All commercial, residential and industrial buildings have lot of parameters which need to regularly controlled and monitored. Apart from comfort and convenience, such automation is essential for monitoring all critical parameters. This is achieved through a Building Management system also known as Building Automation system. All such systems can be connected to internet and can be monitored and controlled from remote locations. Also different buildings in different locations can be combined to a single system for central monitoring.
Major parameters to be monitored in a Building Management System
Most common parameters being monitored presently are listed in the decreasing sequence of criticality:
- Fire and smoke alarm monitoring
- Gas leakage monitoring
- Access control system
- Surveillance system
- Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system
- Water levels in the tanks
- Temperature of critical rooms
- Humidity of critical rooms
- Light levels (external and internal)
- Presence and motion of people (utilizing motion and presence sensors)
These are general parameters and any other parameters can be monitored using various types of sensors
Protocols of Building Management System
A protocol is basically the communication language used by all the components in the system to transmit signals to each other and to the central processor. A typical building automation systems will have thousands of such components which need to communicate each other. Prominent protocols are BACnet, Modbus, KNX, Lonworks etc. Different manufacturers of components use different protocols for their components. For any addition of systems at a later stage, components of same protocol need to be used. However interface components are available to use components of other protocols. KNX is an open protocol for which any manufacturer can develop new components.
Building Automation Systems for homes, villas and apartments
These are known as home automation systems which are management systems of smaller scale. These systems also will include lot of functions for enhancement of comfort and convenience of the occupants. Examples of few of them are:
- Curtains will automatically adjust positions based on direct sun rays so that sun rays will not reach the room directly.
- An automated home theater which will automatically reduce the volume and pauses the video when a phone rings.
- Mood lighting based on time of the day
- Switching the AC by sending SMS or using mobile applications even before a person reaches home
- Various switching actions for lights, AC etc. through voice commands