Tag Archives: Building management system

Building Automation Systems Revenue to Reach $100.8 Billion in 2021

Building Automation Systems Revenue to Reach $100.8 Billion in 2021

 

Global commercial building automation systems revenue will grow from $58.1 billion in 2013 to $100.8 billion in 2021, according to a study by Navigant Research.

Commercial building automation systems continue to evolve from point solutions built from proprietary products toward open and integrated systems based on modern digital information technologies. Integrated by new building management systems, the automation of HVAC, lighting, fire and life safety, and security and access controls is increasingly forming the foundational infrastructure for advanced energy management products and services. The resulting solutions are aimed at reducing the nearly 12 percent of total global energy end use by the commercial sector, according to Commercial Building Automation Systems.

The global market for commercial building automation systems is driven in general by new and retrofit commercial building construction and more specifically by the energy efficiencyrequirements applied to this construction. New commercial construction has been suppressed by the financial crisis of 2008 in most of the global market, with the exception of certain parts of Asia Pacific, and the building controls market has suffered as a result, according to the report.

However, renewed economic growth and accelerating energy efficiency targets for commercial buildings are combining to offer significant market growth opportunities. Additionally, the adoption of new embedded computing, communications, sensing, and software technologies is fundamentally changing the underlying products and services within the commercial BAS market, presenting risks and rewards for various industry stakeholders, the report says.

The North American building automation systems market generated revenue of $535.3 million in 2011, up 0.7 percent over the previous year, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan released in October 2012.

By: Energy Manager Today Staff

Setpoint Systems Corporation and Coppertree Analytics Announce New Strategic Partnership

Littleton, Colorado November 25, 2013

Since 1983, Setpoint Systems Corporation, an independent integrator of building control systems has been uniquely positioned to offer fully integrated system solutions on a common communications network. Their diverse and dynamic portfolio includes: 40+ story high-rise commercial office buildings, 1000+ room hotels, university campuses, K-12 school districts, hospitals, 40-megawatt data centers, top-secret military facilities, jails and prisons, and major league sports stadiums.

“Our customers are seeking to maximize every area of their buildings and facilities. We strive to provide optimal and collaborative solutions for their project. CopperTrees’ approach to analytics is focused on gaining insight into large and complex data sets in order to reach your building’s maximum potential.” – Aaron Nahale, CEO, Setpoint Systems Corporation

CopperTree Analytics’ approach was driven out of frustration with “smart” buildings not delivering on the promise of intelligent and efficient operation. From its inception, the team at CopperTree knew there must be better ways to operate buildings, and they made it their mission to make buildings easier to monitor, diagnose, improve, and manage.

About Coppertree Analytics:
For more than 30 years, Coppertree’s parent companies – Delta Controls (one of the largest independent building controls manufacturers) and ESC (Western Canada’s largest building systems integrator) – have been at the forefront of creating SMART buildings. Long before ‘sustainable’ was a buzz word, the founders were involved in energy audits and consulting; and so it was a natural extension to create Coppertree in response to the growing demand for building energy management services.

Our heritage means we combine an implicit understanding of the technology, which controls buildings with the practicalities of maintaining them – so you get a solution, which delivers genuine energy savings. Know your energy issues – Fix what is broken.

Put simply, Coppertree analytics provides energy management and fault detection diagnostics as software-as-a-service, which delivers you the power to optimize your building performance.

We were frustrated how SMART buildings aren’t delivering on the promise ‘intelligent’ buildings inspired and we know we can fix that. Our mission is to lessen the climate changing impact of buildings by making them easier to monitor and manage.

Based outside Vancouver, a city with a booming tech sector, we share a similar profile being young and multicultural. Our average age is 33, and diverse cultural backgrounds from Vietnam and India to Ireland and Russia. Learn more at coppertreeanalytics.com.

