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Building Management Systems Point Density Outlook


Shariar Makarechi PhD, PE September 8, 2011

Introduction by Jon Yee


Intelligent Buildings is a strategic consulting rm headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. In helping its clients develop technology strategies, Intelligent Buildings often focuses on increasing visibility and control of clients' building systems. The systems in a building can produce thousands of points of data. Capturing the right control points is critical to performing meaningful analysis that can lead to better management decisions. Since there is a cost associated with the technology and method of acquiring these points, as well as with managing them, Intelligent Buildings must help building owners and managers decide what the appropriate number of control points is for their needs. To gain further insight on the topic, the rm's Director of Research, Jon Yee, approached Dr. Shariar Makarechi, a professor at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, GA and a respected researcher and author in the eld of building automation and control systems. Dr. Makarechi provided the following discussion on building management technologies and the optimum density of control points.

parameters. These parameters have been identified as Life Cycle Cost; User Needs; Simplicity of operation; Integration of Systems and Service Availability. Due to correlation of the first three parameters with the number (or density) of control points, further simplification has been shown possible by Makarechis PhD dissertation published in 2006 at Georgia Institute of Technology when automation performance index was shown to be a function of A and I as defined earlier and P is an indicator of the point density. This paper focuses on the current state and the future trends of P (density of control points) for optimum system performance. If Value is defined as the amount of functionality purchased at unit cost, it can be shown that the value of the electronic technology has been increasing geometrically and all predictions (Kurzweil 2009) indicate an increase in their use in BMS. Because technology can do more with less cost, the industry can afford to monitor, measure and control many more parameters as well as the states of operations for a typical building service, providing additional feedback for fine tuning and management of the building systems to meet the needs and desires of the stake holders, as well as public and environment. One may see no harm in doing more with less cost but is there a limit for this trend for optimum performance? Today a digital camera can take high resolution pictures at very low costs and embed a lot of location based information on each digital file, but would such information be optimal for use in all applications or would a reduced resolution be preferred for some applications such as web pages? Buildings are dynamic and complex entities with similar needs as the living organisms that they usually house. They need to be examined and tested to ensure all of their vital parameters such as temperature, pressure, lighting levels, occupancy levels, access points, sound levels, relative humidity, etc. are within acceptable ranges but too many visits to the doctor for monitoring and tweaking the vital parameters and their desired points is not usually an indicator of good performance. Customized BMS properly implemented is expected to improve comfort levels and overall building performance, however, the key point in this statement is customized and properly implemented. What level of control point density (P) would provide the optimum performance in each given case? The current state of control industrys capabilities allow unprecedented accuracy and creativity with minimum cost impact in meeting and exceeding the comfort or monitoring and metering needs of the clients. Today control systems allow the users to participate in the desired state of operation

have emerged from B uilding Management Systems (BMS)and Control systems the traditional Energy Monitoring (EMCS) to include and integrate the operation of all building systems. These systems are capable of incorporating Lighting, Security, HVAC as well as a variety of other building services according to the needs of the users. With the availability of relatively low cost wired and wireless technologies and availability of the web based monitoring and control capabilities almost all new projects make early provisions for information infra structures such as fiber optics, local area networking and wireless systems to facilitate the information collection and decision support systems now possible a lot easier through high speed access to internet. An overview of the current and future state of the building management technologies and a discussion on the optimum density of control points for typical commercial installations is presented. Horizons of Point Density Authors joint paper with Dr. Kangari published by the International Journal of Facility Management in 2011 illustrates that the performance of building automation systems sometimes abbreviated as building management system, BMS, is a function of a handful of significant

