June 2004

Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

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Tridium takes Building Controls into the 21st Century on Landmark Dubai Project

Terry Casey, Managing Director,
Tridium EMEA


Standing 53 storeys and 269 metres high, the architecturally striking 21st Century Tower in Dubai is the tallest apartment block in the world.

Standing 53 storeys and 269 metres high, the architecturally striking 21st Century Tower in Dubai is the tallest apartment block in the world. It is also the latest landmark development to feature a web-serving building services control solution from Tridium, the open framework specialist for building automation systems.

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The installation of Tridium’s NIAGARA FrameworkTM by Dubai-based Pacific Controls, the UAE’s leading systems’ integrator, has ensured rapid, comprehensive and successful integration of the tower’s complex range of building services equipment. Services designed to operate on independent BACNET, LONWORKS® and Modbus control bus networks, are now all connected in a single, open, interoperable and remotely accessible web-based control environment without the need for any gateways, complex programming or expensive BMS supervisors.

Completed in December 2003, the 21st Century Tower is an impressive, new addition to the many equally spectacular skyscrapers along this central downtown section of Dubai’s famous Sheik Zayed Road. The elegant structure, shaped to depict an expression of two birds in flight, contains 300 three-bedroom and 100 two-bedroom apartments offering over 71,000m2 of luxury living space. Over 1800 locally controlled fan coil units, fed with chilled water via a variable flow system, provide the essential comfort cooling. Air handling, pump, power, fire detection, security and other services are distributed in Basement, Mezzanine, 9th Floor, 30th Floor and 53rd Floor plant rooms throughout the building. Directly behind the 21st Century Tower is the building’s adjoining nine storey car park which is also home to its five huge 525 ton water-cooled chillers, cooling towers, additional pumps and electrical substations.

Thanks to Tridium’s NIAGARA FrameworkTM, the complex array of multi-vendor control sub-systems installed on the project, comprising in total over 4,000 control points, have been integrated onto one network by Pacific Controls. The five centrifugal Carrier chillers and the building’s Simplex fire alarm system are both controlled by devices using the BACNET protocol whilst the 15 Honeywell HVAC controller outstations, ASTI access control system and CEAG emergency lighting control system operate on LONWORKS®. Schneider Electric power monitoring units and FG Wilson generators working on the Modbus communication protocol have also been integrated, along with a Vicon CCTV system using TCP/IP protocol. The NIAGARA FrameworkTM talks to each controller using its native protocol and respective network in one common, distributed and genuinely open environment, irrespective of controller type and manufacturer, and without the need for special gateways.

Control Solutions, Inc The NIAGARA FrameworkTM also provides control system access via any standard web browser. Graphical information is served up as HTML pages to ensure that supervisory actions can easily take place through any secure access internet connection. These include data viewing, collection, trend logging and archiving, centralised operation and adjustment of sub-systems, and equipment maintenance, fault-finding, alarm handling and time scheduling. No separate BMS supervisor software is required. The degree of sub-system interoperability is impressive. For example, in the event of fire detection, the control system will automatically monitor a pre-programmed shutdown of various plant and equipment as well as interlocking with the activation of the building’s emergency lighting system. The Tridium approach which supports multiple open field bus protocols, has ensured complete freedom of equipment specification through best in breed selection rather than being driven by the issue of controls protocol compatibility.

“The Tridium solution has provided us with a fully open, web-based system architecture which is easy to access and control and has allowed straightforward integration of almost any building services equipment, whether its controller uses the BACNET, Modbus or LONWORKS® protocol” says Nigel MacKenzie, Business Development Manager at Pacific Controls. “The project consultants, W S Atkins, are delighted with how the controls aspect of the job has worked, claiming it to be one of those very rare occasions when the promised integration of sub-systems has actually delivered.”

The NIAGARA FrameworkTM is embedded with four Tridium JACE 512 control units installed at different points throughout the 21st Century Tower. Because the control system can be engineered via a web-browser, it was able to support multiple access and parallel binding locations. This capability proved especially useful to Pacific’s engineers who were able to configure the system remotely via laptop, when access and power to the main front end PC in the 9th Floor control room on site was either unavailable through time constraints, access difficulties or conflict from other trades working on site at the same time.

The Client at 21st Century Tower was The Al Rostamani Group. Consultants were W S Atkins (UK) Overseas and Mechanical & Electrical Services Contractors were the Emirates Trading Agency. Pacific Controls can be reached on www.pacificcontrols.net. Tridium is a US based privately held company with their European headquarters in Buckinghamshire. The company has established key strategic alliances with leading corporations in the energy services, building automation and data management industries. Tridium markets its Framework solutions to a wide range of controls manufacturers, HVAC equipment manufacturers, and a network of Tridium Systems Integrators. Additional information about Tridium is available at www.tridium.com.



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