutions today use open protocols such as BACnet. By specifying native BACnet equipment you are ensuring you avoid any bespoke interfaces and have a system capable of being supported by numerous vendors.
Ingredients for success
- Forward thinking organisations, building owners and consultants wanting to embrace technology to provide the most comfortable, cost effective and energy efficient building environment.
- The heart and arteries of an intelligent building solution, is the ICT infrastructure, without this the automation control and systems cannot be realized.
- Open systems, clients want options; they do not want to be restricted to one Vendor for support or expansion of their systems. The days of customers being charged a premium because they have no other options are rightly avoidable. The BACnet open protocol is a key ingredient in freeing the customer’s choice. It ensures the client’s intelligent building solution can be tailored to meet their requirements exactly, without installation of over engineered products.
- Implementation of solutions by contractors with proven track records. Building Technology Systems have designed and installed a number of intelligent building solutions. We actively promote open systems BACnet being the preferred protocol.
BSRIA have an intresting independant related article click here for more information
For more information please contact Dean Brookes 0044 (0) 1925419416 or click here to email us