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Smarten Up Security in Green Buildings
a&s International 2011/4/13

Smart or green buildings are multilayered integration projects, with security playing a vital part in building management for safety. These building projects worldwide offer the security industry new business opportunities while driving technological advancements for energyefficient and intelligent products.

Smart or green buildings are multilayered integration projects, with security playing a vital part in building management for safety. These building projects worldwide offer the security industry new business opportunities while driving technological advancements for energy efficient and intelligent products.

With a growing awareness of environmental issues and the availability of advanced technologies, smart or green buildings have become a fast growing trend, leading to a booming vertical. “Generally there is more awareness of green initiatives and the threats posed by environmental degradation,” observed Terence Lee, Regional Director for APAC System Integration Business, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. “We see a growing trend that end users are becoming more active in driving the effort to help sustain the environment. Everyone is talking about environmental sustainability and it has become a core value for many contemporary organizations.”

A reliable physical security system, comprised of energy efficient surveillance and access control products, is an important component of a successful building management system in smart and green building projects. Industry experts contribute the average budget for security in intelligent buildings to a maximum of 5 percent of the total construction cost, said Theodore Bier, President of T.M. Bier & Associates. “The average budget is still relatively small compared to the total construction cost,” said Vincentius Liong, Director of Integrated Security System Solutions, Elektrodata Sistem Integrasi. “The cost of security systems is on average 1 to 2 percent or even smaller of the total construction cost.” Despite this observation, the importance of a resilient security system within a smart/green building should not be taken lightly, as business opportunities abound.

A recent report published by McGraw-Hill Construction, titled “Green Outlook 2011: Green Trends Driving Growth,” states the US green building market increased 50 percent in value from 2008 to 2010 — despite the effects of the recession. This translates to growth from US$42 billion to potentially $71 billion, comprising around 25 percent of all new construction activities in 2010. According to projections, the green building market is expected to reach $135 billion by 2015. “Smart and green building requirements are coming from multiple locations, with the most from North America and Europe, based on what we have observed,” said Ryan Hughson, PM at Delta Controls.

In “Energy Efficient Buildings in Europe,” published by Pike Research, ongoing greening efforts in Europe were mandated for all new building construction. Major renovations must meet nearly-zero energy standards by the end of 2020 — 2018 is the earlier deadline for public buildings. Pike Research found the largest European markets for green buildings are Germany and France; in fact, the combined market of the rest of Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia, is comparable to the market of either Germany or France. When looking at Europe's long-term plans, the green building market is moving from gestation to the growth phase.

In APAC, awareness for smart/ green buildings is picking up faster than before, triggered by global warming. “Large companies and corporations in Indonesia have taken the lead in promoting the trend of smart/green buildings and energy efficiency/energy saving in sustainable buildings to cut energy costs, optimize building efficiency and improve holistic company image,” Liong said. “It is hard to get exact numbers at this point on the market size, but we estimate that it will be large enough in the next 10 years and offer growth potential above average when compared to other industries, achieving as high as 20 to 30 percent growth annually.”

[NextPage]Also in APAC, Pike Research found retrofitting projects are becoming the more cost-effective approach, as the cost of new constructions increases. Developers and building owners will be inclined to reinvest in and upgrade existing facilities, allowing for the latest technologies to be incorporated and used.

“There is greater push for green building projects in emerging markets as seen in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America,” said Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management, UTC Fire & Security. “New buildings and infrastructure retrofitting projects will provide opportunities for the industry. From both building management and security management perspectives, new technologies help to reduce TCO as well.”

Security products used for intelligent buildings regard energy conservation with utmost importance. “The goal of products that target the smart/green building vertical is to greatly reduce energy costs while improving the user experience,” said David Wilts, Director of Integrated Building Technology, Crestron Electronics. “Our preferred approach is to address all of a building owner's needs by integrating the ‘conditional logic' of the following systems: lighting, shades, HVAC, AV, security, scheduling (Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Domino or others) and energy monitoring.”

For smart buildings, integration can be made easier with multiple products. “For instance, Ethernetcapable field-level controllers enable system designers to create a flat architecture, which eliminates the pain of integration with multiple levels of communication,” Hughson said. “It is beneficial not only for reducing the amount of system knowledge a person needs to work with a network, but minimizes logistical concerns for integrating with components in harder-to-reach areas.”

“We have developed wireless controllers for much the same reason,” Hughson added. “We have one IP network that allows one to move seamlessly throughout the network and jump off into wireless for difficult-to-install locations. We want to avoid the strains by creating a network that fits the design of a building.”

Similarly, using Power over Ethernet reduces the number of wires that must be strung for the network, leading to reduced cost, less downtime and greater flexibility in installation compared with traditional wiring, Lee said.

“Typical indoor motion sensors are simple binary switches indicating motion or no motion, and such sensors have a long-standing history of certain basic and unavoidable operational flaws, such as false motion detections from movement around but not in the room and changes in airflow from cyclic operation of HVAC systems,” said Francis Létourneau, Sales Director for Lyrtech. “Typical motion sensors don't account for the type of objects, such as a person versus a plant,or the time the objects remain in the monitored area. They are also incapable of tracking objects while they are in the monitored area and incapable of compensating for the number of objects in the monitored area, something vital in HVAC control.”

By combining video analytics and motion detection technologies, an intelligent occupancy sensor (IOS) would be able to determine both the type and number of objects in a single room accurately. “A substantial portion of the IOS's interfaces is integrated to the onboard DSP and it benefits from a relatively small FPGA and generic components, which makes the total cost of incorporating the IOS into a manufactured solution quite low for a device of its kind,” Létourneau added.