Contact Information
Setpoint Systems Corporation
Corporate Headquarter
8167 Southpark Circle
Littleton, CO 80120

+1.303.733.2300

Info.setpointsystems.com

Coppertree Analytics
100 – 5265 185A Street
Surrey, BC V3s 7A4

+1.604.575.5943

info.coppertreeanalytics.com

Smart cities: innovation in energy will drive sustainable cities

Urbanisation makes cities a main focus for environmental policy. Digital technology and innovation will enable a better quality of life and reduced energy consumption

The Riverside Museum

The Museum of Transport in Glasgow. The city was awarded £24m funding to implement its future cities programme Photograph: Murdo Macleod

Cities represent three quarters of energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions worldwide, and represent the largest of any environmental policy challenge. Urbanisation is only set to increase, cities house half the world’s population today but are set to host three quarters in 2050.

To cope with this continued urban growth we will need to invent new ways to manage cities and make them more effective. The convergence between digital technology and the world of energy, or Energy 3.0, will pave the way for a new ecosystem of services which will enable both a better quality of life and reduced energy consumption.

The pathway to more sustainable cities

Marc Andreessen, co-founder of the first widely used web browser, famously said that “Software is eating the world”. Andreessen’s statement seems truer every day, digital technologies, after revolutionising the information technology sector, are now transforming all economic sectors, including energy. This sector will see increasing numbers of consumers producing their own energy, not only sharing it with one another but also customising it for their own personal use.

Innovations that marry the digital and energy disciplines are widespread, including technology that controls the energy consumption of buildings and interoperable communicating devices – such as temperature and air quality sensors, variable speed drives and robots, as well as smart meters and intensity and colour controlled LED lighting. These are examples of the technology that is changing the way we use energy.

Network Rail is one of the businesses driving forward innovation. Its newly built national centre was awarded a BREEAM excellent rating. The building blends engineering, architecture and technology to incorporate sustainable design features and energy performance metrics. Carbon dashboards have been installed throughout showing energy consumption, raising awareness and putting staff in a position to improve a building’s energy performance.

Extending the Internet of Things to create smart cities

The burgeoning field of smart cities and the Energy 3.0 era will be made possible by two technological breakthroughs, close to root of the concept of “internet of things“: more efficient and miniaturised sensors and networks that interconnect all objects to one another.

Today, the quality of air and water, the movement of people and objects, the changes in weather, the road traffic, the production and consumption of energy, can be measured by sensors, and tracked and interconnected through networks in real time. It is through interconnecting buildings, factories, vehicles, power generation plants, lighting, that cities will be “smart”.

This requires working on open and non-proprietary standards. It means training electricians, heating engineers, construction companies, facility managers, so they are able to connect the relevant equipment together. Being facilitators of energy, electrical distributors play a key role in informing, training installers in the electrical infrastructure, and in the integration of electrical devices and creation of easy-to-install, end-to-end electrical solutions. We are currently at the beginning of this revolution enabling the aggregation of energy production and its consumption, but it’s rapidly gaining momentum.

Empowering people in smart cities

In the same way that the IT revolution has been driven by consumer needs, so too will the energy revolution. As blogs, social networks and video platforms have enabled people to produce information and customise their content, new technologies will make possible energy self-production and customisation of energy usages and consumption.

Smart cities will also enable the use of open data which will create new urban services such as better transport connections, accident risk warnings and home monitoring for part-time and full-time carers. Local councils will have greater responsibility for ensuring the collection and the public availability of this data.

Furthermore, by leveraging this data, businesses will be able to offer personalised services for users, for example smart meter data could permit utilities to offer new tariffs, such as time-of use pricing which will encourage end-users to use energy in off-peak times when it is cheaper.

Cities leading the way

The UK, in common with many countries, understands the importance and benefits of a smarter and more sustainable future, and is investing, where relevant, to help drive the innovations that will enable this.

Last year, the UK government launched a £24m competition for a large-scale demonstrator in its hunt for ideas for a “future city”. Glasgow City Council was awarded the funding earlier this year.

The winning bid outlined how public, private and academic sectors can combine expertise and use cutting-edge technology to enhance day-to-day life in the city. The city’s programme covers several projects including: the creation of an integrated operations centre managing a new futuristic public space CCTV network and roads management systems; greater use of green technology such as white street lighting; and a city dashboard giving real time information on traffic flow, weather alerts, accident and emergency waiting times, rail and bus services and road gritting etc.

