Unified Building Integration is Turning Mainstream!
Posted on Feb 12, 2018 by Dave Brenden
Building integration has been available since DDC controls first came out, but something exciting is happening in our industry lately. With controllers that talk the same language, exist on the same network and can be accessed through the same user interface, we now have a truly unified solution. Add in the web browser access from computers, tablets and cell phones and the user has easy access and control from anywhere.
I have seen several unified specifications come out this year. In the past it was rare and we had to offer it as an option. These unified specs will now give building owners a less expensive installed solution as they will not need multiple systems, vendors, networks and controllers to control the building. Lighting, HVAC, security, window shades, occupancy sensors and others can be tied together all on one IP based network.
It is known that lighting and HVAC energy are the most expensive parts of operating a building. By having these systems integrated we can greatly save operating costs. For instance, building owners can now have the option of a holiday schedule that can shut off lights and turn down the HVAC system. In addition, they may choose to have an occupancy sensor that can enable lights and HVAC during occupied times and be used as a security motion detector during unoccupied times. As energy prices rise these integrated technologies will help building owners and tenants save money and stay competitive.
As building automation expands on the IP based model we are also entering the world of IOT (Internet of Things ). Using standard internet protocols and features we have enhanced access and security. With IOT we can exchange data with other platforms, programs and devices. Energy dashboards and system analytics can be used on all building systems to fine tune the building and get its best performance. Alarms and notifications can be sent directly to cell phones and computers to the right personnel for quick response and action.
I have been in the building automation industry for 28 years and over the last few years these products and technologies have incredibly expanded their capabilities. It is an exciting time to be in this business and I look forward to helping building owners and users create efficiently controlled buildings.