Sacrificing a building’s controls specification to reduce costs can only lead to the building failing to perform as intended — believes Malcolm Anson of the Building Controls Industry Association.
A building-management system is a powerful tool — in many ways. Reece Thomas of Airedale International Air Conditioning Ltd offers guidance on how to choose a system.
Without an effective building management system (BMS) monitoring strategy, seemingly small inefficiencies can result in rapidly mounting costs if left undetected, says Wago’s Steve Emberton. By harnessing big data, a building’s systems can avoid downtime and deliver more energy savings in the future through ongoing optimisation and elimination of wasteful practices.
Sauter’s ecoUnit-Touch room-operating unit has a slick design and can be operated like a smartphone with the touch of a finger. It enables individual room settings to be made easily and elegantly, without impairing the energy efficiency of the system.
Sauter’s ecos505 room controller is a single device that can integrate all systems for room automation with demand-led control of room climate, lighting and sunshading. It is a freely programmable BACnet building controller.
Panasonic and Schneider Electric have developed a wireless interface that enables direct serial communication between Schneider Electric’s SmartStruxure solution and room controllers with Panasonic’s VRF air-conditioning systems via the ZigBee wireless communication standard. This integration provides a view of all building systems — including HVAC equipment, lighting, security, power and electrical distribution — anywhere and at any time. via a single interface. it delivers actionable insights to reduce energy consumption and drive savings.
Renovating lighting in its national distribution centre is achieving energy savings of over £150 000 a year for distributor Wolseley UK. The savings come from an overhaul of lighting infrastructure inside and outside its main warehouse in Leamington Spa and surrounding offices. Supported by FM company Cloudfm, the quality and quantity of lighting was assessed to look for alternatives to reduce energy use and maintenance.
The electrical consumption for mechanical services at Her Majesty’s Prison Edinburgh has been reduced by nearly 27% following the implementation of a Trend controls survey. The associated reduction in overall site consumption was 11%. The savings amount to many thousands of pounds, and the return on investment (ROI) for all works, including replacing outdated and obsolete plant was very favourable and fell well within the defined requirements of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS).
The Internet of Things opens up whole new possibilities for managing all the systems associated with running a building. Brin Sheridan of Utilitywise comments on the changing shape of building-management systems and the impact of IoT.
Rinnai continuous-flow water heaters can be fully connected with building-management systems across multiple platforms — including popular protocols such as Modbus and BACnet. No longer need water heaters be isolated in lonely plant rooms.
Reznor’s SmartCom intelligent energy-management controller is compatible with radiant-tube, warm-air and many other types of heating system. It is straightforward and easy to use and has a wide range of energy-optimising features.
Sontay has expanded its range of Smart Communication sensors to offer system integrators, contractors and building-services consultants more choice. Following the success of the predefined range, Sontay has created a ‘build-your-own’ sensor with a variety of capabilities, depending on customer budgets and needs. Prices start at £75 and rise with increasing proficiency.
Building-automation specialist B.E.G. has delivered an integrated lighting-control strategy for the new premises of electrical-engineering company Darke & Taylor in Blenheim Office Park at Long Hanborough in Oxfordshire. Not only does the system provide effective control for individual rooms, but, as Simon Newton, commercial director with Darke & Taylor, explains, ‘An added advantage is that we can demonstrate the benefits of these technologies to existing and potential customers.’
Beckhoff Automation’s CX-series controller provides a flexible and simple-to-use platform that enables building owners to reduce energy costs. Embedded PC technology allows for scalable solutions — from standalone single-application devices through to multi-core devices capable of full building control, including vast data processing and reporting in real time.
The BACnet Interest Group Europe (BIG-EU) has announced the release of BACnet Standard ASHRAE 135-2016, four years after the publication of the last version. A multitude of additions and revisions have been included in 400 additional pages.
When KCE FM won the facilities-management contract for an office building in London’s Park Lane, one of the immediate tasks was to reduce energy consumption and enhance comfort. With the help of the existing Trend BMS, energy costs for 49 Park Lane were reduced by over 21% compared with the same period a year earlier.