Glasgow isn’t the only UK city driving forward a smarter city approach. London boasts well-recognised sustainability innovations and a robust transit system. The city is also home to the Smart Cities research centre housed at Imperial College, which leverages transport, government, business, academic and consumer data in the hope of making the city more efficient and innovative

In the United States, Boston ranked first out of 34 of the most populated US cities in the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard. It was ranked on its policies and other actions to advance energy efficiency, across five policy areas: local government operations; buildings; energy and water utilities; transportation; and the community as a whole. The city of Boston has partnered with companies such as IBM and Schneider Electric to reach its smart city goals.

The urban revolution is already at work, but ultimately innovation will drive advances in technology, expansion of the internet of things and the empowerment of consumers, all of which will result in smarter and more sustainable cities.

Rudy Provoost is president of the Rexel Foundation for a better energy future, chairman of Rexel’s Management Board and author of Energy 3.0

Incorporate lighting controls with BAS to save energy- Part 1

Incorporating daylighting and lighting controls with a building automation system can result in energy savings.

Learning objectives

  1. Understand the benefits of incorporating lighting, daylighting, and building automation systems.
  2. Know the codes and standards that govern lighting and daylighting.
  3. Learn to gather and analyze data from an automation system.

Continue reading

7 Keys To Successful Building Automation

Automation Integrator Guide: Successful automation projects contain these seven elements. How many will your next project contain?

Congratulations on your decision to automate. You want to build it faster, build it better, and build it safer. But with so many potential automation solutions available, it can be overwhelming for an engineering team to decide where to start. Once you have justified the need for automation, feasibility, and payback to your business, you are faced with a difficult question: How do you ensure your road to automation is successful?

Seven keys to successful automation follow.

1. People communication

Communication among all stakeholders is paramount. When creating system requirements for the automation solution, the various teams involved must work hand-in-hand. Clear and open communication may seem like an obvious key to success, but too often teams are not brought together until late in the automation process.

Each stakeholder will have different goals in mind. The quality team wants zero defects, the production team wants output increased, IT wants a sustainable and maintainable solution. Before you know it, an operator at the end of the line has an error-proofing application, a shipping application, and an inventory application all running on the same computer, yet none of the systems communicate. The operator is left to manually transfer data between the three systems, and operations become less efficient than pre-automation.

By working with all the teams from the start, you will be in a better position to make sure the solution accounts for the perspectives of all parties involved, and also meets as many requirements as possible. A system integrator can often act as a mediator to help remove the politics from meeting all stakeholder goals and assist in solving what can sometimes seem to be contrasting goals to create a solution that works for all.

When trying to collaborate with teams, one of the largest communication issues we see as an integrator is scheduling. It is difficult to free up all of your team members to be in the same place at the same time. Consider meeting off-site with all of the stakeholders and away from the production facility at the start of the project. Simply removing people from their day-to-day chaos allows the team to focus on the problem at hand. Most likely no one will be able to be away for more than a day or two, but the tight timeline to develop requirements will keep everyone’s focus razor sharp.

2. System communication

You may already have some automated processes in place, but these processes are often developed independently from one another and may not communicate with each other. System segregation leads to data segregation. Data segregation leads to inefficiencies and manual reconciliation, which can cause data loss or, worse yet, data corruption. To avoid this, you want to store as much data as possible in a normalized manner and in a centralized location.

To accomplish this, integration and automation should go hand-in-hand. Getting two automated systems to communicate can be just as important, if not more important, than automating a single process. A system that is a “black box” provides little value if it cannot communicate with other systems.

3. Standardized processes

Before addressing the potential automation of the manufacturing process, you should first standardize the process. Standardization of the process allows for reduced variation and reduced operator training, and aids in root cause analysis.

Without standardized manufacturing processes it can be difficult to identify how automation should be implemented. If you have “loose” processes in place, an automation project is the perfect opportunity to address standardization. Usually this occurs a naturally as a side benefit associated with automation. Let standardizing the manufacturing process help drive the automation process and vice versa.

