Today’s market offers a wide range of building management and automation systems with overlapping functionalities. We designed the Atamate building operating system (atBOS) as a flexible platform that can be designed into any development. This article describes how that flexibility reduces capital and operational costs.

 

Atamate’s building operating system (atBOS) provides a range of functions including:

  • Control of automated building services through any internet-enabled device.
  • Presets that automatically engage or disengage services according to room occupancy or time of day.
  • Metering of energy and water use within a building, measuring the usage of different units within a multi-user building.
  • Entry control with keypads or codes downloaded to phones, enabling control to selected parts of a building at designated times.
  • Collection and storage of data on a building’s internal environment, energy consumption and service usage.
  • Automatic detection of anomalies that generate alerts of potential maintenance issues.

None of those functions is unique to atBOS, but they are often split between systems classified as building management systems (BMS) and service automation. A developer has a wide range of BMS and automation systems to choose from, which raises the question of what atBOS offers that others do not.

The answer lies in the simplicity that arises from atBOS’s flexibility, which allows it to cover the monitoring and automation requirements of any given building. Using a single system simplifies design, installation and operation which in turn keeps the capital and operational expenditure low.

Capital expenditure

The atBOS is a single platform that can be used for all aspects of monitoring, metering and automation. Its backbone is a network of ceiling sensor units [PDF] with two functions.

  • Monitoring: sensors monitor light, temperature, air quality and occupancy, which provides a continuous record of each room’s internal environment and usage and may be used to directly control the room’s services.
  • Communication: each unit is a node in the atBOS wireless network, which turns individual units into a communication network that relays signals between the central hub that controls atBOS and every service actuator, meter and sensor in the building. In addition, the ceiling sensor unit has several sockets that allow cabled connections if a building requires actuators or sensors operating on cabled protocols like Modbus, DMX or BACnet.

Other than connections between sensors and cabled meters or actuators, atBOS requires no dedicated cabling. The actuators and meters draw power from the devices they are connected to while the sensor units are powered by the local lighting circuit.

The simplicity of the atBOS hardware equates to competitive capital costs for the following reasons:

  • The lack of dedicated cabling keeps the installation simple, avoiding the costs of both the cables themselves and the labour of installing them.
  • Installation and commissioning require no specific training, but can be done by any qualified person.
  • Using Atamate within a multi-unit development, such as an apartment or office block, requires no dedicated connections between units which avoids the further cost of fire containment measures.
  • The atBOS layout in a multi-unit development is usually identical for every unit, which simplifies design and minimises the time that needs to be spent on it.
  • The atBOS hardware can be installed as part of any construction done offsite, which is inherently cheaper than installing it onsite.
  • The atBOS hardware is relatively simple to retrofit because it can be powered by an existing building’s cabling.

Operational expenditure

The atBOS is based on what we call the 4 C’s of building service design: comfort, cost, carbon and convenience, which we will describe in detail in our upcoming white paper on building services for apartment blocks. Concerning cost, the intention behind atBOS is that it should pay for itself through savings in the building’s operational costs. It delivers cost efficiency through:

  • Occupancy and calendar-based service operation ensure that energy is only used where it is required for the comfort of the building’s occupants.
  • Automated alerts for anomalies ensure early identification of maintenance issues, such as ventilation grilles that need cleaning or leaking water pipes, enabling them to be addressed before they incur further costs.
  • In a multi-user building, atBOS requires little attention and no specialist training for the owner or manager who controls it.
  • Placing all services under a single system avoids conflicts, such as running heating or air conditioning while a window is open, which can waste a considerable amount of energy when services are not integrated.
  • Using a single platform to operate the entire building ensures that only one software subscription needs to be paid.

Ongoing support

The atBOS is supported by Atamate’s team of software developers and building service engineers, who are available to provide support throughout the installation, commissioning and operation of atBOS. Equally important, the Atamate team continues to develop atBOS so that today’s installations can be upgraded to incorporate innovations in building services and management that become available in the future.

If you have any further questions about atBOS, whether they are general or in the context of a particular development or renovation project, please ask us on the form below and we’ll be happy to answer.

 

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