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Total Facility Control - Applying New Intelligent Technologies to Energy Efficient Green Buildings
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Energy efficiency through intelligent control is a core element of any "Green Building". We need smarter, more efficient ways of managing the energy consuming elements within a building. But what we think of as "the building" is only a small piece of the puzzle. We have to think broader in order to gain the greater energy savings and efficiencies that are possible. "Total Facility Control" is a concept that we need to embrace and consider when we design, commission, and retrofit our facilities. Very often a single building is part of a larger campus or collection of buildings under a common management domain. Be it a university, public school district, office complex, or multiuse tenant space, there are often multiple "buildings" plus the connectivity between buildings: walkway lighting, signage, parking structures, and even the irrigation systems. We don't often think about the outdoor lighting, security, or irrigation as part of the building management plan, but it can be a significant contributing factor when looking at places to save on energy and improve operational efficiency. We must change the way we design our buildings, facilities, campuses, and enterprises in order to be more energy efficient and be green. A variety of technologies and design principles are available to ensure we move in a positive direction. We must make our systems and processes more visible and, hence, more accessible. At the core of this is the visibility and control of the systems within these environments. A majority of the building control systems in operation today are extremely limited in their ability to achieve higher efficiencies because there is no intelligent control or communication system available; and the amount of cross system interoperability is even scarcer. What does an interoperable system architecture look like? It's one in which a wide variety of energy consuming, intelligent devices can share their information and be controlled by an energy management system. Newer technologies use open systems, open protocols, and higher levels of interoperability, all of which have been proven to cost effectively provide competitive solutions. Better energy efficiency and improved operational costs start with better visibility and control of the myriad of systems within a facility. They must communicate together in a way that enables greater functionality and lower costs. Total Facility Control must be considered as we look at the entire building envelope as well as the rest of the facility systems. Included in the mix are HVAC, indoor lighting, security, access, sun shading, indoor air quality, sound masking and alarm annunciation, elevators/escalators, appliances, power conditioning, irrigation, energy metering, outdoor/parking lot lighting, street lighting, co-generation stations, and much more. This paper will discuss some of the basic concepts, architectures, and technologies that are being used today to implement a Total Facility Control model.
SubjectTotal Facility Control
Interoperable System Architecture
Bernstein, R. (2010). Total Facility Control - Applying New Intelligent Technologies to Energy Efficient Green Buildings. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from