You are on page 1of 9

intelligent buildings design and building management systems overview of 'intelligent buildings' and 'intelligent homes' technologies The

field of Intelligent Buildings, Intelligent Homes, Building Management Systems (BMS) encompasses an enormous variety of technologies, across commercial, industrial, institutional and domestic buildings, including energy management systems and building controls. The function of Building Management Systems is central to 'Intelligent Buildings' concepts; its purpose is to control, monitor and optimise building services, eg., lighting; heating; security, CCTV and alarm systems; access control; audio-visual and entertainment systems; ventilation, filtration and climate control, etc.; even time & attendance control and reporting (notably staff movement and availability). The potential within these concepts and the surrounding technology is vast, and our lives are changing from the effects of Intelligent Buildings developments on our living and working environments. The impact on facilities planning and facilities management is also potentially immense. Any facilities managers considering premises development or site relocation should also consider the opportunities presented by Intelligent Buildings technologies and concepts. This free summary article is contributed by Gary Mills, a leading UK-based expert in the field of Intelligent Buildings, Intelligent Homes, and Building Management Systems. The origins of Intelligent Buildings and Building Management Systems have roots in the industrial sector in the 1970's, from the systems and controls used to automate production processes and to optimise plant performances. The concepts and applications were then adapted, developed and modularised during the 1980's, enabling transferability of the technology and systems to the residential and commercial sectors. intelligent buildings - control theory The essence of Building Management Systems and Intelligent Buildings is in the control technologies, which allow integration, automation, and optimisation of all the services and equipment that provide services and manages the environment of the building concerned. Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC's) formed the original basis of the control technologies. Later developments, in commercial and residential applications, were based on 'distributedintelligence microprocessors'. The use of these technologies allows the optimisation of various site and building services, often yielding significant cost reductions and large energy savings. There are numerous methods by which building services within buildings can be controlled, falling broadly into two method types: Time based - providing heating or lighting services, etc., only when required, and Optimiser Parameter based - often utilising a representative aspect of the service, such as temperature for space heating or illuminance for lighting. heating - time-based control Time-based controls can be used to turn on and off the heating system (and/or water heating) at pre-selected periods (of the day, of the week, etc). Optimiser Parameters: whatever the conditions, the controls make sure the building reaches the desired temperature when occupancy starts. heating - optimiser parameter-based (temperature) control examples Temperature control: protection against freezing or frost protection generally involves running heating system pumps and boilers when external temperature reaches a set level (0C). Compensated systems: will control flow temperature in the heating circuit relative to external temperature. This will give a rise in the circuit flow temperature when outside temperature drops.

Thermostatic radiator valves: these sense space temperature in a room and throttle the flow accordingly through the radiator or convector to which they are fitted. Proportional control: involves switching equipment on and off automatically to regulate output. Other methods can include thermostats, occupancy sensing PIR's (passive infra-red sensors), and manual user control. lighting control methods Different control systems exist, again time-based control and optimiser parameter-based where a level of illuminance or particular use of lighting is required. Zones: lights are switched on corresponding to the use and layout of the lit areas, in order to avoid lighting a large area if only a small part of it needs light. Time control: to switch on and off automatically in each zone to a preset schedule for light use. Passive Infra-Red (PIR) Occupancy sensing: In areas which are occupied intermittently, occupancy sensors can be used to indicate whether or not anybody is present and switch the light on or off accordingly. Light level monitoring: this consists of switching or dimming artificial lighting to maintain a light level measured by a photocell. building management systems and intelligent buildings - energy savings Until recent years, energy efficiency has been a relatively low priority and low perceived opportunity to building owners and investors. However, with the dramatic increase and awareness of energy use concerns, and the advances in cost-effective technologies, energy efficiency is fast becoming part of real estate management, facilities management and operations strategy. The concepts are also now making significant inroads into the domestic residential housebuilding sectors. For lighting, energy savings can be up to 75% of the original circuit load, which represents 5% of the total energy consumption of the residential and commercial sectors. Energy savings potential from water heating, cooling, or hot water production, can be up to 10%, which represents up to 7% of the total energy consumption of the domestic residential and commercial sectors. Experiences from studies in Austria suggest potential heating and cooling energy savings are up to 30% in public buildings. Even allowing for the fact that buildings used in the study may have been those with particularly high energy usage, the figure is an impressive one. (Source: EU2 Analysis and Market Survey for European Building Technologies in Central & Eastern European Countries - GOPA) building management systems and intelligent buildings - environmental and greenhouse gas benefits Greenhouse gas emission reductions depend on and correlate to reductions in energy use. Intelligent Buildings and Building Management Systems technologies contribute directly to the reduction in energy use, in commercial, industrial, institutional and domestic residential sectors. In short, Intelligent Buildings and suitably applied Building Management Systems are good for the environment. Legislation and environmental standards; health and safety regulations; and global trends towards improving indoor air quality standards are all significant drivers of - and provide a continuous endorsement of the need for - Building Management Systems and the Intelligent Buildings technologies.

