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BEMS and Access Control for University ICT Building

When driving around the University of Malta ring road, one cannot help but notice the sizeable construction taking shape on the east-facing side, the side that at a certain point runs parallel to Triq Mikiel Anton Vassalli. This is the new state-of-the-art building of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology that was made possible through European Regional Development Fund and Government of Malta funding, amounting to around €17 million.

The new building itself is a landmark construction on the University's Msida Campus. It is a "new building" in more than one sense. It is predominantly a steel construction with a glass outer façade. It makes use of specially engineered glass panels that are filled with an inert gas and coated with appositely calculated reflective material. The building has no windows and it is climate controlled through an advanced Building Management System (BMS). The internal climatic conditions, such as temperature, ventilation, and humidity will all be managed by an automated system.

 

ICT BuildingThe air-conditioning systems will be capable of detecting human presence in a room and adjust accordingly or even turn off automatically if the room is vacated. Toxic gas levels in the underground parking will be monitored and automatically ventilated/extracted if thresholds are exceeded. It is envisaged that this centralised climate control system, together with the use of the most advanced outer façade materials, will significantly reduce the energy demands of this building thus helping minimise the environmental impact that the addition of another building on campus will have.

The BMS will also handle security and safety systems, which are also fully automated. Access to the various sections and rooms of the building will be controlled through programmed access cards which will be customised to the particular needs and job requirements of an individual. All public access, student, common, and laboratory areas will be monitored by video feeds through the BMS. Together with the building's climatic situation, intrusion and fire alarm systems will be monitored and controlled from a central control room. Some doors can be remotely controlled, yet over-ridden in case of fire or other emergency alarms. The building will adopt an open-on-emergency policy, which means that there can never be an emergency situation that would trap people in the building.

The Times

Thursday, May 3, 2012 by Dr. Ernest Cachia

Dr Cachia is the Dean of the Faculty of ICT at the University of Malta.

Read the full article at The Times- University ICT Building Article 3rd May 2012