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The essentials of building automation


here are few markets as fast

which enabled a ‘plug and play’ approach.”

paced or lucrative as the

This architecture resulted in real-time

technology market, particu-

data flows and communication between

Enabling connectivity between disparate

larly in the context of build-

the remote sites and national monitoring

systems requires careful consideration,

ing automation solutions.

platform. But one of the key learnings,

according to Jon. And one particular vari-

according to Jon, was making sure that

able relates to the reality of open systems.

Enabling coordination between systems is

each system provider adhered to the integration rules.

Australian licensing, Jon believes they will eventually find greater prevalence.

“There is quite a bit of glossiness and hype around terms like integration and

now a key focus in the wake of multiple

“You have to ensure that where the

interoperability, but these obscure the real

new vendor products - something that can

modules bolt into site infrastructure, all of

meaning and value of the systems,” said Jon.

prove to be complex and intricate. Which

the componentry is designed to a specific

is where integration design holds the key.

standard. From wiring practices, through to

The latest industry buzzwords are Analytics and Big Data.

As part of the Building Automation & Controls 2015 conference, Jon Clarke*, Senior Associate Controls Group Manager,

We’re finding unprecedented demand for integrated

Norman Disney & Young (NDY), shares his

automation systems, where interoperability is a

insights into the complexity of integration

priority from a functionality perspective.

design and how consultants can support the interaction of different vendor products in automation systems. “We’re finding unprecedented demand

language for communications and off-site

“The objective is to review all perfor-

for integrated automation systems, where

testing, everything has to be aligned in the

mance regimes, not just for buildings but

interoperability is a priority from a func-

set-up. This keeps site work to a minimum

for contractors, tenants, everyone. When

tionality perspective,” he said. NDY was

and commissioning time is significantly

we offer solutions, it’s all about return on

recently involved in a major project to

reduced,” he said.

investment. Feasibility is not just about the

design a national monitoring platform.

Online and wireless technology has

costs or logistics of introducing the system

“In this instance, there were a number

emerged as a flexible solution for clients

in, but how much revenue (savings) it can

of sites that had to be designed against a

across Europe and the US, and while these

generate for the client, and the subsequent

certain technology - once each site came

products currently do not comply with

payback term,” Jon said.

online it could be literally plugged into the system. This was a different approach for us; we traditionally don’t specify products as a consultant, rather the technical outcomes,” Jon explained. As a result, the entire implementation was based on a software framework infrastructure that allows disparate systems to share data across an integrated communications network. “Each site was based upon a modular design with packaged plant for ventilation, cooling, controls and electrical infrastructure,” added Jon. “We took this modular principle into the design of the automation systems by specifying the control systems to comply with a set of integration rules,

28 Sustainability Matters - Jun/Jul 2015

*Jon Clarke has worked within the field of control systems for his entire professional career - initially in the petrochemical industry working with PLC- and SCADA-based systems with mission-critical and life safety applications. He has since clocked up over 20 years working with building services. Using his systems experience, he has consulted to major international air-conditioning and refrigeration manufacturers, and has designed a diverse range of applications including conventional office space, home automation with AV and mission-critical data centres.

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Sustainability Matters Jun/Jul 2015  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Jun/Jul 2015  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...