In the past, physical security for buildings would be a later addition to the master plan, yet security design nowadays is brought early into the building lifecycle depending on the degree of security focus and complexity of the building, said Dave Bartlett, VP of Smarter Buildings, IBM. When included in the beginning, system integrators (SIs) would be able to take advantage of this opportunity for easier work later on during actual installation, Boriskin said.

While construction sites need to be under video surveillance for property theft, highly sensitive buildings require extensive background checks with proper identity and access management for construction and maintenance workers, Bartlett said. “Developers and building management teams need t o consider electronic surveillance equipment and networks, camera vantage points, conduits, seals and tamper resistance for electronic cables and trays. This requires the building developer community to consider security design alongside architectural drawings. Successful security implementations rely on the philosophy of ‘defense-indepth,' so there ought to be multiple layers of security enforcement and management for both the physical and logical realms.”

The intelligent and energy-efficient aspects of a green building each pose different integration challenges. “A smart building is designed from the ground up with interoperability in mind, but the intention of integration is not enough,” Hughson explained. “When integrators get to site and begin working with the hundreds of peripherals that make up this organism, it will come down to the small choices about how these components act on the network. Are components sensitive to the bandwidth and security requirements of the site? Are components flexible enough to allow for diverse integration with rigidly designed products? Are components simple enough to configure that time won't be wasted in needless configuration? These considerations create a fulcrum that must be balanced for the smooth implementation of a smart building.”

“The success of a green building lies in the engineering,” Hughson continued. “Tools must be designed to support the knowledge of the technician on-site. Feedback information from the system needs to be simple to understand but detailed enough to provide value. Living data is needed because no matter how well-advanced the planning of constructing a building, all the pieces will not interact until after the building is in place.”

The various building functions are made available in the construction stage to connect different technologies under a central management system. Traditionally there is a lack of coordination between security staff and other divisions, based on the nature of security work, Bier said. In order for the building to operate smoothly, effective communication between different systems is much needed.

“Intelligent buildings incorporate building automation together with security and fire safety systems to enhance the user experience while minimizing operational costs,” said Anand Mecheri, CMO of Siemens Building Technologies. “Integration of energy metering and power quality in a building greatly supports these goals.”

[NextPage]“Building automation, electrical power distribution systems, lighting systems, fire safety and security systems are generally not ordered at the same point of time. The planners/technical consultants who design these systems for the developer are also not the same. Therefore, there is a situation where different systems that need to talk to each other to create a homogeneous, intelligent environment are designed by different people, tendered at different points in time in the construction program and awarded to different suppliers who may not be able to deliver an integrated value proposition,” Mecheri said.

As green building projects cross the boundaries of different business cycles and company specialties, there is a great organizational challenge posed for these projects, Boriskin said. “It is rather difficult to ask different groups of people to work together and to understand each other's business, yet organizational convergence is crucial for these businesses to work together. Even when the top management team pushes for more efficiency from top down, getting these groups to work together is challenging.”

In order to have a holistically integrated system, higher-level management software is needed to connect the building automation system (BAS) and security system through a standards-based approach, allowing them to speak the same language, Boriskin said. “The ideal situation is that end users are able to pick a protocol that everyone can utilize and communicate with. A helpful way to overcome communication barriers might be adopting network standards, computer standards, XML and Web services as industry standards, based on an internationally unified set of standards, for easier integration, although this has yet to be established.”

In addition, the lack of awareness, education and technical knowledge of building managers and owners on the full features and capabilities of BAS might lead to conservative cost considerations, which often influence the scalability of the BAS installed. “Most usually regard the budget of BAS as the last priority of the whole building construction cost,” Liong said. “Whenever necessary, at the end of the construction project they can easily cut down the budget of a proposed BAS to the lowest minimum and downgrade the specification requirement without considering the lesser functions of the installed BAS later on.”

To facilitate smooth integration of different systems into one BAS, having an integrated building technology project manager would lead to successful project completion, Wilts said.

Building subsystems are largely analog, even for newer recordholding skyscrapers like the Burj Khalifa and Taipei 101. However, more smart buildings are adopting an IP-based backbone as technology continues to advance, Bier said.

In fact, the convergence of analogand IP-based security systems is noticed in newer smart/green building projects. The ideal approach blends the two technologies with the backbone infrastructure all over the IP network, Wilts said. “Adoption of IP and IT networks as the backbone for building systems helps in minimizing engineering and deployment challenges for new buildings and for existing retrofit applications,” Mecheri said. “For example, deploying an analog video solution in an existing building presents a massive challenge of dedicated cabling to be retrofitted. Alternatively, utilizing existing data points to bridge analog video into the IP network is the most practical way to retrofit a surveillance system into an existing building.”

“Traditional analog systems are acceptable for small sites, but scalability is limited when deployed on larger sites,” Boriskin explained. “With an IP-based approach, protocols that live with security and building management systems would be able to intercommunicate better and faster. With an IP solution, the number of hardware devices gets reduced and SIs would be able to scale the system appropriately to the size of the site.”

Currently implemented network types, like Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol, have been around for 15 years or more already, Hughson said. “While it is probable that these networks will continue to be installed in the short-term, it is important to consider the rising demand for live data and the strain that is placed on a network. IP presents a great deal more longevity when considering what the network needs five years from now.”

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