Timely notification about any events concerning a building-services infrastructure is vital. However, Peter Moore of Trend Control Systems is concerned that too many individual alarms are deterring end users from configuring a building energy management system (BEMS) to undertake the monitoring of their key compliance needs.
Cool Designs, which distributes the Toshiba range of air-conditioning and heat-pump systems, has developed a controller that can be used with Toshiba’s full commercial range of splits, heat pumps and VRF systems. The controller optimises indoor comfort for individual rooms in a building and reduces energy use.
Sauter’s Vialoq AVM 215 valve actuator provides 500 N of actuating power and has a nominal stroke from 8 to 20 mm. Its compatibility with commercially available valve types makes it well suited for retrofit projects. Synchronous motors are available for 24 or 230 V power supplies.
Malcolm Anson looks at evidence that the energy market in the UK is experiencing some big changes — and explains why this is important for the controls sector.
There are many benefits to be gained by the building-management system becoming the platform on which the Internet of Things within a facility flows. Simon Garratt of Schneider gives an insight into the potential.
Building information modelling (BIM) is radically changing the way that structures are designed, built and managed, yet BIM activity surrounding the building energy management system (BEMS) sector has not been as rapid as expected. Graeme Rees of Trend Control Systems explains why it’s time for interested parties to get on board.
What are the benefits of convergent control solutions? And how can you sure you are getting a truly open and interoperable system? Mike Welch of Control Network Solutions shares his view and outlines five key questions that will help building-services professionals to identify the solution that is right for them.
SolarPV systems across multiple sites can be monitored by Carlo Gavazzi’s VMU-Y PV. It is housed in a 2-DIN module and can aggregate data from up to 10 VMU-C PV units within a single centralised interface. This effective enables the monitoring of up to 640 inverters and/or 320 meters and 2250 strings. All information can be access using a standard web browser, with no recurrent annual fees.
Heating control and comfort levels have been improved following the installation by BG Energy Solutions of a Trend BMS as part of a major upgraded project at Wakefield Town Hall. It was fitted during a 2-year shutdown for refurbishment work. A PC-based front end has facilitated better ease of use and reduced maintenance.
Linear Control Systems Ltd (LCSL) has completed the installation of the building energy management system for the second phase of Harewood House’s £2 million investment. It is for a biomass plant that can heat over 30 buildings and save over 500 t of CO2 a year.
The upgrading of the heating-control system at the St Bueno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in North Wales is based on Priva’s Blue ID system. It replaces a poorly designed PLC-based system to improve the accuracy of heating control across the site and enhance accessibility with a user-friendly touchscreen.
Sontay’s investment in new milling equipment enables the company to provide a wider range of options and finishes on its user-interface products. The upgraded facility makes it easier for Sontay to create tailored devices . Plates and accompanying furniture can be sourced to an exact specification and engraved with the required detail.
To fully understand how efficient a building is you need data, and this is where the humble sensor can play a pivotal role — as Sandy Damm of Sontay, explains.
Wago’s FlexRoom intelligent room-automation system provides flexible automation of lighting, window blinds, and room control — including heating and cooling. It can be used to quickly and easily realise energy-efficient and standard-compliant building automation in nearly all office and administrative buildings. Its ease of use means that configuration and reconfiguration can be carried out in-house, saving time and reducing costs.
To work effectively, the modern building energy management system (BEMS) should be straightforward to use and accessible for every potential user. Ian Ellis of Siemens Building Technologies discusses past issues with ‘usability’ and positive changes that are being made.
Malcolm Anson, president of the Building Controls Industry Association, says that we should focus on getting the basics right to see the full benefits of building controls and BEMS in the long-term.
Dave Lister of Beckhoff Automation explains how lighting control and the BMS can work in harmony to provide buildings that are more energy efficient and easier to operate in the long-term.
The control of energy in buildings is generally poor, despite the availability of a range of tried and tested systems, with guidance perceived to be over complicated explains Andy Lewry of the Building Research Establishment.
