02/10/2004

Mixing Oil and Water

Today’s Climate Calls For Coordinated Control

 

Securing Your Security System

The real key to success in marrying BACnet HVAC with a security system is having an advanced network security model. The system must permit object partitioning by site, by function, and by user.

Most importantly, there needs to be control over which workstations have access to security objects. This is where the bilingual design, such as the one from Andover Controls, Andover, MA, has the advantage. The bilingual design keeps the access control object separate unless specifically presented to the BACnet network.

A proprietary object design keeps the access control objects within the unsecured BACnet network. With a bilingual design, your access control data, by default, is hidden from the BACnet devices on your network, but the links between the two remain.

Building owners are feeling the pressure to make their facilities more secure. But to do so requires a coordinated approach between security and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC).


Ideally, if an environmental hazard is detected, your staff can activate the appropriate ventilation and pressurization modes, while locking down certain doors and unlocking others to ensure a safe exit for your building’s occupants. Meanwhile, the building’s digital CCTV system is automatically recording the whole event and emergency lighting and generators have been are activated. It’s coordination that allows this type of simultaneous response to occur.

Considering today’s economic climate, this same coordination brings an additional benefit: When building equipment is shared between HVAC and security and a single operator can control both, the building owner saves money.

But What About BACnet, HVAC, and Security?

BACnet is a data communication protocol for building automation and control networks. In facilities that have chosen BACnet primarily for temperature control, several issues have stood in the way of progress toward a coordinated BACnet/security building management approach.

First of all, the BACnet protocol lacks a usable network security model, or set of standards. Such a model becomes more essential as security systems grow larger and include various access control, intrusion detection, and digital CCTV devices. Securing these networks against tampering becomes increasingly more difficult. As a result, companies today using BACnet are looking toward a set of sanctioned guidelines on the implementation of such security measures as firewalls, user log-in procedures, and data encryption to protect particularly sensitive data as it transits their networks.

Unlike building automation manufacturers who banded together with end-users to create the BACnet standard for HVAC control, there has been no successful movement amongst security vendors to do the same. The BACnet Committee is working toward standard objects and services for security; however, this effort relies upon improvements to the network security model within the BACnet standard. BACnet is making good progress in both areas; yet a published version of the standard with these improvements is several years away.

But Why Wait Years?

Two designs for BACnet/security systems have emerged. One “proprietary object” design extends BACnet by using proprietary BACnet objects to describe objects such as areas, doors, and personnel that don’t exist in the BACnet standard. The “bilingual” design has devices that “speak” BACnet as well as its own proprietary language, so data can be passed between their access controllers, digital video recorders (DVRs), and BACnet devices with ease.

Proprietary Object or Bilingual Design?

Whether you implement a proprietary object or a bilingual designed system, you will need the front-end from the manufacturer of the access control devices. A proprietary object is just that – proprietary. Unlike HVAC systems that are reprogrammed rarely, access control systems may be reprogrammed on a daily basis.

However, you can still reap the benefits of BACnet when it comes to access control. Security alarms may be represented as BACnet alarms and sent to any BACnet workstation. Additionally, intrusion points may be represented as BACnet multi-state-input/value objects; and door status information may be mapped to other BACnet objects. Access events may also be used to trigger BACnet outputs and values such as a “Valid Entry,” causing the BACnet system to go into “Occupied Mode.”

Oil and water can mix. Imagine seeing a summary of all key environmental systems and security status points from a single graphic. The day of coordinated BACnet/security control has arrived.

Jon Williamson is a product manager at Andover, MA-based Andover Controls Corp. (www.andovercontrols.com), which designs and manufactures integrated HVAC, access control, lighting, and digital CCTV systems.

 

Need portable cooling?

Rent or buy spot coolers from full-service locations nationwide. On call “24/7”. Primary, supplemental or emergency cooling. Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc., or call (800) 972-6600.

Click here for more info


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Need portable cooling?

Rent or buy spot coolers from full-service locations nationwide. On call “24/7”. Primary, supplemental or emergency cooling. Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc., or call (800) 972-6600.

Click here for more info


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
comments powered by Disqus

Related Products

Envelope and Structural
Flooring
Energy Management

Sponsored Links