4. Standardized (yet flexible) framework

When you are developing standards for your framework, focus on the data that is most important. Force the team to keep the same important pieces of data as a baseline for your enterprise to build on. By developing standard interfaces for systems, you can create a model framework for other facilities. Avoid making the framework too rigid so that it can be flexible enough to apply across operations.

With a standardized framework, your team shouldn’t be as bogged down determining how to implement a solution. Instead, they will be focused on developing solutions that will promote production innovation. A standardized framework promotes collaboration so that groups work together, share information, and are positioned for success.

5. Standardized data

Data is king in today’s manufacturing environment. For that reason, you want to avoid proprietary and closed systems as much as possible. Focus on getting, keeping, and sharing your data. You likely already have proprietary systems in place to solve manufacturing problems, and minimizing manual transfers of information between these systems is crucial. Automating important transfers between systems allows employees to focus on their job instead of the white noise.

6. Pick your integration strategy, not your solution, first

Identifying what data you expect your automation solution to provide before you select a solution will also help minimize inefficiencies. All too often clients decide on a solution before they have outlined what data they need. This can lead to two potential downfalls. Either the solution needs to be vastly modified to meet the requirements, or the solution cannot be changed and some of the requirements simply are not met.

The more industry knowledge you can obtain about what solutions are available, the better. This is where a true systems integrator should be able to help. A systems integrator should be able to match a solution to specific goals. Whether it is a custom software solution or an off-the-shelf software package, you want established business processes dictating software solutions used, not vice versa. Keep in mind that whatever solution is selected, it should be a solid and expandable one that the team in place can build upon.

7. Commitment to support

Consider who the end owner will be. Whoever will be supporting the automation solution, the infrastructure, and software should have buy-in from the start that the solution is both maintainable and supportable from a technological standpoint.

Over the past 10 years there has been a transition from the manufacturing team managing software solutions to IT managing the software solutions. While it may be the manufacturing team developing the automation systems, it is more frequently the IT team’s responsibility to maintain the system. With IT becoming such a key player in the process, it is important to get them involved early and often. By including IT at the beginning of the process, you can help ensure a smooth transition from conception to production.

An automation project can seem daunting, especially when you are faced with legacy systems, siloed teams, minimal framework, and varied processes. But if done correctly, automation can provide all the benefits to build it faster, better, and safer. With some planning, standardization, and communication, and maybe a little help from an integrator, the automation project should be headed for success.

Article By:

– Chris Mikola is a project manager at Leidos, formerly part of SAIC. He currently directs the software programming group within Leidos Engineering’s systems division. The programming group specializes in quality information systems, real time production information systems, and custom software development. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.

Integration: Building automation and fire alarms

The building automation system can control all aspects of a building or campus, including its fire alarm system. This outlines best practices for integrating a fire alarm into a BAS.

Learning objectives

  1. Understand the efficiencies of integrating building automation with fire protection systems.
  2. Name various communication protocols, such as BACnet and LonTalk.
  3. Learn about inspection and testing of systems.

The responsibilities of a chief building engineer are becoming more challenging as technology advances. Bigger and taller buildings are being constructed with an increasing emphasis on energy efficiency and comfort, and the ever-increasing demand to keep construction costs and operating expenses down. In addition, building codes are changing the way these buildings are constructed in order to improve safety with an eye on new construction methods and materials.

There is also the somewhat traditional mind-set among those within the design and engineering community that building automation and fire alarm systems should maintain a significant level of separation with minimal connectivity or interaction. Most of this belief stems from the fear of the unknown and the desire to mitigate risk along with the old adage of “This is the way we’ve always done it.” In reality, the integration of building automation and fire alarm systems can result in overall reduction in equipment, installation, and maintenance costs while still maintaining the level of safety required for these systems to operate.

With the advent of smart building technology, heating, cooling, electrical, lighting, security, and other systems need monitoring and intercommunication for optimized efficiency and operation. With sophistication comes the need for a building automation system (BAS) to allow for nearly seamless operation of these various interrelated equipment.