Viessmann now offers boilers with WiFi and Internet connectivity, enabling installers to respond promptly to automatic fault notifications, with the added convenience of remote performance monitoring and online service planning. Unlike previous connectivity technology, which linked end users’ smartphones with thermostats, this is said to be the first to connect directly with a domestic boiler and the first to remotely provide installers with comprehensive diagnostics data.
AET Flexible Space’s FlexTouch mountable controller provides easy adjustment of the temperature and fanspeed of fantile units in its underfloor air-conditioning system. The traditional way of controlling the fantile units is via a hatch in the grille that covers the recessed fantile. The FlexTouch controller provides control without having to access the control in the fantile itself.
Occupancy detection and daylight response to control lighting at the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk is expected to see a return on its investment within a year by achieving energy savings of up to 80%. The Luxomat system installed by building-automation specialist B.E.G. uses a motion detector designed specifically for ceiling mounting and has an optical system covering 360°.
Schneider Electric’s Built Environment Training Academy at Ashby-de-la-Zouch has been acknowledged in the 2016 awards of the Building Controls Industry Association for its contribution to training. The academy houses a live complex low-voltage distribution system, low-temperature-hot-water distribution system and ventilation system with VAV and fan-coil-unit applications. It delivers courses for the company’s own engineers and the wider controls industry — including customers and end users.
A complete range of sensors to control and monitor chilled beams is available from Sontay. These water-based cooling systems are environmentally friendly and unobtrusive, making them a popular choice for commercial buildings such as offices, hotels and hospitals.
Buildings frequently change use and are refurbished for new occupants, and businesses often reconfigure their workplaces as demands change. Kevin Sheldrake of Carlo Gavazzi UK, argues the case for a building-controls solution with flexibility to meet whatever the future brings.
Hoval’s TopTronic system controller for Hoval boilers, calorifiers, heat pumps and other heat sources can control one or more multiple conventional and low-carbon heat sources with a single unit or in cascades of up to eight units. It eliminates the inconvenience and risk of trying to work with different controls for different appliances and system configurations.
The latest addition to Trend Control Systems’ range of IQ4 controllers is the IQ4E Slims range. Trend continues to reduce the footprint of its controllers, and a 70 mm IQ4E Slim compares to the 105 mm of a standard IQ4E I/O module. In addition, vertical connectors mean trunking can be situated immediately alongside a controller, saving even more space.
Timeguard’s ZV900 makes it possible to control LED and CFL lighting with smart switches without flicker or glow or prematurely burning out the switches. The device controls the switch load across a whole switching circuit. Once connected, it slips neatly through a standard 50 mm ceiling aperture.
Aimteq’s installation of WEMS wireless BEMS technology in Go-Ahead’s bus depots has achieved significant reductions in gas consumption, with average savings of 30% and a payback on the investment within two years. Go-Ahead is one of the of the UK’s largest bus operators and has a fleet of around 4600 buses that are boarded by nearly two million passengers every day.
The seamless integration of building energy management systems (BEMS) and lighting control brings together the two largest consumers of electrical energy in a building (lighting and HVAC) and allows them to be controlled from a single common interface. Neil Garland of Ex-Or explains how such integration drives energy efficiency and supports the creation of environments with enhanced comfort and productivity.
Beckhoff Automation has opened the doors of its new technical training centre and offers an extensive range of courses for controls engineers interested in learning about its innovative approach to BEMS and controls. The Beckhoff Technical Centre in Huntingdon offers industry professional world-class training and application-development courses in the second week of each month, which can be booked online.
Harting Church of England Primary School now has a building-management system. The Eclypse IP-based system from Distech controls the existing plant and is expandable to allow for alterations and additions to the plant. It will also be able to integrate with any future BMS if it is upgraded or changed.
Optimising the existing building-management system in an iconic London business location reduced gas consumption by £15 000 in the third quarter of last year. There was a need to update the Schneider Electric BMS as it had not been updated in response to changes in building occupants and their usage.