The Nimbus Centre has recently completed the successful co-ordination of the SCUBA project which has delivered significant progress towards the creation of next generation Building Automation Systems (BAS). Currently buildings are not designed with integrated BAS but rather utilise different systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) control, lighting control, fire and security applications, etc. The lack of co-operation between individual subsystems hampers the increasing demand to operate the whole system in an optimal manner. In addition to this, subsystems are individually controlled often using contradictory goals such as reducing energy, maintaining service level agreements at low cost. Addressing such complex system goals in an integral and robust manner requires moving from individual, centralised systems towards collaborative systems that cooperate inside and between the device and system level to serve overall system wide operation strategies in an efficient manner.
Supported by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration (no. 288079), the SCUBA project has addressed the challenges associated with the engineering of BAS by creating a novel systematic engineering approach delivered via an integrated design tool chain and an online integration and control framework. The tool chain encapsulates system specification and design, placement optimisation, deployment support, a co-ordination middleware and co-operation management modules. The tools and services support the planning, design and management of wired and wireless BAS that operate across the building life cycle (design, commissioning and operation), which together go towards developing an integrated approach to the engineering of BAS and act as a significant step on the road to the ultimate goal of BAS interoperability across the building lifecycle.
The following video demonstrates how the tool chain developed within SCUBA can provide support for tasks commonly faced by facilities managers, system designers and building automation engineers in a real operating environment.
More information can be found at the SCUBA website.