Government Initiatives around the world are also driving the development and adoption of Building Management Systems technologies. For example the UK Carbon Trust allows Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) to be offset against taxation on energy efficient systems, which enables savings of around 30% for all energy-related Building Management Systems and Intelligent Buildings equipment, and the associated installation and design costs. building management systems and intelligent buildings - market trends Careful interpretation is required. In the UK, adoption of controls technologies into the new build and major refurbishment sectors is relatively high: Estimates a few years ago of the UK market for Building Management Control Systems for new build and major refurbishment, all sectors, suggest market adoption of (as at 1994 - Source UK1 An Appraisal of UK Energy RTD, ETSU -1994): Heating controls 70%. Hot water system controls 90%. Air conditioning controls 80%. However according to European Commission as many as 90% of all existing buildings haveinapplicable or ineffective controls, many of which require complete refurbishment of control systems. Moreover conventional control systems stop short of automated Intelligent Buildings full capabilities. A significant human element is required for optimal effective operation even if control systems correctly specified and installed. Given typical installations and equipment there is often a difficulty for building occupants (residential) or managers (commercial) to operate them correctly. Usage and correct operation are vital for effective results. Education of users; improved systems-design user-friendliness, and the provision of relevant instructions and information are all critical to enable theory to translate into practice, and for potential effectiveness and savings to be realised. building management systems and intelligent buildings - practical benefits Energy-effective systems balance a building's electric light, daylight and mechanical systems for maximum benefit. Enhanced lighting design is more than an electrical layout. It must consider the needs and schedules of occupants, seasonal and climatic daylight changes, and its impact on the building's mechanical systems. lighting systems Adding daylight to a building is one way to achieve an energy-effective design. Natural daylight 'harvesting' can make people happier, healthier, and more productive. And with the reduced need for electric light, a great deal of money can be saved on energy. Nearly every commercial building is a potential energy saving project, where the electric lighting systems can be designed to be dimmed with the availability of daylight. Up to 75% of lighting energy consumption can be saved. In addition, by reducing electric lighting and minimizing solar heat gain, controlled lighting can also reduce a building's air conditioning load. mechanical systems The HVAC system and controls, including the distribution system of air into the workspaces, are the mechanical parts of buildings that affect thermal comfort. These systems must work together to provide building comfort. While not usually a part of the aesthetics of a building, they are critical to its operations and occupant satisfaction. The number one office complaint is that the workplace is too hot. Number two is that it's too cold.

Many people cope by adding fans, space heaters, covering up vents, complaining, conducting 'thermostat wars' with their co-workers, or simply leaving the office. Occupants can be driven to distraction trying to adjust the comfort in their space. Improper temperature, humidity, ventilation, and indoor air quality can also have significant impacts on productivity and health. When we are thermally comfortable we work better, shop longer, relax, breathe easier, focus our attention better. In order to provide a comfortable and healthy indoor environment the building mechanical system must: Provide an acceptable level of temperature and humidity and safe guard against odours and indoor air pollutants. Create a sense of habitability through air movement, ventilation and slight temperature variation. Allow the occupant to control and modify conditions to suit individual preferences. resistance to building management systems and intelligent buildings technology "Our buildings are already energy-efficient." (Is the whole building energy-efficient, or is the landlord limiting his focus to common areas and gross leased spaces?) "We prefer the equipment with the lowest first cost when fitting out tenant space." (Does the specifier have any idea who will bear the increased operating costs of such a strategy?) "We need a two-year simple payback or less." (Is this still realistic, given that the percentage return on money markets is literally one-tenth what it was 20 years ago?) "Tenants pay all energy costs, and will get all the savings." (Do tenants really pay all energy or just the energy over a pre-set base year or expense stop?) "We're selling the building." (Should we assume then that lowering the operating expenses and reaping the increased asset value are not important?)

