“Smart Building – Smart Body” An Analogy

Human body is a naturally designed most efficient system of any entity. Even most of the innovation have been developed taking the concept out of our body system. We all can experience that our body works efficiently when the environment around is conducive to its best performance. Like, when temperature around our body is 25-26 deg. C and humidity 50-60%, our body organs works efficiently. A Building is defined as a combination of various elements, like foundation, columns, beams, slabs, and walls etc. these are fixed structural elements. They together give shape and strength to the building. A structure designer plays an important role in designing these elements. These are designed on the basis of many factors like, soil bearing capacity, seismic nature of the place, number of floors and building loads etc.


Similar to this human skeleton has been designed. Like Spine in human body, a Structure Designer’s first option is a Shear wall to the top of the building which would give highest stability. Decorative elements on the elevation are designed by the Architects. They decide the shape, sizes, materials and finishes of façade to give it an attractive look. This may be similar to our hair, eye brows, nose, skin, body shape, etc. so that the body looks smart. Now when we start thinking further we find more similarities in a smart Building and a Smart Body. One of the most critical organ of human body is “Heart”. In fact it pumps blood to the whole body, hence there is always energy and organs keep functioning. This is called recirculatory system of human body. The Analogy in this case is Transformer or DG which supplies electricity to all electromechanical equipments of the building like, elevators, pumps, Air conditioners and so on. Veins and arteries carry the blood just like cables and wires carry electric current to various equipments and lighting. Just like blood pressure and other parameters of healthy blood should be maintained in the body similarly clean electricity without variation in voltage, should also be maintained for efficient functioning of equipments. If in any part of the human body blood circulation stops, that part stops working. Similar is the case with electricity.

Indoor air quality of human body is very important to avoid any kind of respiratory diseases. If the IAQ is not good in a building, Sick building syndrome prevails among the occupants. An effective HVAC system takes care of the quality of air just like our respiratory system where lungs play the role of filtering the oxygen, and releasing impure air. Proper intake of hygienic food and liquid, release of water (excreta, urine) is also an important need of human body. If this process gets disturbed or start malfunction, it leads to anxiety in whole body. This is our digestive and urinary system which calls for proper functioning, which is similar to water supply and drainage system in the building. Hence, plumbing system designs should ensure proper supply of fresh water to all required locations and removal of water and drainage be ensured by a good plumbing system design. There is a beautiful analogy between CCTV camera with human eyes, temperature sensors with skin, carbon dioxide, LPG and smoke detectors with nose. There are many field devices which provide us information for various parts of the building. With a network of data, telephone, LV cables this information is taken to IBMS room, which we always call Nerve Center of the building. From this room, where we have monitoring and controlling devices, we can command according to the situation, like stopping the accelerator, closing doors, switching off/on the lights, start/stop of AHU’s etc. Human brain actually works like that. All our sensory organs work together and communicate to the brain from where commands are released to take action.


Looking to the importance of these basic system it is important and everyone in the building industry must understood the importance of space requirements and locations of various organs of the building like God has give suitable location & space to heart, lever, food canal, wind pipes, lungs, etc. So far we have spoke about the basic system similarities. Now to make building smart, a component of Artificial Intelligence is being added to it. This aspect of making a smart building make use of IOT which is the network of physical objects or things embedded with electronic software, sensors and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data for decision making.

Smart building have the following systems in place:

  • BACS (Building Automation and Control System) – It provides Environmental control, Monitoring and Optimization.
  • BEMS (Building Energy Management System) – It provides Energy Monitoring, Demand response, Reporting and Analysis.
  • IBMS (Integrated Building Management System) – It provides building subsystems (HVAC, Electrical, Fire, Security, etc.) integration for Monitoring, Data Sharing and Sequencing.

These are all such arrangements in our body like when we are exposed to cold, it is followed by throat infection which might result into fever. Accordingly we take action to cure. Similarly in IBMS field devices will give signal to the controller and finally BMS operator will come to know about it and take corrective measures.

  • BIOT (Building Internet of Things) – It provides comprehensive Building Solution, Optimizes Energy & Performance, and Ensure Occupant Comfort and Safety.

