Who wouldn’t like their building to be smartly self-sufficient? Building automation gives this efficiency to it. The building or home automation is the centralized control of the building’s, lighting, HVAC, access control, and security systems, and other such integrated systems.
This article will deal with the following points:
- What is building automation?
- What is the need for and significance of building automation?
- Parts of building automation and home automation
- Building automation hardware
- Home automation and building automation software
- The right time for building automation installation
- Shift to intelligent building automation
What is Building Automation?
Imagine going on a vacation with your family. At the airport, you suddenly realize that you did not switch off the air conditioner. What would you do now?
This is where building automation comes in place. If you have a smart building, you can turn off the air conditioner from your smartphone while you wait for your flight. Building automation systems include lightings, furniture, HVAC, plumbing, and access control. However, they are not limited to this.
For instance, a smart life system of an automated building will detect a minor or major damage even before it has already happened. Therefore, it gives to a chance for predictive maintenance.
Similarly, with a building automation system, you can detect leakage in any of the plumbing pipes inside or outside the walls of your building. Therefore, we can clearly say that building automation goes deeper than turning on and off the lights and appliances of your building. It allows damage detection before the damage is actually caused. Predictive maintenance and proactive repair is also possible with building automation systems.
Building automation is a macro term that includes automation of all types of buildings be it a residential building, a hospitality infrastructure, or a commercial space.
What is the Need for and Importance of Building Automation?
Imagine entering a room and the curtains open, the temperature turns up, and the lights turn on automatically. This is what home automation does.
Moreover, smart home automation and building automation isn’t needed just to make things feasible for you. It cuts down on energy cost. We often forget to turn off the lights or switch off the ac. But the home automation software does that for you. In addition to that, the access control systems offer limited and restricted access to your building which makes it safe and secure.
Basically, building automation is a shift from product supply to system supply. Therefore, instead of purchasing and installing products individually, all the products from various categories club together to form a system. They work together and act as a unit to benefit the consumer in many ways.
The following benefits are received from building automation:
- Enhanced occupant comfort
- Improved security
- Performance documentation
- Improved equipment life cycle
- More comfortable lifestyle
What are the Parts of Home Automation and Building Automation?
Home automation and building automation are a distributed control system. Although their goal is to achieve one-point building control, it is achieved through a three-part home automation system with many home automation tools:
- Hardware- It includes appliances, accessories, fittings, and other product components.
- Software- The platform that integrates the different hardware items.
- System integrator- The technical expert who integrates the software and the hardware.
What is Building Automation Hardware?
As discussed earlier, smart home automation and building automation is a combination of different types of infrastructures from diverse fields and home automation tools. Therefore, it has multiple scopes of functionality and operation. Let us understand the various types of building automation systems:
- Occupancy sensors- The lights are turned on when motion is sensed. The motion sensor light switches detect occupancy in the space and regulate the lights in the room.
- Photosensors- Usually used for outdoor lighting, the photocells sense darkness as the sun sets and turn on the lights.
- Timers- You can set a timer for the lights to turn on and off. The automatic light switches work according to the schedule set by you and regulate the lighting appliance.
Famous brands that offer smart lighting are:
|Read this article on decorative lights for homes and offices.|
Home automation tools get maximum versatility when it comes to electrical appliances. A diverse range of ideal home appliances offers excellent automation. Many brands manufacture splendid WiFi-enabled, IoT technology laced, smart home appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc. that can be voice-controlled and integrated with other appliances for automation. These appliances use automatic light switches and motion sensor light switches to work.
Famous brands that offer smart home appliances are:
|Read this article on the best kitchen appliances.|
The modular switches that come with latest technology offer complete home automation and building automation. They follow a streamlined approach to control complex, smart, modern spaces. The smart modular switches come with intuitive interfaces for intelligent control. Automatic light switches, motions sensor switches, touchscreen switches are some examples of smart switches.
Famous brands that offer smart modular switches are:
The HVAC systems are used for moving air between outdoor and indoor areas. In addition to cooling and heating, the buildings need automation for several reasons. Energy management is essential for HVAC automation. Moreover, it allows you to control the entire building at one platform. The home automation for HVAC systems distributes digital control tied together though electronic networks and run complex codes and algorithms to ensure highest efficiency and functionality.
Famous brands that offer HVAC systems and accessories are:
In the times of rapid developments in home automation and building automation, plumbing is yet another field of automation. In order to maintain sustainable and smart home automation systems, we need plumbing systems that integrate well with the rest of the building. A standing water alert system, smart faucets, drain alert system, leak detection sensors, etc. make up smart plumbing systems for smart buildings. In addition to that, smart home automation using IoT is gaining popularity. There are many home automation tools for home automation using IoT.
Famous brands that offer smart plumbing are:
- Steibel Eltron
Access Control Systems
The changing trends of the world expose it to greater threats too. The safety and security of the building hold great importance. However, today’s access control should not just be strong but also touchless. You can restrict unauthorized access to your building. As a result, you get enhanced safety. The access control systems include several hardware and software components. Let us take a look at the hardware of the access control system
- Smart cards
- Smart lifts
- Door systems
- Sensor barriers
- Digital locks
|Read this article on innovative lifts and elevators.|
Famous brands that offer access control systems are:
Gone are the days when a manual door lock was sufficient for the safety and…
What is Building Automation Software?
