An Intelligent Building provides a productive and cost-effective
environment through the integration of Structure, Systems, Services,
No 'completely intelligent buildings' exist. Only buildings with
aspects of intelligence.
The major aspects of an intelligent building are:
- Telecommunication Systems
- Energy Management
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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