Designing labs, research buildings: Building automation and controls

Labs and research facilities house sensitive equipment and must maintain very rigid standards. In this discussion, the engineers will discuss building automation and controls.

05/28/2013


Nedzib Biberic, PE, LEED BD+C, Mechanical Engineer, PAE Consulting Engineers, Portland, Ore. Courtesy: PAE Consulting EngineersMichael Chow, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, Member/Owner, Metro CD Engineering LLC, Powell, Ohio. Courtesy: Metro CD EngineeringDavid S. Crutchfield, PE, LEED AP, Division Manager, RMF Engineering, Baltimore. Courtesy: RMF EngineeringDave Linamen, PE, LEED AP, CEM, Vice President, Stantec, Edmonton, Alberta. Courtesy: StantecJay Ramirez, Senior Vice President, ESD Global, Chicago. Courtesy: ESD Global

Participants:

Nedzib Biberic, PE, LEED BD+C, Mechanical Engineer, PAE Consulting Engineers, Portland, Ore. 

Michael Chow, PE, CxA, LEED AP BD+C, Member/Owner, Metro CD Engineering LLC, Powell, Ohio 

David S. Crutchfield, PE, LEED AP, Division Manager, RMF Engineering, Baltimore

Dave Linamen, PE, LEED AP, CEM, Vice President, Stantec, Edmonton, Alberta

Jay Ramirez, Senior Vice President, ESD Global, Chicago 


CSE: What are some common problems you encounter when working on such systems?

Ramirez: When working with science and institutional clients, particularly in manufacturing and R&D, it is important to know that these entities most often have their own internal facility management system (FMS). Most often these will be a programmable logic controller (PLC) that must interface with direct digital controls (DDC) or a building automation system (BAS). Often the FMS stores proprietary client information and is highly secured, which requires special consideration and networking to receive approval from the client. Understanding the level of communication interface and determining the proper integration methodology is absolutely critical to avoid system incompatibility and change order cost once the project is in construction.

Linamen: Lack of seamless interoperability. More components are achieving interoperability, but there are still a number that don’t, and some components have limited interoperability. Also, there are very few vendors who really have all of the components to control all HVAC systems and equipment in a lab building, so if competition is desired in the pricing of the controls, interoperability with multiple vendors is important.

Biberic: Most of the time the chosen laboratory control system is proprietary and locks the owner into one manufacturer. Also, the lack of the owner’s experience with selected lab control system is a problem; it is perceived as a “black box” and can lead to lower building efficiency or even failure of the building to perform. Most of the time, it is an independent, second control system in the building. Facilities need separate operations and maintenance (O&M) training on the system, and there is limited number of staff that interacts with the system. Integration with the BAS could be costly; mapping points from the lab control system into BAS could be time-consuming and sometimes challenging even with more experience control contractors.

CSE: What integrated systems have you specified into a recent project?

Crutchfield: The most common problem we see is that the building automation/controls systems seem to fall outside the normal preventive maintenance programs. When this happens, the tolerances that are designed into the system start to trend outside of appropriate limits slowly and over time. By the time the maintenance requests start to filter in to maintenance staff, it is often more than one control item that needs maintenance attention, so troubleshooting is necessary to track down all the problems.

Linamen: Besides sophisticated lab and fume hood controls, demand-based ventilation control that samples air quality in labs and adjusts the ventilation rate accordingly. This was for a biomedical research facility with numerous compartmentalized labs, and the demand-based control minimizes the ventilation rates in each lab by sampling the air individually in each lab and throttling the ventilation rate to maintain desired air quality. The demand-based ventilation controls can be integrated with almost any laboratory control system.

Biberic: We used Siemens and Phoenix Control on the Whitworth Science Building, a 70,000-sq-ft, three-story teaching/research laboratory facility, which consisted mostly of airflow dominated chemical laboratory spaces. The building also has a 2,000-sq-ft vivarium area, anatomy lab, and cadaver room. Laboratory spaces are served by a 100% outside air system with overhead air distribution. We installed Phoenix Controls venturi airflow valves control airflow in each lab space. In-duct mounted hydronic heating coils maintain the room temperature setpoints. We used American Auto-Matrix products in the Western Oregon University Science Building, a 20,000-sq-ft, two-story teaching laboratory facility consisting of chemical laboratory spaces. Laboratory spaces are served by a 100% outside air system with overhead air distribution. American Auto-Matrix airflow vales control exhaust airflow from laboratory equipment and fast acting actuators are used on supply VAV boxes and dampers controlling general lab exhaust.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me