I’d like to introduce myself, my name is Steve Greenblatt. I have been in the AV industry in the capacity of control system programming for almost 18 years. I first started as staff programmer with a manufacturer and then started in independent programming company 14 years ago. I now run a business with a staff of seven people working with consultants, technology managers, integrators and manufacturers to provide custom control system solutions. I have been teaching here at InfoComm annually for the past five years. I’m also a member of the InfoComm Energy Management Standard committee responsible for developing an ANSI/ISO standard to Energy Management. I’d like to get to know you a little better. By a show of hands, how many of you are Consultants, how many are Technology Managers, how many are Integrators, how many are Programmers, how many Manufacturers or Manufacturer’s Reps. Great, it’s a nice cross-section of the industry and I have information targeted toward all of you.
Building control is a vast topic, Within the time that we have together, I will cover a lot a there will be a lot more to learn; however I may not be able to cover all the information that everyone is looking find out about building control. The following are my objectives. Define what sub-systems comprise building control Provide an overview of how building control systems work Discuss how building control relates to the AV industry Determine what can be done to harness the power of building control Discuss how we can benefit from understanding building control For Consultants, we’re going to talk about the power of building control and what value you can bring to your client and the project team through your mastery of building control. For Technology Managers, we’re going to discuss the power that you can have at your finger tips by unifying building and AV controls and benefitting from having an optimized space or building. For Programmers, we’re going to get under the hood a little bit a discuss what goes into controlling building systems and what features and functionality can be offered to your customers. For Integrators, we’re going to learn how to talk the language of building control, what’s involved in integrating a building control system, and how to offer building control to your customers. For Manufacturers, we’re going to talk about system components and elements involved in building control systems as well as the features and benefits of a fully integrated system. If these learning objectives don’t meet your expectations or needs for this sessions, please feel free to put the next 90 minutes of your time to better use. I completely understand, if you would prefer to exit quietly.
I’d like to start by sharing a store with you. I’d like you to envision yourself in a conference room that you are responsible for designing, specifying, programming, selling, whatever aspect of the industry is closest to your role. You are the presenter and you are ready to demonstrate the new system to your boss, the owner, etc. Just as you are about to start, the sun moves behind the clouds and the lighting in the room becomes dim. Simultaneously, the shades slowing raise to let in some more light, but don’t raise to the point that they would allow sun to shine in people’s eye or directly on the screen when the cloud cover passes. Because AV Presentation was selected from the touchpanel, the lighting levels in the room dim to balance with the light coming in through the windows to settle on an optimal level for a presentation. As this is happening in the background, the room temperature is adjusting for the meeting size and participant preference. As the meeting progresses, the AV presentation part ends and there is a general discussion. The lighting level of course needs to change to accommodate face-to-face dialog and that option is selected from the touchpanel. Lighting levels raise to light the room by raising levels of accent lights and raising the shades. Not too much later, the sun peaks through the clouds. As a result, the shades and artificial lighting levels adjust to maintain the same comfortable level of lighting and temperature in the room. Although more light is needed for a meeting, the lighting system dims to use less energy and take advantage of the outside lighting. Since it is a nice cool day outside, less heat is needed in the room by taking advantage of the outside sunlight through the windows. With all of this happening behind the scenes, everyone has a comfortable experience and the meeting does not have to be disrupted by making adjustments to lighting, shades, or temperature. When the meeting ends and the participants leave, the system is automatically shutdown and the room is reset if no activity is detected for 15 minutes since there isn’t another meeting scheduled in the room for a couple of hours. Resetting the room involves turning off the lighting, lowering the shades to maintain the room temperature and setting the levels of energy usage to an unoccupied optimal level for daily use. At the end of the day, you present your boss or the owner with a report showing the usage of system, the amount of energy used and how much cost was saved by having an energy management system. All of this is made possible by having the room scheduled and set to make smart decision based on user needs, preferences, and usages settings.
Let’s travel back in time to provide some background to the discussion. In the early 90s and prior, systems were very basic. Touchpanels were only used in the complicated systems. Video conferencing wasn’t mainstream. Systems were limited to the devices in the room. How many of you can remember those days? Although systems were much simpler to design and program logically, the challenges were in getting the proper information to interface and control the equipment. Most system components were more difficult to integrate and control. Control systems were just becoming mainstream and integration was a true art form. Many devices were not designed with control in mind and getting control protocol sometimes required accessing proprietary information. Information was coveted and it seemed pretty daunting to install and integrate a video conference system and setup a video projector.
Progressing through the 90s integration became more mainstream and projects grew from single isolated systems to larger muti-room systems that shared devices, functionality, combined, and could be controlled individually or centrally. Inter-room communication through RS-232 or RS-422 point-to-point connections were the most advanced method of sharing information or providing control between systems. How many people remember this?