intelligent homes building management systems for residential applications With the widespread adoption of digital technologies there will be a profound change in how we communicate with others. Even how, in our homes, we shop for goods and services, receive news, manage our finances, learn about the world, and, conduct business, manage resources, find entertainment, and maintain independence and autonomy as we enter old age. These activities increasingly take place in the home. As our perception of banks, shops, universities, communities, and cities change in response to new technologies, so home building management systems are taking on an extraordinary new importance. As it exists today the home cannot meet these demands or take advantage of new opportunities created by social and technological changes. Most people live in spaces poorly tailored to their needs. Until recently, the majority of homes were wired with little more than the main electrical circuits, a few phone lines, and a few TV cables. Times have changed. Electrical and security system contractors routinely install low voltage communication network cables for a wide range of intelligent home or 'smart home' systems. Services and equipment that utilise these networks include: security; home theatre and entertainment; telephones, door-phones and intercoms; PC and internet networks; surveillance cameras; driveway vehicle sensors; communicating thermostats; motorized window blinds and curtains; entry systems; and irrigation systems. smart homes 'Smart home' is an alternative term for an intelligent residential building, or an intelligent home. A few years ago these concepts weer considered futuristic and fanciful. Now they are

reality. These terms are now commonly used to define a residence that uses a control system to integrate the residence's various automation systems. Integrating the home systems allows them to communicate with one another through the control system, thereby enabling single button and voice control of the various home systems simultaneously, in pre-programmed scenarios or operating modes. The development of smart home systems focus on how the home and its related technologies, products, and services should evolve to best meet the opportunities and challenges of the future. The possibilities and permutations are endless. Here are some examples: smart home example scenario 1 A scenario such as 'I'm Home' could be triggered by pressing one button on a key-ring remote-control from your vehicle as you approach the driveway. The control system receives the key-ring remote-control's command. This will then trigger a pre-programmed sequence of functions. For example starting by turning on the lighting in the driveway, garage, hallway, and kitchen. It then disarms the security system, opens the garage door, unlocks the interior garage entry door, adjusts the heating to a preset temperature, and turns on the whole-house audio system playing your favourite cd, whilst drawing you a bath. The control system is programmed to meet specific user requirements, initiating sequential automatic operation of the home systems, in response to 'one button' commands based on the situation and or time. smart home example scenario 2 At 7:30am and you awake to the sound of your favourite cd playing in the background; the lights in your bedroom switch on; 'fading up' to allow you to wake up in your own time. The downstairs intruder alarm system is de-activated. In the kitchen the coffee machine turns on to make a drink. The ground floor curtains and blinds open; the towel heater in the bathroom warms the towels. And you haven't even got up yet. This simple example demonstrates how smart home technology will change people's lives. Designing systems that group together and automate everyday simple tasks, improve quality of life and reduce stress levels. I am grateful to Gary Mills of Fusion Group for providing much of the content in this article. Fusion specialise in the design of intelligent buildings, and living and working environments, which includes design for energy efficiency and climate change considerations. If you are in the UK and interested in receiving a Transparent Building CD-ROM which includes information relating to these subjects please email your enquiry to, or call: (UK) 08450 204 360.

Energy Conservation in the Home

by K. R. Tremblay, Jr.


Quick Facts...

