Electricity + Control

by Neil Cameron, Johnson Controls

Security, access control, building managements systems (BMS) and Workforce Convenience. Ordinarily these notions would not be combined in a single concept. However, in the case of forward-thinking facility owners, they are getting ever-closer together. With a little creativity, human-centred design thinking and great use of available technologies, the capabilities of security technology are being stretched beyond their original intended purposes — and it is really paying off.

Beyond building securityIn Ireland's Smartest Building, One Albert Quay, Cork, security and building management technology do more than police perimeters and keep the office at the right temperature. With the addition of analytics, big data, integration with back-end HR, email calendaring and office management systems, as well as an app or two, it is simplifying life for employees and helping them achieve high-value work.

What does that look like?

Every day at One Albert Quay, one management platform centralises it all. There is the daily building management capability:

  • 2,000 lights are managed from one central system, illuminating 12,000 square meters of space.

  • 320 people arrive at five access-card readers and six smart lifts open automatically to take staff to their respective floors, saving 11 kWh of energy

  • 150 fire extinguishers, 100 smoke detectors, 15 fire panels and two suppression systems protect the building against the threat of smoke and fire.

  • 86 cameras secure the building’s traffic and identity management.

  • 100 control points are accessed 3,200 times per day

  • 150 vents manage 21,000 litres of conditioned air per second, heated or cooled as needed by BMS software.

Beyond building security Smart building

Unexpected benefits include the following:

  • Data from access control systems informs two chefs within the building canteen how much food to prepare for the day.

  • 17 meeting rooms are booked and secured through the email calendar systems of employees and linked to access control for access.

  • 2,000 car parking spaces are monitored across five car parks, predicting free spaces over the following week and informing staff as they arrive for work.

  • An IoT platform ingests data from 290 data points per second to facilitate logistics.

  • 82 live bus routes and 15 train schedules are sent to the cell phones of building occupants as they prepare their journeys home.

By offering concierge-like services that ease them through their workday with a lot less effort and stress , this smart building is driving productivity and maximising the effectiveness of employees as well as the consumption of the facility.

The use of an advanced BMS platform allows all the elements of the system to work seamlessly. The Cork building uses Johnson Controls Metasys BMS and C-Cure Access Control systems. Built on open systems, they allow the integration of multiple systems and data streams. Data rules ensure that information relevant to staff, security, building administration as well as caterers gets to where it needs to go.

This is the future of security.

Financial institutions are already beginning to think beyond building management. In fact, some of this functionality is already being deployed locally by financial institutions. Security and convenience are important for banks in South Africa, especially in large headquarter facilities that are often located in busy, congested areas, with a huge number of people accessing the facilities daily.

As employee experience becomes more important, and AI and IoT data become more ubiquitous, one can definitely expect to see more functionality built into and onto these platforms.