Low-angled view of a house building. the concept of Building Automation. Low-angled view of a house building. the concept of Building Automation.

Building Automation: Shaping the Future of Spaces

Building Automation is a single platform that communicates with many technologies and is used as a controlling system to monitor. On the other hand, the technologies used in it are hardware and software, Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC). As well as it is used to enhance the building’s safety and comfort for the tenants.

Similarly, it is often called “Smart Building Automation” because it congregates various wide systems like the building’s air conditioning, electrical lighting, access control, security systems, and other interrelated system to manage the entire building. To succeed in the project, you must have some additional knowledge to execute it. Things like electrical knowledge and basic HVAC system knowledge are more than enough for Building Automation systems. 

What is Building Automation? low angle photo of city high rise buildings during daytime
By Sean Pollock / Unsplash Copyrights 2017

1. What Is Building Automation?

1.1. What Are the Systems that Build Automation Monitors and How?

1.1.1. Power Generator System

Building Automation can monitor the power generator system whenever there’s a sudden shutdown, and power is automatically generated by using a “Standby generator.” On the other hand, builders use Standby generators for large-scale projects to use them as a secondary power supplier.

Though their regulations are complex, they are presented in simplified form: Emergency system defined by EPA (Environmental Production Agency) rules. Natural Gas is the most preferred fuel of all generators. In such a way, Building Automation requires a power generator of natural gas. 

1.1.2. Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC)

One of the technologies is to control the moisture, temperature, and air in an appended space. In addition, it makes sure to provide sufficient indoor air quality and thermal solace. Of Course, HVAC is an important part of setting up smart buildings and many large-scale constructions. Until and unless you maintain the atmosphere’s temperature and humidity, it works for a long time. Moreover, HVAC keeps the air fresh and free from pollution. 

1.1.3. Lighting Control

To integrate (Communication and Interoperability) Lighting, we need the required parts like LED, Dimmer, and software device. Lighting is one of the main interior parts of Building Automation. In building automation, Lighting is an essential tool in monitoring energy consumption and process that affects the use of energy.

It reduces the overall building’s lighting energy consumption and uses only 20% to 90%. The lighting control should be programmed with ON/OFF settings to avoid inconvenience on windy days due to the movement of clouds. 

1.1.4. Security System

Security is the production or persistence against external harm by others, like compelling a party to act in unwanted actions by the use of threats. Nowadays, the rising desire to integrate security services has become mandatory in all places, which cannot be neglected.

On the other hand, security systems in smart buildings have been developed to the utmost. Therefore, the development of this system is getting higher, and it is an on-demand service all over the place. 

An arrow on a Security Logo.
By Pixabay / Pexels Copyrights 2016

1.2. Evolution of Building Automation

As we all know, building automation is an energy management system. Hence, the revolution of this system gradually shows its transformation in how it evolved. In the 1980s, microprocessors moved the company from analog to digital, whereas it was an air compressor in the 1950s. Later, a new show-on wireless technology that allows you to communicate without cable attachments.

Then, the idea of introducing “cognitive buildings” to provide a much more comfortable environment for humans, like how tenants use and interact within the provided space. We are in an era where data point technologies enable us to capture data from various origins. 

Correspondingly, Building Automation evolved by providing many facilities like optimized energy usage, safety and security, information, and communication facilities. Also, to maintain a comfortable atmosphere among humans and to reduce energy consumption, we should use the components given below:

  1. Sensors.
  2. Controllers.
  3. Actuators. 
  4. Software.

For interfacing, these components are connected to other BAS workstations through the internet. 

photo of an architect working on his project
By Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels Copyrights 2021

1.3. Benefits of Building Automation

1.3.1. Low Operating System and Cost of Maintenance

As it is already designed by software technology, the overall operating system will be low on operating. Likewise, there’s a massive energy saving, so the costs of BAS will be less when compared to services over again and again. 

1.3.2. Best Performance

As generations pass, technology has made everything easier and smarter in every aspect of our lives. Likewise, the performance of building automation has become the best of all among humans. Since it is an integrated system, producing data has been easier and more comfortable. 

1.3.3. Indoor Air Quality

By using thermal, temperature, and humidity sensor monitors for better air quality. Here, carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) monitor pollutants just to ensure fresh air ventilation. It even provides breathable air in a smoky atmosphere. 

1.3.4. Great Comfort and Productivity

Comfort-wise, building automation ensures it gives its fullest. Moisture sensors are used to control hot summer dehumidification. Correspondingly, in winter, too! 

1.4. What Are the Ways to Upgrade Building Automation? 

To upgrade building automation, search for the best company to upgrade the legacy. However, choosing the right company for your project is not an easy job. Search for a company that specializes in updating the building automation legacy so that it can evaluate current systems and cost estimations.

Moreover, there are a few factors to be considered for determining a building automation system. Those are total square footage, type of buildings, and integrated systems (HVAC, lighting, fire, security, access control). Starting a new building automation project has so many benefits which help to reduce downtime for repair.

As technology transforms the nature of work and workspace, people run towards advanced technologies where building automation is one of a kind. At the same time, the rapid growth of building automation considers all needs and works in the same way.

Every year, there are statistics on building automation’s growth so that managers can get their idea of upgrading it even more. Updating is more important in the 20s generation as there are so many developers all over our country.

Also, upgrading a system faces too many risky challenges to make it work in the right way. Their ultimate goal is to keep the occupants in an upgraded environment. 

a group of people standing around a display of video screens
By Maxim Hopman / Unsplash Copyrights 2020

1.5. Potential Drawbacks of Building Automation

There are best things left to human creation. Likewise, only humans can do things that technology cannot. Though building automation has created value across sectors, it does have some drawbacks. They are mentioned below:

  1. Normally, importing building automation costs too much to determine as it consumes hundreds and thousands of dollars to import, in addition to keeping it functional. 
  2. Since acquiring data is quite challenging, it cannot achieve maximum energy savings and functional efficiency. 
  3. While saving, it might also miss some of the smaller pieces of equipment that offer opportunities since there are unpredictable development costs. One cannot predict the accurate estimation of pricing.  
  4. The building automation system is a disparate, cached system that doesn’t work simultaneously.  
  5. Requirement of deep research on finding the right vendor for successful organizations. You will require professional assistance to guide you.
Man Standing Near Gray Metal Equipment
By Kateryna Babaieva / Pexels Copyrights 2019

1.6. Control Modes for Building Automation 

There are many controllers available in the building automation system. Each controller has its unique operations, which make it a huge success in smart buildings. Let me show some of the important control modes of building automation.  

1.6.1. Binary (ON/OFF) Control

There are two states, open and closed. Depending on the state, the output will provide current to the control device. Here, the current is constant, which uses 24 volts of alternating current to the control device. 

1.6.2. Floating Control

Floating control is used to send a signal whenever there are loose connections or power bumps.

1.6.3. Sequenced Control

There are two types of sequences. One is logical sequencers, and the other one is physical sequencers. It gives signals when there is an electrical heating and direct expansion cooling stage. 

1.6.4. Proportional Integral Derivative (PID)

By connecting input (Pv) and set point (Sp), we set up a PID loop. The PID loop determines how long you have been far from the set point.  

2. Conclusion on Building Automation

In the final analysis, we simply got to know Building Automation talks about the idea of a building’s controlling system and monitors services that are inducted through software. 

To enter the field of building automation, you must acquire certain skills. I hope you have learned more from this single article. 

Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Sathi Chakraborty

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