BACS + BEMS + IBMS = BIOT

The Importance of MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) in Building Services Planning

The Importance of MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) in Building Services Planning

The MEP is an essential and a challenging activity in the comfortable and reliable building services planning that results out in a building developed to be very efficient and reliable to be lived without a single wrinkle on the forehead. These planning are emerging out with the help of technology involving the development of budget, schedule, sustainable building development and construction. 

In this modern era’s construction projects, building services like MEP are the heartbeat of a sustainably constructed building with future security and safety of the human beings, also respecting the huge amount of their wages invested in owning their dream homes. Therefore, it becomes very important to integrate these MEP services in building services planning, together very proficiently, so that people are able to dwell inside with a view of residing there for lifetime without facing troubles.

Here, MEP as abbreviated above, refers to the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing aspects of constructing a building and its services. The building services planning plays a very crucial role in defining several parameters such as MEP, making decisions, accuracy of documentation, performance and estimation of cost, construction management, maintenance of resulting facilities.

The incorporation of MEP includes the in-depth research and selection of these (MEP) systems unlike just simply installing them by a tradesperson. Traditionally, an electrician may install a house wirings and electrical circuit based on the very common practices and regulatory standards. But for the requirement of a building which is not just well constructed but it is strengthen from inside in order to result out a happy and healthy life, a team of engineers regarding the technology research of MEP are present to make best efforts and plans for specified installations given to the expert service men and team. The team of MEP engineers possess a wide knowledge of principles of dynamics, fluids, mechanics, thermodynamics, electrical circuits and their combined efficiency.

Mechanical

This aspect involves inheriting strength in a building mechanically, i.e. the ISI approved mechanical systems and constructional material such as earth quake and decay resistant, advanced technology based fire alarm systems and firefighting systems, elevators and vertical transporters (lifts), efficient air distribution. A proficient heating ventilating and air conditioning equipment technique is applied for the effective planning to heating, cooling and distributing air around the building. The outdoor as well as indoor ventilation and environment control is necessary for maintaining the adequate aura of living, dwelling and leading a happy life. A sustainable building should be prepared previously for all the emergency situations such as earth quakes, resisting floods, air pressure and accidental fire cases. If a building is not built with the preparations and tight security and safety systems, then construction of such building is just a waste, it won’t be able to resist even a single accident.

Electrical

The design parameters for electrical circuits and house wiring systems should be set according to the national electric standard. Well, it is the most basic necessity required. The electric supply, distribution, light fittings and motor loads are the categories of electrical aspect which should be met wisely. Certain smart measures based on improved technological parameters in electrical engineering are taken while planning the whole electrical system for a building. The resistant to short circuits, heating effects of current, capacity of taking load, safer fuses, excellent quality of wiring materials and devices etc. are employed while fittings to ensure the safety purpose of the occupants. People should be aware of all the type of security measures taken for them while designing a building. Stress should be given on even a minute fault in a circuit as sometimes a small incident can give rise to a life threatening problems and buildings made similar to the above aspects of electrical engineering, are safer to live for the residents.

Plumbing

A certified testing for automotive engines which clarifies the electrical as well as plumbing setups should be integrated into the building. A Hi-Tec and competent plumbing system design is required for the prevention of the issues of this aspect of building services planning with other aspects like electrical and mechanical. A standard residential plumbing systems consists of water supply pumps and pipes, sewerage pipes, gas pipes, also rain water harvesting pipes. The perfect and no lacking plumbing system installation is a major factor for the welfare and healthy living of the residents. A bad plumbing installation will lead to severe health issues from growing fungi and bacteria in the leaking section causing irresistible foul smell. As a result, the fear regarding the longevity and survival span of a building along with uncertain health problems can severely arise as the time flies, the condition becomes more terrible and incurable.

Thus, paying attention on these aspects before at the right time of installation and construction planning and implementation can keep the trust of many occupants surviving in the building and not playing with their health and life.  No matter what, at which extent a building pleases you aesthetically or following an excellently designed architecture plan, the MEP services constitutes the heartbeat of a building.

People in urban settings spend between 80 and 90% of their time in indoor spaces both during work and during leisure time. It is therefore important that the Architect and the Mechanical,

Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) engineers work in unison to ensure the quality environment. A good design can result in:

Healthy and comfortable living

Better environmental control

Operational efficiency

Lower greenhouse gas emissions

Increased productivity

Remember MEP services are one area that makes the difference between comfortable and complaining occupants.