Enhancing building efficiency with Niagara

Issue 3 2022 Integrated Solutions, Facilities & Building Management

A leading independent, global gold mining company with a diverse, high-quality portfolio of operations, projects and exploration activities recently moved into its new head office in Gauteng South Africa.

Due to its strong focus on building efficiency, healthy buildings and energy management, the company made the decision to install a Niagara-based building management system (BMS) into its new corporate offices. A local design company was approached by the organisation to provide a complete system that included smart design, electronics and building management.

“Because of our strong technical and design experience in building management systems, especially in the integration of a wide variety of equipment, we were requested to provide a BMS that would address the current and future needs of the client,” says Anthony van Wyk, BMS project manager at the Elvey Group.

Elvey formed part of a team tasked with the design and installation of a management system for the gold mining company, centred on including all aspects of the green workspace.

The building management system is connected to the following building elements:

1. Lighting controls and occupancy sensors.

2. HVAC.

3. Temperature, humidity, C02, VOC, leak detection sensors.

4. Intruder alarm system.

5. Access control.

6. Fire alarm and life safety system.

7. CCTV.

8. Key management system.

9. Solar system.

10. Generator and UPS power.

11. Electrical and water meters.

12. Lifts.

“The Niagara building management framework acts as the brain and nervous system of the building. Only with a connected and inclusive system are you able to drive the correct efficiencies and saving needed to make this building a world class set-up,” says Van Wyk.

Tridium equipment includes the Supervisor and integration controllers as well as the Energy Manager. The Niagara Supervisor serves real-time graphical information to standard web-browser clients and performs essential functions such as analytics, centralised data logging/trending, archiving to external databases, alarming, dashboarding, system navigation, master scheduling, database management and integration with other enterprise systems.

Niagara Energy Manager maximises the energy efficiency of buildings. It automatically collects and analyses all forms of energy consumption and visually-appealing graphics and charts guarantee a well-ordered and intuitive presentation of important data.

The client required an easy-to-use and manage building system suite that would help them drive facility optimisation, assist with building methodology and help with energy management. “These are the three key drivers encapsulated in a benchmark building management solution, so the client’s requirements were complemented by this overarching goal,” says Van Wyk.

The main strategies employed by the BMS to drive efficiencies included:

1. Occupancy monitoring to drive savings on HVAC and lighting systems.

2. Air quality monitoring (C02, VOC, temperature and humidity) to drive better occupancy performance.

3. CCTV for contractor monitoring.

4. Generator, UPS, solar and meter monitoring for carbon reduction, sustainability and uptime.

5. Complete building overviews for asset management and quicker response to occupancy related complaints.

“Pulling all the integration equipment elements together was a challenging aspect of the project. We needed to ensure that all members of the project team communicated well to ensure a seamless system. We overcame any possible challenges by holding regular information sessions, which allowed all team members to operate from the same baseline. The eventual outcome was a building characterised by a management system that provided the client with increased occupancy performance and reduced utility costs,” says Van Wyk.


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