Imagine, you wake up in the morning, put your feet down on the warm floor, robot vacuum is cleaning your kitchen and warm porridge is waiting for you in the multi-cooker. Demand breeds supply: the smart home and smart building concepts have long taken hold in the real estate market as well as in the minds of city residents owing to new needs of the society focused on automation and digital transformation of everyday life. Evgeniya Gorbunova, Senior Engineering Systems Designer at ICL System Technologies, told TAdviser about implementation of smart building projects in a series of articles.
Why choose a smart solution?
When choosing an operating scenario for a smart home solution, a user is usually driven by a number of equally important reasons.
One might want to:
- Tighten security to eliminate chances of burglary, fire or other property damage (e.g. water leakage);
- Create a comfortable environment by maintaining an indoor microclimate;
- Save energy costs by using automatic shutdown of home appliances during residents’ absence (5 to 30% electricity savings depending on characteristics of a particular property);
- Create additional entertainment. For example, when Cinema scenario is selected, curtains are automatically drawn, lights are switched off, screen is sliding out and audio and video systems are turned on.
Where there is demand, there will always be supply
Meanwhile more and more IT companies offer smart home solutions. They hire professionals and subject matter experts who develop detailed design for creating smart homes, buildings and even cities and regions. Indeed, a Smart Home is essentially a Smart Building (SB) in miniature. The main objective of a Smart Home is to improve levels of security and comfort for a single family, therefore the solution is implemented in one apartment only. In comparison, the objective of SB solutions is to ensure cost-effective operation of the whole building or site and consequently professionals and experts in charge of SB implementation project have higher level of responsibility.
ICL System Technologies is one of the companies engaged in implementation of smart solutions. Its portfolio includes smart solutions for various premises in need of different level of optimization.
When does the building become smart?
Despite a vast amount of terminology and in-house developed solutions, one should consider a package solution offered by an integrator. There is always a huge temptation to split the system into subsystems to be implemented by several contractors who can offer a better bid. More likely than not you will end up with lots of neglected expenses and as a result total project cost will increase dramatically.
Smart Building solution is initially created at project development stage. This is the stage where the foundation of the system which meets efficiency and safety requirements is built. This can be achieved by developing the overall building functionality concept and by designing methods of integration for various subsystems. The most difficult part is to engage all parties including architects, designers, suppliers, service engineers, etc. in a single seamless process. It requires professional knowledge and outstanding skills of all parties involved and also a large amount of organization work.
Integrated Smart Building Management Solution envisages installation of a centralized system (Building Management System) that controls and monitors operation of such subsystems as ventilation, air conditioning, heating, lighting, power supply, utility metering and security subsystem. Thanks to smart control scenarios, engineering systems deployed in the building run on as needed basis and utilities and power resources are consumed in required amounts and no more. This way the cost-efficient operation is achieved.
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