BSEE BUILDING CONTROLS W
Industry standards may not always capture the imagination but some are worth a closer look. Karl Walker of Beckhoff Automation examines how BS EN 15232 can help to promote the integration of building controls to realise significant energy savings.
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INTEGRATION OF BUILDING CONTROLS The vital role of BS EN 15232 in saving energy
hether you’re designing, installing or
operating building controls, choosing the right systems
and ensuring that they’re properly integrated can be something of a headache.
Energy performance has become a key consideration in commercial buildings, partly due to the financial and environmental benefits and partly because of legislative requirements. Born out the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are familiar to the majority of commercial building owners and operators and are now a legal requirement when selling, renting or building commercial property. Introduced at the same time, the BS EN 15232 standard is perhaps not as well-known but plays a vital role in improving energy performance in buildings.
For anyone looking to gauge the overall effectiveness of a Building Energy Management Solution (BEMS), the standard is a valuable tool. BS EN 15232 categorises the BEMS as a class A, B, C or D system. Starting at the very bottom, a building with a class D system has no BEMS system to speak of and would be deemed highly inefficient. For all calculations, the standard uses class C as the basic class of wider building control. A class C BEMS includes control of heating and cooling at room level using thermostatic valves, time-dependent air conditioning and ventilation controls and manually-controlled motorised blinds, if fitted. Although class C is used as the baseline for the standard’s energy consumption calculations, it does still not demand particularly integrated control regimes.
uEnergy performance has become a key consideration in commercial buildings.
Moving up to the higher end of the scale, A and B class systems use more sophisticated control methods and demand control of heating and lighting at room level with
communication between controllers. At the highest level, demand-based
control of heating, air conditioning and ventilation is required at individual room level, with a variable set-point for outdoor temperature compensation, as well as automatic lighting and daylighting controls and blind controls that are integrated with the HVAC systems.
A BEMS can be utilised in a host of different buildings – offices, school, hospitals, transport hubs, shopping centres and hotels can all save on energy and costs by deploying the right system. BS EN 15232 outlines individual efficiency factors based on the fact that buildings are used in different ways – for example, a school and a hotel are likely to have distinctly different hours of occupancy and periods of high energy usage.
Whatever the application, designers, control specialists and end users will find detailed requirements for each category, helping them to unlock the full potential of their BEMS and paving the way for a more integrated approach.
True integration of systems is more often than not the key to securing substantial energy savings. The ability to make HVAC, lighting and blinds work together on a system that shares sensors and information can be challenging but use of open protocols such as BACnet and DALI (for lighting) in the controls sector can make integration significantly easier. In existing buildings, integration can be even more of an issue when trying to tie in a number of legacy control systems.
This is where PC-based controls systems can come into their own. These cut through the old rivalries of proprietary controls protocols, and can simply sit at the top of an existing group of control systems, bringing them together and placing information for the facilities team on a single head-end.
Not only does this approach create integration from a disparate group of systems, it also saves significant sums of money that might otherwise have to go into removing all controls and starting from scratch with a new BEMS.
uAt the highest level, demand‐ based control of heating, air conditioning and ventilation is required at individual room level.
BS EN 15232 can accurately show how much energy can be saved by moving up through the different class levels. This is particularly useful when designing or specifying a BEMS system as the calculated investment can be offset against clearly defined long- term energy savings.
By highlighting the potential savings at an early stage, the client or end user can get a better understanding of what they want from their BEMS and what they can expect in terms of long-term benefits that will span the entire lifecycle of the building, not to mention improved occupier comfort. Greater awareness of the standard can only help in the drive to reduce energy usage and promote sustainability in commercial properties. Integrated building controls will ultimately lead to energy savings in buildings, but BS EN 15232 will make sure you start out on the right path.
‘ BS EN 15232 outlines individual efficiency
factors based on the fact that buildings are used in different ways – for example, a school and a hotel are likely to have distinctly different hours of occupancy and periods of high energy usage.
10 BUILDING SERVICES & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER MAY 2017
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