The late 90s and early 2000s brought a tremendous advancement to our industry. This innovation was the ability to put control systems on an Ethernet network. As much of an advanced as we know it to be now, there was much unknown, fear, concern, and trepidation. Sound familiar? It took a different mindset, different knowledge and skills, and interfacing with different equipment and players in order to capitalize on this technology. This was the beginning of AV and IT coming together. Once it was embraced, it became mainstream. Ethernet control allowed systems to be easily inter-connected, the ability to provide remote access, the ability to remotely control systems from anywhere in the world. What would happen if we didn’t embrace the challenge of Ethernet control?
As we have grown to leverage Ethernet control and putting systems on a network, the possibilities continued to grow. Web control and remote access turned into resource management, centralized support, and remote monitoring. Resource management systems such and RoomView and RMS allow data to be collected for systems for reporting, allow systems to be scheduled and events to be triggered globally, settings to be maintained from a centralized system and notification for faults or threholds.
So if we take a step back, in the last 20 years or so, we have gone from single room presentation systems where it was a challenge to interface with individual equipment to network based systems that can be managed remotely and controlled anywhere in the world. I’d say that this is significant progress and obstacles to overcome.
We know that we need to progress in order to be sustainable, so what is the next for the AV industry
What about building control? Building control is an area of opportunity where the AV industry could thrive in the future.
Building control consists of parallel, independent systems some of which are familiar to us in the AV world and others that are a bit foreign. The AV industry has had experience with lighting control, HVAC control, monitoring, and sensors for a number of years; however, control on a building level has differences and unique challenges.
So, here’s where the opportunities lie. With building control systems working independently, they are similar to devices that work manually. Without integration, the capabilities are limited and restricted. Think of each of the building control systems as an independent conference room system. They work well independently, but their power isn’t leveraged until they are interconnected and tied to a remote management system.
Let’s take a look under the hood at the architecture of a building control network. Building control involves some standardized open protocols that are specific to this industry. They are called BACnet, LonWorks, and ModBus. Devices within each building control network can communicate via IP, RS-485, RS-232, ZigBee, etc. which then connect to the building network via IP.
In order to integrate building control systems, you can rely on a native interface the some devices provide or include a third party interface by manufacturers like Field Server or Crestron.
Now that we are talking integration of building control systems, the picture should become a little more familiar. Having multiple systems interact under one roof allows for more sophisticated control and processing, optimization, management from a single point of control, streamlined operations, elimination of redundancies such as multiple sensors or schedules, and the ability for data to be collected in a single location for delivery of metrics and fault response. Does this sound like something that we are currently doing with AV systems?
As you can hopefully see, there are many parallels between the concepts behind integration of building control and the AV world. We already know how to control devices and components of all shapes and sizes. We know how to makes systems work and work well together. We have controlled lighting, shades, HVAC, paging systems and even some security systems for years. We understand the application of the space and the users’ needs in order to establish optimal settings We are involved with remote management and scheduling of rooms through resource management systems It makes sense that we would be a valuable piece in the building control puzzle. One that could add the humanizing component and provide real benefit to the users and building owners.
The concept of building control integration reminds me of an idea from a few years ago that shook our industry. That idea was AV and IT convergence. It was a scary, challenging time where the AV industry was thrust into a new unknown world where we needed to talk a different language, interface with new players, and prove ourselves. Based on the widespread acceptance, I think that we have embraced the challenge and benefitted from it. I can draw many parallels from AV / IT convergence to AV / IT / Building Control convergence
Let’s consider this, the sum of AV + IT + Building Control equals an intelligent building. It is a natural progression for our industry to become an integral part of this equation. The integration of building control along with the knowledge of the user and application in the space that AV provides results in an intelligent building.
Building intelligence yields results that are valued by our customers such as energy management, cost savings, system efficiency, and enhanced user comfort and productivity.
Building controls provide an area of opportunity for our industry Optimization of building control provide cost savings and energy management by unify systems to work together efficiently and effectively The interaction or unification of building control is the solution that is where the opportunity exists Consideration of the specific user or room application by the AV system allow for effective unification leading to optimization and cost savings
InfoComm Energy Management standard and STEP is going to push all of us to be weary of energy usage, power states of devices, and power controls.
Are you ready for the challenge and to reap the potential rewards or are you willing to let progress and opportunity pass you by.
Let’s recap and discuss what we learned today. What are the benefits of building control? Cost Savings Energy Management Enhanced User Experience Green Solutions How can the AV industry impact building control? Unification of independent systems Capture user input, scheduling of spaces, room application to provide optimal settings
IS019: In Control of the Building Steve Greenblatt, CTS Control Concepts, Inc.