The demand for highly intelligent buildings is increasing with owners targeting automation and energy efficiency to reduce operating costs, while also providing occupants with a high level of thermal comfort.

Intelligent buildings deliver multiple benefits including optimised building performance and functionality; automated control and enhanced monitoring of building systems through a single platform; maximised operational and energy efficiency; lower lifecycle costs; and increased occupant comfort and productivity.

However, these advantages can be realised only if all building systems, technologies and solutions are integrated onto one platform. A Building Management System can monitor and control the operation of many of the technologies and systems within a building, ensuring that optimal indoor conditions are maintained in the most energy efficient manner possible.

Natural ventilation is considered to be a vital element in any building striving to increase occupant comfort, as well as decrease operating costs. It complements the building’s HVAC system, providing free cool air until conditions determine that mechanical ventilation is required.

Arens allows building owners to integrate their automated windows with the Building Management System, which can both monitor and control the building’s natural ventilation. When an automatic natural ventilation system is incorporated into the building, it can result in benefits such as increased energy efficiency and decreased operating costs from lower reliance on heating and cooling systems through passive cooling; increased occupant comfort by providing a means to exhaust carbon dioxide and other airborne pollutants from the room; excellent climate control with the natural ventilation system configured to operate relative to carbon dioxide levels, outside air temperature, humidity, and rain and wind sensors to create an optimal indoor environment; increased occupant productivity with low concentrations of carbon dioxide and other airborne pollutants and high ventilation rates; and improved occupant health with reduced instances of headaches, itchy eyes, runny noses and illness.

All these benefits can be realised through intelligent integration between the automated windows and the Building Management System, with two-way communication enabled. The BMS will then have improved ability to monitor and control the windows for natural ventilation, allowing for a complementary system to the HVAC, rather than one that operates independently.

Arens International offers a range of options to integrate automated windows with BACnet, KNX and common Building Management System protocols:

FlexiSmoke BACnet Controller

A BACnet compliant WindowMaster controller with PICS certification, FlexiSmoke is used with MotorLink actuators and motor controllers to achieve two-way communication. MotorLink sets the standard for intelligent window control, allowing two-way communication between the controller and the BMS. It provides the BMS with millimetre-by-millimetre control of all automated windows, as well as precise position feedback and early fault indication. Remote monitoring is also possible through an Ethernet connection. This controller will allow automated windows to be part of the natural and smoke ventilation systems.

FlexiSmoke KNX Controller

The FlexiSmoke KNX Controller offers the same functionality as the BACnet Controller, but enables integration with KNX. MotorLink actuators and motor controllers should be used to enable two-way communication between the motor controllers and the BMS. Remote monitoring is also possible with an Ethernet connection.

BACnet Controller with ModBus Actuators

Arens’ UCS range of actuators such as the Vega and Vega Synchro, is available in BMSline and can be integrated using BACnet Controller with the BMS when it is operating BACnet. This not only allows the BMS to operate the automated windows to achieve optimal indoor conditions, but also promotes two-way communication with the actuators. The BMS can receive information such as precise position feedback, early fault indication and command state.

Image: Vega chain winder