It is important ensure that all sub-systems in buildings are open protocol based
Published on : Saturday 07-10-2023
Mrs Sakhee Chandrayan, Social Entrepreneur and President INBAC Association.
Estimates vary, but buildings account for 30-40% of energy consumption. How does building automation contribute to energy efficiency?
As our nation marches towards our G20 Sustainability goals, we equally go from becoming a developing country to a developed country!
It is non-negotiable to ensure not only energy efficiency, but also sustainability of the built environment.
Here are a few ways to achieve energy efficiency by optimising various building systems and operations through measurement, monitoring and control:
• Real time tracking of all sub-systems (especially measure energy consuming functions like HVACR, lighting, etc.), onsite and remotely
• Distributing load-based on occupancy
• Scheduling based on calendar and utilisation trends in the building
• Predicting maintenance based on past data and maintenance timelines, and
• Continuous optimisation using benchmarking.
What are the specific building automation technologies that help optimise heating, cooling, and lighting systems for energy savings?
Largely, building automation has been looked upon at a parameter/function level control and measurement. For example, controlling and monitoring of measure energy consuming functions like HVACR, lighting individually.
It is profoundly important for super-fast-growing nations like us to understand that Building Automation is far more than that. It must help the users to look at the buildings comprehensively. It should not only show the sub-system level trends but also effects of sub-system interplay; in other words, malfunctioning of any sub-system causing fire or highly luminous lighting system lowering the efficiency of HVAC. The only way to know it is by studying the trends coming from building data.
How does the integration of sensors and smart controls in building automation enhance indoor air quality and occupant comfort while still maintaining energy efficiency?
Well, half of the answer to this question is in the answer to the above question. Now, the building level comprehension is only possible if all the sub-systems are integrated together and configured to work in collaboration. It is not only about indoor air quality, indoor air quality is only one parameter in the larger scheme of things.
What are the challenges that organisations face when implementing building automation for sustainability, and how can these be overcome?
The biggest issue is sub-system level communication. Unless all the sub-systems talk the same language, it is not possible to have full integration. The easiest answer is to ensure the communication is that all sub-systems are open protocol based. One must ensure that the open protocol can be certified, it is evolving with the time and technology and it is designed to be cybersecure.
What is the potential for renewable energy integration within building automation systems, and how does this contribute to a building's overall sustainability profile?
The simplest answer is, YES! Certainly, easier said than done. Unless we have systems integrated it is impossible to use any system to its fullest potential. As a part of the leading building automation community, we promote integrated buildings right from roof top to basement, in nutshell, Solar to PHEVs!
How do building automation systems facilitate the collection of data related to energy consumption and environmental impact, and how can this data be used for continuous improvement?
A few easy ways, I would say are:
1. Ensuring that all the sub-systems are certified for open protocol communication
2. Integrations are done on open protocol – it is observed that the products are certified but not integrated on the open protocol as all sub-systems do not have open protocol based communication capability, and
3. Buildings should create the data trends and benchmarking for the users to make informed, data driven decisions.
It is important to understand that the technology has covered the entire world and its pace is haunting!
Anyone not using technology and data driven decisions shall be at a high business risk.
Remember, Smart Buildings, Sustainable Future!
(The views expressed in interviews are personal, not necessarily of the organisations represented)
Mrs Sakhee Darshan Chandrayan, B.E – Instrumentation and M.S., Counselling and Psychotherapy, is a Social Entrepreneur, helping businesses to tap into the power of collaborative development. Current Role: President and Founder Director, INBAC Association.
Sakhee has 20+ years of industrial experience leading global teams for product strategies, businesses and customer experience focused on enterprise-scale software for sustainable building solutions and open standards and protocols. She is engaged in bringing together visionary industry leaders to design the future of Open Systems Building Automation Community to create an ecosystem for sustainable growth and interdependence, empowering Smart Infrastructure in India.