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of their environment in real time using mobile and wireless ago, we can easily expect between 1000 to 1500 points today, devices. Such advantages over the traditional systems that had while only 10 years ago we might have seen only 200. Danny very low or sometimes no flexibility has prompted a Elliot who is Mingledorffs control expert for Carrier significant increase in the demand for automation. For packaged rooftop units reported that electronic (DDC) example 15 years ago a 100 square feet hotel room could be controls are now standard on their units and have become made comfortable to the user with manual lighting and affordable to the average customer, while only a very low security as long as automatic temperature control was percentage of projects would consider such controls 20 years provided by a fixed wall mounted thermostat. The same hotel ago. room today may be equipped with automatic security and lighting interlocked motion sensors, day-light photocell Number of points is directly proportional with the complexity controls, electronic lock systems, on demand AV services, of the project and the buildings occupancy type. A Hospital automatic wake up, paging and alarm systems, wired and would require more than a hotel while a hotel would require wireless internet access, fire protection and fire alarm more than an office building. But even a simple warehouse capabilities in addition to the traditional temperature and project may become quite complex for a sophisticated user humidity controls that can now be provided by portable who demands additional capabilities for locating items and controllers that can move with the user to different locations inventory management to be added to their BMS. within the space. This is a 30 to 1 increase in the number of control and status points. The customers are now expecting According to Moores Law the geometric increase of such such conveniences and amenities and demand them and the technologies shall continue and Kurzweil (2005) predicts this owners can provide them at reasonable cost in order to stay trend will lead to new technologies much more capable than competitive. They also reap additional the current integrated circuit based benefits of better tracking of the various systems. In other words P shall services for billing and reporting follow the Moores law with purposes. This sounds like a win-win geometric increase in the use of Moores Law situation and it is, however, if the same electronics for the foreseeable The law is named after Intel co-founder hotel room adds additional surveillance future. Gordon E. Moore, who described the systems for security and maintenance, trend in 1965 where he noted that the monitoring every move and activity in all Conclusions number of components in integrated spaces, such additional service may be circuits had doubled every year from considered intrusive and not tolerated and It is evident that electronic the invention of the integrated circuit in accepted by the customers even if the controls have become common 1958 until 1965 and predicted that the personal information is kept secure and practice in the construction trend would continue "for at least ten confidential. industry and are built into the years". His prediction has proved to be environmental systems of the uncannily accurate, in part because the Demand for automation is high and so is buildings by the manufacturers, law is now used in the semiconductor the concern for the cost and complexity however the current installed point industry to guide long-term planning. of up-keeping of theses systems. The density is significantly lower than growth in user needs and desires may be the capabilities of these systems. addressed by proportionally expanding Clients are driving the density of the BMS input and output capabilities. the installed points by demanding The construction industry moves towards more intelligent additional capabilities from their building systems. Such buildings following the trend we have already seen in the car demands by clients are bound to increase in reverse proportion manufacturing industry with integrated automation and to the installed systems costs. management capabilities. The developers are interested in green technologies which require additional metering and monitoring points for faster and more up to date building systems information. BMS today does not just react to the needs of the users but is capable of proactive operation to the needs with high probability and make proper adjustments to satisfy them just as they are needed. Currently HVAC equipment manufacturers provide electronic controls at minimum extra cost, making almost unlimited control point management capabilities and web connectivity available to the clients. The engineers and designers are aware of these capabilities however; do not specify full utilization of them unless requested specifically by the owners due to the added cost of the field devices and sensors, according to Jeff Reece a consulting engineer who also said for 100 inputoutput control points in a commercial office project 20 years

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REFERENCES Kurzweil, R. (2005). The Singularity Is Near. United States, Viking Publishing. Kurzweil, R. (1999). The Age of Spiritual machines. United States, Viking Publishing. Makarechi, S. Kangari, R. (2011) Research Methodology for Building Automation Performance Index, IJFM (International Journal of Facility Management), Vol 2, No 1. Makarechi, S. Kangari, R. (2011) Significant Parameters for Building Automation Performance, IJFM (International Journal of Facility Management), Vol 2, No 1. Jeffrey Reece, (2011), Newcomb & Boyd Consulting Engineers, Atlanta, Georgia. Daniel Elliot (2011), Mingledorff, Carrier Corporations Sales and Distribution in Atlanta, Georgia. Shelby, Z and Bormann, C (2009). 6LoWPAN, the Wireless Embedded Internet. West Sussex, UK, John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Soldati, P. et all. (2010). Optimal Routing and Scheduling of Deadline-Constrained Traffic over Lossy Networks. Retrieved on September 6 2011 from http:// www.ee.kth.se/php/modules/publications/reports/2010/IR-EE-RT_2010_033.pdf. Zou, Z. and Soldati, H. and Johansson M. (2010) Delay-Constrained maximum reliability routing over Lossy links. In the 49th IEEE Conference on decision and Contro, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Shariar Makarechi
Has worked in the building energy and environmental design, construction and performance industry for more than 30 years as designer, project manager and company director. He has a PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is currently a professor at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, GA.

Jon Yee
Research for Intelligent Buildings where he provides strategic consulting for real estate owners, operators, and developers. He has a MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Is the Director of

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