Like BAS, fire protection and alarm systems have also evolved into sophisticated computer-based systems, which integrate fire detection and emergency communication systems as part of overall building operations during an emergency event.

Often fire protection and alarm systems must interact with other building systems to provide a proper level of protection. While the fire alarm system is fully capable of performing and initiating the necessary actions to accomplish the fire alarm and building systems’ responses, efficiencies can be obtained by integrating with the BAS. These efficiencies include minimizing additional equipment, expediting system acceptance testing, reducing installation costs, and sharing and consolidating information at a central location where all of the building systems can be precisely monitored during emergency incidents.

Smoke control systems are a good example of the marriage of building mechanical systems with fire protection/fire alarm systems. Fans are starting or stopping, dampers are opening or closing, and doors may be closing or unlocking while elevators being recalled. Although both the BAS and fire alarm systems have specific tasks to perform, there is a certain level of priority and sequences that must be followed. Failure to follow the proper priority or sequence may not only be non-code compliant, it may also lead to equipment damage or risk to human life. For example, if a smoke control fan operates before dampers open, ductwork may be damaged or door opening forces may be increased beyond acceptable levels for egress.

Communication

When the fire alarm system takes control of equipment that is not a listed component of the fire alarm control unit, the fire alarm system must either override the natural operating mode of the building equipment or pass off that command via a simple switch or data communications to the building mechanical systems. Likewise, each manufacturer’s BAS has its own protocol for monitoring conditions and communicating operational commands to maintain the proper building environment and efficiency. There are also standard open communication protocols such as LonTalk and BACnet that can be used to communicate with a multitude of equipment from various manufacturers in order to achieve an integrated building system.

The communication protocol for a fire alarm control unit to communicate to and from its indicating (input), initiating (output), and sometimes notification appliances is typically an analog or digital communications signal carried over what is referred to as a signaling line circuit (SLC). Because communications signals are typically proprietary protocol, each SLC is dedicated to a specific manufacturer’s equipment and cannot include connection of incompatible devices that use a different signal protocol.

Therefore, in order to integrate system alarm and control functions with the BAS in a manner other than relay logic, fire alarm system manufacturers had to also design and support the open communication protocols used for building automation, in a manner that would not compromise the integrity or the operation of the fire alarm system. This process of sharing information between both fire alarm and BAS came to be known as bridging, or open gateway processing. Because of the strict code and listing requirements of fire alarm systems, much of this communication has been primarily limited to one-way communication. However, some manufacturers of both fire alarm and BAS do produce equipment such as gateways that are listed for bi-directional communication with their equipment.

The use of these open gateway processors has the potential to eliminate the need for costly interface equipment and enclosures. A single gateway can replace hundreds of conventional or electronic relays and input sensors for control and monitoring while also eliminating the need for multiple wire terminations that can decrease the potential for system failure points.

Article By: Jon Kapis; Rick Lewis; Craig Studer, PE; The RJA Group Inc.

Energy Savings: the Data Are in the Details

Energy managers know that every commercial building is complex. The upside to that complexity is that many of these buildings offer large energy efficiency potential. Through identifying efficiency opportunities in thousands of commercial buildings to-date, we have confirmed a simple premise. A commercial building’s energy use data set is like a fingerprint: no two are exactly alike.

With that in mind, energy managers need a smart strategy for understanding and capturing efficiency opportunities. Here are a few tips:

1)     Don’t just look across the road – A recent slew of energy management tools suggest that energy managers can design energy efficiency strategies based on comparisons to buildings with a similar size and use-profile. Don’t be tempted to compare your efficiency achievements with building operators overseeing other properties.

Our research has shown that ‘like-building’ hypothesis may prove true for the residential sector or the smallest commercial buildings such as pizza shops. But for most of the commercial sector, even very similar buildings can have vastly different energy-use profiles, and it’s important to tailor your strategy accordingly.  Take for example the two buildings highlighted in the infographic below, both of which operate near Chicago with similar sizes, sources of heating/power, assets, and Energy Use Intensity. Their strong resemblance on the surface disappears with a deeper dive into the building’s true energy usage patterns.