The average house uses 38 percent of its total annual energy use on heating. When a house is occupied, the thermostat should be set at 68 F for maximum energy efficiency. Install a central air conditioning system only when whole house air conditioning is needed. A sun tempered superinsulated home uses passive solar design concepts with superinsulation construction techniques. Replace aging appliances with newer energy efficient ENERGY STAR models. When comparing an average house to an energy efficient house, its possible to reduce annual energy bills up to 40 percent. Prudent homeowners should consider developing an energy conservation plan for their home. This is both an environmentally friendly and economically sound action. In developing an energy conservation plan for your home, use the following approach: identify the problem areas where energy is being lost or inefficiently used; prioritize the problem areas according to how much energy is being lost or inefficiently used; and systematically correct the prioritized problems according to the limits of your household energy improvement budget. A good way to find out where energy loss is occurring is to conduct an inspection. First, close all exterior doors, windows, and fireplace flues and turn off any gas burning appliances and water heaters. Second, turn on all exhaust fans and use floor or window fans to pull air out of rooms in your house. Finally, search for air leaks in the following places: attic hatches, baseboards, corners of rooms, cracks, doors, fireplace dampers, mail slots, outlets, outdoor faucets, switch plates, and windows. Simply dampen your hand and place it by the suggested locations. Your hand will feel cold near a draft. Another method is to light a stick of incense and hold it near the suggested locations. If the smoke from the incense wavers you have found an air leak.


Set your home thermostat as low as comfortable (68 F is suggested) when the house is occupied. Set back the thermostat by about 8 degrees at night or when the house is unoccupied during the day. Set back the thermostat to 50 to 55 F when the house is unoccupied for over 24 hours. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically provide the setbacks mentioned above. Close the fireplace damper except during fireplace use. Reduce heat to unused rooms in the house close doors and heat registers too. Close curtains and shades at night, and open them on sunny winter days. Replace furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Remove any obstructions and clean heating registers regularly. Have certified maintenance personnel service and check your furnace regularly. Seal all joints in sheet metal ducts in a forced air furnace with mastic or appropriate tape; insulate ducts passing through unheated spaces. Minimize the use of kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans or install a timer switch on them. Install insulating gaskets behind electrical outlets and switch plates on exterior walls. Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows. Caulk and seal leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors, and ceilings. Use an inexpensive door sweep to reduce air leakage under exterior doors. Seal small holes around water pipes and stuff insulation into larger holes around plumbing fixtures. Use foam gaskets that fit behind cover plates to reduce heat loss around light switches and electrical outlets. Upgrade ceiling insulation to R-38 (higher R values mean greater insulation levels and thus more energy savings). Insulate exterior heated basement walls to at least R-11. Insulate floors over unheated areas to R-19. Install storm windows over single pane windows.

Replace aging furnace, when needed, with an energy efficient ENERGY STAR model. Replace single pane windows with energy efficient double pane windows mounted in non-conducting window frames.

Hot Water
Repair leaky faucets. Reduce the temperature setting of your water heater to warm (120 F). Add an insulating wrap to an older water heater. For a newer model, check your owners manual. Install low-flow showerheads. Wash clothes in warm or cold water using the appropriate water level setting for the load. Replace water heater, when needed, with an energy efficient ENERGY STAR model.

Energy Star
ENERGY STAR is a national program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The program includes a system that rates furnaces, water heaters, major appliances, and electronics such as televisions and computers based on energy savings and carbon emissions. ENERGY STARS website ( includes the ratings as well as suggestions for energy efficient home improvements and buying an energy efficient new home. Look for the label when making purchases.

Major Appliances and Other Appliances

Maintain refrigerator at 35 to 40 F and freezer section at 0 to 5 F. Maintain stand alone freezer at 0 F. Choose a refrigerator/freezer with automatic moisture control. Keep your refrigerator door closed whenever possible. Regularly clean dust out of the coils behind or under your refrigerator with a tapered appliance brush. Minimize freezer ice build-up. Use toaster ovens or microwave Use toaster ovens or microwave ovens for cooking small meals. Adjust the flame on gas cooking appliances so it is blue, not yellow. Replace a gas cooking appliance with a unit with an automatic, electric ignition system. If you have a newer dishwasher, skip pre-rinsing the dishes. Run the dishwasher only with a full load of dishes. Air dry dishes in a dishwasher. Regularly clean the lint filter on your dryer and inspect the dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. Shut down home computers when not in use or put them on sleep mode. Select small appliances (i.e., curling irons, coffee pots, irons) with time limited shut off switches. Plug small electronics into a power stip so you can turn them off at the same time. Replace aging major appliances, TVs and DVDs when needed, with energy efficient models. Compare the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance by looking at the bright-yellow and black Energy Guide label when shopping for new appliances.