Home automation systems and building automation systems are fully-functional when the hardware integrates well with the software and works together. It should not be too complicated. A smart home automation system that eliminates isolation from any device and communicates with everything from lighting, HVAC and plumbing to security and access control in one language is an ideal building automation software. A good and flexible automation software by well-established home automation companies is extremely important for an inclusive building automation system. There are many retrofit appliances, hardware, furniture items that can be integrated with home automation software to make an intelligent building. Let us find out some of the leading home automation software:
This building automation and home automation software come with endless personalization and flexibility. KNX, amazing home automation tool allows the communication of a wide range of products from different manufacturers. Moreover, home automation software is committed to the safety and security of the user. Therefore, it comes with innovative security features. KNX can be implemented in small residential buildings as well as large commercial buildings. KNX software is used in some buildings such as the Lamborghini Showroom, Athens, Greece and Thunderbird Resort, Mumbai, India.
Another effective home automation software, Zigbee makes home smarter and more efficient. The software enables users to manage home security, cost-effectiveness, and less energy consumption. The IoT software deletes the risk of single-point signal failure. Zigbee software uses two technologies:
- Zigbee 3.0- The devices connected with Zigbee 3.0 maintain smooth communication even in noisy RF environments.
- (ZSE) Zigbee Smart Energy- This protocol actively manages energy consumption. It reduces energy wastage and allows optimal use of energy.
Honeywell Forge home and building automation software transforms the data received from buildings into insights and uses that algorithm to offer flawless automation and control. The advanced IoT, smart analytics technology, and big data collection space provide a fast integration of multiple products and systems. Crown Towers, Perth, Australia and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, Dubai are some of the famous buildings where Honeywell Forge automation software is used.
Metasys by Johnson is an intelligent, state-of-the-art technology system that connects your commercial, lighting, HVAC, security, access control, and protection systems. All these systems communicate on a single platform at Metasys and allow you to have a comfortable, smart, safe, and productive building. Metasys is responsive software. Therefore, the home automation software works on all mobile devices as well. Its upgraded graphical interface and better BAC net support make the software smarter and more convenient to control. In addition to that, it lowers the building’s operational costs and increases effectiveness making it an ideal building and home automation software.
The performance of the building automation and home automation software greatly impacts the occupant’s lifestyle, building’s functionality, and environment. Siemens is one of the leading home automation companies. Desigo by Siemens is a holistic system that provides the right integration between hardware and software. It offers cloud connectivity to the products. As a result, the building becomes high-performing. Its building management, room automation, and other such features ensure increased functionality to the building. Louis Vuitton Foundation Museum, Paris and Victoria Museum, Melbourne, Australia are some famous buildings where Desigo is used.
When are the various parts of building automation installed?
As mentioned earlier, building automation is more of a system than a product installation. An architect or an interior designer’s work does not end at designing the right building structure and choosing the best products. In fact, it is just the beginning. There are two attributes when it comes to making a smart building-
The fixed attributes include the building’s sitting and structure. Its windows, façade, and interior layout play a major role in defining how the building will operate.
The changeable attributes comprise the products, appliances, and most hardware.
The best building automation system cannot compensate for the poorest building layout, and vice versa. Both are equally and greatly critical in creating a well-designed, fully-functional automated building.
Therefore, to answer the question, the focus on building automation should begin right from the layout designing of the building. In addition to that, being a multi-step process, building automation works in various folds and levels.
Once the structure takes position and wiring begin, lighting control installation must be considered. You can choose the right type of decorative lights for lighting control later when the interior decoration begins; however, the fittings and wiring must begin at an initial phase.
The same rule is applicable for home and kitchen appliances. Selection of the ideal home appliances can be done later. However, your modular kitchen should be designed in a way that it has space for all standing and built-in appliances.
Choose the right building material, use your experience, understand the needs of the client, and coordinate with all the teams involved in the construction of the building to offer the best building automation systems.
How can you install building automation in an old building?
Building automation begins right from the conception of the building design. However, if you want to renovate a building or want to make it more functional and energy-efficient, there are many retro-fit options for the same. Several brands manufacture products and systems take can be easily accommodated in your already existing building model. There are many amazing system integrators that make it possible for an old building to get automated with the least disturbance.
Intelligent Buildings- Future of Building Automation Systems
Although building automation makes the buildings more functional and inclusive, there is still a lot more that can be done in this industry. A traditional building automation system helps consumers save energy and get enhanced performance. But an intelligent building automation system not just collects the data but also uses it to change and improve simultaneously. An intelligently automated building saves even more energy and becomes more effective.
For example, a simple lighting control will allow scheduling of the lights. However, an intelligent building will analyze (through occupancy sensors) that no one enters the space before 7 am. Therefore, it will automatically adjust the lights to remain off until 6.45 am.
Another example of an intelligent conference room would be that if the meeting had to start at 10 am and no one entered the room within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, it would unbook the room and make the space available.
Moreover, a CCTV of a traditional building automation system would capture the clips and store them. Therefore, an intelligent building’s CCTV will spot unidentified objects along with recording it.
A wonderful exhibition held in Munich, BAU showcases wonderful futuristic building and home automation solutions. Experts and professionals from all over the world visit Germany to witness the future of automation.
The future of the building is becoming more and more automated. The goal of all buildings is to become more economical, safer, comfortable, and energy-efficient. Most commercial buildings and green buildings use strong building automation systems to become advanced and multi-functional. You must cover all the aspects of home automation and building automation such as HVAC, lighting, plumbing, electrical appliances, and access control. In addition to that, use the most flexible and customizable automation software by the best home automation companies to make the best out of it.