While a “like-building” analysis using benchmarks or past databases might suggest that these buildings have similar opportunities, in fact, Building #1 has nearly twice the annual savings potential as Building #2.  It also has more operationally-focused energy conservation opportunities coming from lighting controls, HVAC/plug controls and cooling set points. In contrast, Building #2 would benefit most from a lighting retrofit, making its energy reduction opportunity more about asset improvements than about operational changes.

Looking even deeper, an even larger difference is noticed in how energy is used throughout the building. Cooling usage dominates Building #2 (48% vs. 18%), while Building #1 has more usage going to lighting and plug loads. These breakdowns are part of what drives the differences in recommendations.  It’s worth noting that these unique building results came from advanced analytics applied to their meter data, leading us to the next tip…

Every Building Has Its Own Story To Tell

If all buildings have their own story to tell, how can you effectively approach each and every one?

2)     Real data doesn’t lie – Greater availability of high frequency consumption data coming from commercial building utility meters, coupled with recent advancements in data analytics provides a completely new way to understand energy performance. This data is just as available as square footage and EUI, but much, much richer.  Using consumption data as a starting point for understanding your usage gets you to the source of energy (in)efficiencies. It is not uncommon for data analytics to uncover, for example, a simultaneous heating and cooling issue that a building operator is adamant doesn’t exist. That is, until he goes and double checks the air conditioning systems.  You can’t hide from what the data reveals.  Although it may be uncomfortable to see the truth,data and advanced analytics provide great insights into ways to save energy and money in your building.

3)     Go deep and be objective – not wide and subjective. Many energy efficiency initiatives start with an audit, so the quality of information gained from that step is critical. Sending in a team of people with hard hats and clipboards to record the minutiae of energy use, from how often the mechanical equipment is shut down to how many times the building automation system is manually overridden, may be the first choice. However, in some situations, it may not be the best. Besides being an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, those kinds of audits may be led by individuals with differing experience, motivation, and techniques.  Numerous studies have shown that onsite audits yield highly inconsistent results, mostly because it’s hard to make consistent auditors.

Think about audit partners that can strive for objective consistency each and every time they analyze a building. There are firms that can provide that level of deep and specific building detail without requiring all those boots on the ground. An even better approach may be to perform the analytics first and then provide those results to the energy audit team, therefore enhancing the overall process.

4)     Put your utilities on speed dial – It is becoming common knowledge that many utility companies have significant monetary incentives for increasing building energy efficiency. So, it’s time to take full advantage. Every commercial energy manager should know who runs the efficiency programs within their utility providers, and should be in regular touch to better understand their buildings’ energy use profiles and savings opportunities, and available incentives.

Like all relationships, however, the energy manager-utility relationship is a two-way street. The better data and insight that utilities have on your energy usage, the better job they can do to help you realize savings. As the infographic above contends, every commercial building in a utility’s portfolio is different, and you should look to partner with your utility to identify the right kinds of operational and asset-based cost savings opportunities.

5)     Go public. Making your buildings’ energy performance part of everyone’s business is, well, good business. Providing energy audit results to your constituents – from tenants’ facility personnel to your preferred energy contractors to your own CFO – is crucial in ensuring that efficiency projects don’t fall by the wayside.

Why is transparency so important? Because it enables you to demonstrate not just the hows of energy efficiency (e.g., turning off the lights at 6:00 p.m. will save 10,000 kWh of energy) but also thewhys (e.g., turning off the lights at 6:00 p.m. saved the company $1,500 in energy costs last month, enabling us to purchase better equipment for our staff or our tenants). Most important, making energy use and savings data available helps make a stronger business case for energy efficiency projects.

Every building has its own story to tell, and the plotline is in the detail revealed through analytics. Data that lives deep within the lighting, power, HVAC and water systems in every building should be mined, analyzed and presented in a way that shows the value that energy efficiency projects can unlock. By looking at each building’s unique energy fingerprint, you can find hidden opportunities for efficiency and cost savings without always having to putting on a hardhat.

Article By: Swapnil Shah is CEO of FirstFuel.