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Intelligent Buildings - A feature on Construction


An Intelligent Building provides a productive and cost-effective environment through the integration of Structure, Systems, Services, and Management.

No 'completely intelligent buildings' exist. Only buildings with aspectsTokyo Metropolitan Government Building of intelligence.

The major aspects of an intelligent building are:

  • Security
  • Safety
  • Telecommunication Systems
  • Comfort
  • Energy Management

SECURITY

This includes controlling access, surveillance and communication (facilitation of response).

Access control: Regulates people going in and out and monitors who goes where and when, with an identification device, which identifies a person by his unique biometric traits or by reading a unique card associated with an individual. The archiving of data of who has gone where and when as a database, facilitates the emergency response. In case of a break-in, the access control should not allow even the authorised person to come in, till the concerned authority studies the situation, so that evidence is not tampered with.

Surveillance:
Helps in monitoring movement within and outside a building and its periphery through camera (Closed-Circuit Television Camera)or perimeter devices like intrusion alarms. Also helps in alerting the security manager, in case of violation of pre-set norms.

SAFETY

The safety considerations could be of different natures - safety of human life, property etc. The main source of concern for a safety manager could be through the occurrences of fire which can happen by means of electrical short-circuit, kitchen and human carelessness.

Fire protection systems pump water to the areas where the fire occurs, so as to douse it automatically through sprinkler bulbs and also manually through the fire brigade.

Early warning systems
like smoke detection systems, detect the fire at a very early stage and pinpoint to the caretaker where exactly it is occurring, so that the fire is extinguished locally through manual fire extinguishers. It's a audio-visual indication or through the PC. You also need to have clinical facilities inside a big building, to provide first-aid.

TELECOMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

Telecommunication Systems and Office Automation Systems like the UPS, EPABX and the Public Address system should provide the required support in the event of security violation or fire. The telecommunication system should be designed such that, in case of a break-in, a signal is sent to the security manager. The Public Address System is also used in case of fire, to facilitate faster evacuation.

COMFORT

Tidel park, Chennai

HVAC
systems - Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning systems cool the place according to the occupancy or vary the temperature. The system should be intelligent enough to sense the number of occupants in a particular area to throw air accordingly, through the air-conditioning ducts.

Lighting controls
light up the place optimally so that a person can work comfortably.

Elevator controls:
High speed lifts, which can carry people to the tallest point in the building without the user feeling any fatigue.

Air-conditioning:
The working of the cooling system is made intelligent to sense the number of occupants so as to the cool the place.For example, if two people are sitting in a fully air-conditioned hall designed for 50 people, the air-conditioning should adjust accordingly.

ENERGY MANAGEMENT

The biggest drain of energy in the building is in the form of electricity consumption, which is met through the captive power plant built within the compound. The high consumption of electricity is the result of air-conditioning, lighting and running other utilities such as safety and security systems. An effective energy management system functions by proper integration of all four parameters.

When it comes to the point of saving energy, it is also quite natural to use sun-light and accordingly adjust the internal lighting, so that adequate intensity of lighting is provided for maximum comfort.

INTEGRATION

A building becomes intelligent by making each of the 5 systems (Security, Safety, Telecommunication, Comfort and Energy Management) respond for a given contingency. In case of a fire, all the access control doors should be released automatically facilitating the occupants to evacuate in the shortest possible time. To minimise the chaos that takes place during an emergency, the early warning fire alarm system is integrated to the public address system which gives a pre-recorded location-specific evacuation direction. All elevators below the location of the fire will be automatically brought to the ground floor, and those above the location should be taken to the topmost floor, so that people can be evacuated from the top.

Source : Race India and Datamatics Information Technology

Author : Anuradha Sriraman
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