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Building Products January 2018

HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING part of delivering a smart building approach. The ability to provide ‘fresh air’ seems a simple one but it addresses a number of issues: • Natural smoke ventilation • Natural air ventilation • Indoor climate management • Managed CO2 levels • Improved free air movement. This can incorporate manually operated systems along with automated windows and rooflights, linked into weather sensor technology with an intelligent-thinking driver. The economic benefits of natural ventilation systems speak for themselves – 10-30% of energy consumption can be saved and wellbeing is boosted because it helps remove air pollutants by as much as a third – creating better breathing environments. In addition, they require lower levels of maintenance and their easy-access operation allows staff to feel more ‘in control’ and satisfied with the conditions of their workspace. It also helps reduce noise (compared to mechanical fans) and can dramatically reduce stress levels. Natural ventilation is ideal not only for office environments but for public buildings, such as restaurants, hospitals and places of education. There is growing evidence that reducing indoor air temperatures and introducing intuitive natural air 40 BUILDING PRODUCTS | JANUARY 2018 Sharing knowledge and expertise flow significantly improves cognitive performance, which is ideal for schools, colleges and universities. At the heart of any smart building should be its ‘brain’ – the system which manages a day and night-time ventilation strategy, controlling temperature, rain and wind, while incorporating existing fire and evacuation procedures. Integration is key, as any building management system needs to talk to existing building applications through BacNet and KNX frameworks which have become leading operating systems. Also, it is important to ensure that any natural ventilation system can blend in autonomous ventilation alongside any existing mechanical system. For the industry, there are a number of areas which need to be considered when incorporating a smart buildings approach. Certainly, design and purpose are of utmost importance, followed by technical specification, requirements for installation and/or retrofit, maintenance, EN testing and conformity with the latest Building Regulations. <<< Continued from page 39 With all of this to cover, in building for the future, collaboration will be absolutely key in setting standards that the industry can work with and to, as well as learning about the wider topics affecting occupiers of these smarter buildings. The Well Certified project has the potential to add measurable value to the health, well-being and happiness of building occupants. In seeking to achieve these targets, developers can help organisations generate increased savings and productivity in addition to a meaningful return on investment for the tenant and building owner. By placing people at the heart of design, construction, operations and development decisions, we have the ability to add meaningful value to real estate assets, generate savings in personnel costs, and enhance the human experience, health and wellbeing, ensuring the best investment decisions can be made on the right technology for users’ needs. Personnel costs significantly outweigh the costs for design, construction, operations and maintenance. Addressing occupant health will continue to shape both design and smart technology integration, with an aim to reduce the largest line item in the 30-year costs of a building – its employees – offering a meaningful return on investment for all concerned. www.geze.co.uk Aecom is one organisation which has identified the need to put people, nature, and the providers of technology at the centre of its focus on smart building. Alex Tosetti, head of smart cities and operations director at the company, explained: “There has long been a drive for ‘smarter’ use of our natural environment in partnership with technology but often the two are still treated separately, or even as opposing forces. In the built environment, we continue to face the mind-set that ‘smart’ tends to be associated with a drain of energy and resources, as opposed to better use and harnessing of these. There is also the view that companies who provide the technology all work on separate complicated systems in competition with each other. “Thankfully with the trend in ‘big data’, there is a growing opportunity for companies who are experts in their relative fields, to have a better platform on which to share their knowledge and expertise and to collaborate with other technology specialists on the full building solution. We encourage this through sites we support, such as www.sustainablesmartcities.org and also in better connecting our suppliers with each other on live projects. This collaboration feeds into a complete and consistent strategy for better harnessing of elements such as fresh air, for optimum comfort and safety combined with smart control and measurable feedback for the building as a whole. The outcome is a smart building strategy that captures the knowledge and resources of a full supply chain and creates a common language for smart and sustainable forward strategies for building design.” Collaboration will be absolutely key in setting standards


Building Products January 2018
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