We can and should make buildings smart, secure and environmental friendly. Building automation systems provide automatic control of indoor environments and security. The primary goal is to increase comfort, safety and significant savings in energy and costs.
Only 27% of office workers say their buildings adjust environment automatically based on occupancy.
Today a good building automation system should include all disciplines of a modern building including security in one system. All building data, information from sensors, terminals, mobile phones, RFID card readers, T&A and intelligent cameras should be used for all different functions of a building. The system should learn from the past to optimize comfort and energy use. In many cases it’s important that data are exchanged between the disciplines within a fraction of a second.
An access control entry has not only to open the door without any recognisable delay, it should also disarm the alarm area and switch on the light if necessary without any delay. The system should adapt temperature from standby to comfort. Illumination has to be done in accordance to outside light level. If the area is left and no other person is in this area, the area should be armed, cameras set to active, the light should be switched off, temporary power connectors should be disconnected from power and temperature should be regulated to standby. If fire detectors recognise increasing values of CO or ionisation in an empty area the system should immediately inform the building management about an upcoming threat and send a SMS message with camera picture of the area.
In case of an unauthorised access trial with an invalid card, the video system should record the event and subtitle the card number into the video picture.
In case an employee leaves for vacation at the T&A terminal, the energy, lighting, heating & cooling should be switched off or set to standby operation.
Above examples show only a few examples of interaction between the different disciplines for a good smart building solution.
Building automation systems are an important part of modern automated buildings. More and more they are also responsible for functions affecting people 's safety, security and health. Thus the respective technology is supposed to work reliably, securely, safely and efficiently. The two important features of such a system are functional safety and system security of both, the network nodes and the communication protocols.
256Bit AES encryption for all relevant IP-communication and authentication is a mandatory function for all networked building control systems to prevent attacks from outside. Attacks could for example just simulate a fire event to open all doors or switch off all lights in the entire building.
Is a vital parameter for the efficiency of your building automation system. If access decision takes too long, people will waste time and get angry. Especial for the interaction between different applications like alarm, access control and video surveillance the system could be useless if reaction time is too slow. Too slow disarming of an area from an authorized access will cause wrong alarms (configured long delays instead give the intruder the chance to deactivate alarm sensors). Slow activating of cameras and light will show empty or dark areas because the intruder has left the area meanwhile.
Installation and maintenance the cabling could, but shouldn’t be, a significant cost part of a building automation system. A good long term reliable system connects all different devices over a single cable, even better with more the one function in a single device. An access control reader for example could be also a light switch and temperature sensor. RF-Interfaces allow integration of energy harvesting devices like enOcean light switches without any batteries and cables.
One software and scalable network controllers allow the system to grow with the building and even to more buildings with single management software. A good encrypted communication with the network building controllers allows expansion of the smart building control with internet over the entire world. Interfaces to third party devices features easy integration of elevators, water treatment systems and many other existing or future devices.