Caulking Tips
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Remove old caulk or paint and apply caulk to a clean, dry surface. Hold the gun at a 45 degree angle and apply caulk in a straight, continuous line. Send caulk to the bottom of an opening to avoid bubbles. Release the trigger before pulling the gun away to avoid applying too much caulking compound. Apply caulk to all joints in a window frame and the joint between the frame and the wall. Make sure the caulk sticks to both sides of a crack or seam. Remove excess caulk with a putty knife. Reapply caulk if it shrinks overnight.

Turn off lights when not in use.

Use task lighting whenever possible instead of brightly lighting an entire room. Install compact fluorescent lamps in the fixtures which receive high use. Control outdoor lights with sensor timers so they stay off during the day. String LED lights during the holidays. Now you have reviewed the above items and marked those you need to address. The next step is to prioritize these items according to their cost and appropriateness for your situation and lifestyle. Next, refine your home energy conservation plan using these prioritized items as a guide. Finally, implement the plan as time, your energy, and budget allows.

While the above items are the main energy users in a house, in certain parts of Colorado keeping a house cool in an energy conserving manner also needs to be addressed. Consider adopting the following energy conserving cooling measures, as well as the heating measures listed above, in developing your home energy conservation plan.

Open windows at night to bring in cool night air; close them during the day. Close your blinds and drapes during the day. Shade west facing windows. Draw cool night air into the house with a whole house fan. Install an evaporative cooler. Use room air conditioning only where needed and install energy efficient models. Install a ENERGY STAR central system air conditioner only when whole house air conditioning is needed. Maintain an air conditioned house at 78 F or higher. Regularly change air conditioning system filters and clean the condenser. Plant deciduous shade trees on the west and south sides of your house. For both heating and cooling purposes, caulking can result in major energy savings. The cracks and gaps around your home can be filled with caulk to prevent air from leaving or entering it. You can use caulk to close gaps along the baseboard, gaps around windows and doors, and cracks in your walls, corners, ceiling, and floor. The process is simple and inexpensive.

Caulking Tips
1. Remove old caulk or paint and apply caulk to a clean, dry surface. 2. Hold the gun at a 45 degree angle and apply caulk in a straight, continuous line. 3. Send caulk to the bottom of an opening to avoid bubbles. 4. Release the trigger before pulling the gun away to avoid applying too much caulking compound. 5. Apply caulk to all joints in a window frame and the joint between the frame and the wall. 6. Make sure the caulk sticks to both sides of a crack or seam. 7. Remove excess caulk with a putty knife. 8. Reapply caulk if it shrinks overnight.

Sun Tempered Superinsulated (STS) Homes

If you are considering buying or building a new house, you might want to incorporate concepts found in a sun tempered superinsulated (STS) house. A STS house uses passive solar design concepts with superinsulation construction techniques. Colorados cold but sunny climate is well-suited to a STS house. Elements in a STS house include: solar orientation; increased insulation levels; effective air/vapor barrier; controlled ventilation; and energy efficient window treatment. Solar Orientation

Orient main activity rooms and windows to the south. Locate patios and decks on the south side of the house. Properly shade south exposure with roof overhangs and correctly placed shade trees to provide summer comfort. Increased Insulation Levels Superinsulate walls using 2 x 6 framing, R-19 insulating batts, and a layer of rigid insulation over the exterior wall framework. Insulate ceilings to R-40. Insulate foundation walls with exterior rigid board insulation. Effective Air/Vapor Barrier Install a continuous impervious membrane on the inside of exterior walls with no breaks; seal all penetrations with gaskets and caulk. Controlled Ventilation

Install an air-to-air heat exchanger to control ventilation rates in the house. Use a furnace and water heater that draw combustion air from the outside. Energy Efficient Window Treatment Use this STS checklist to compare house designs you are considering building or buying. The STS measures add only a small increase to the overall house cost and will be paid back many times in lower energy bills and increased comfort. Colorado State University Extensions Web site ( contains additional information on energy conservation for homes. Once you are on the site, click Family, Home and Consumer, then Online Publications, and finally scroll down to home. There you will find the following three fact sheets: The Sun-Tempered Superinsulated House, Energy Checklist for Homeowners, and Energy Checklist for Renters.