“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.


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