Development of technology

Every component of the complex structure of the smart home incurrs certain costs, but most of all – advantages. Thanks to the dynamic development of technology, the most advanced systems are becoming available to a wider and wider group of recipients, thanks to which the costs of building and outfitting a modern building are getting lower against the advantages to come from using such a building. Looking back, we see how much, since the idea of an intelligent building had emerged, had changed in architecture, interior design, cabling, automatic systems, office equipment. All points to the fact that the frequency of emergence on the market of newer and newer solutions will sustain pace in the near future. A smart building perfectly adapts to new technologies, standing out through an uncommonly flexible and open structure. The basic property of a modern building is its ability to adapt new solutions without the need to reorganise and change its internal structures operating within it, at the same time reducing the costs of such operations. The flexibility of a building means the forthcoming to new requirements posed in the modern business world. In order to attain this, all components of an intelligent building have to be integrated, forming a reliable, unified system.

In order to obtain full control over all processes taking place within a building, and be able to effectively utilise all its capabilities, one requires a uniform control and oversight system encompassing all equipment of the building. Only with full synchronisation of the operation of all installations can be truly speak of the implementation of the idea of an intelligent building. Apart from this, the architecture of the building itself should create possibilities to freely arrange modern systems and control devices. Already at birth of the project one has to take into account the specifics of all components of the building. This entails a global look at the structure of the site, considering its future users, functions to be executed by it and perspectives for future development. One has here thus an intertwining of several separate areas, like architecture, automatics, computer science and construction. The obtaining of a satisfying effect is possible only when the execution of a certain part of the project, as well as the changes and innovations, are executed with consideration for all aspects of the building as a whole. Coordination during the creation of separate pieces of the infrastructure will always provide their proper functioning, and what is most important – cooperation. A well-designed building is open to changes to its structure, without the fear of jeopardising the stability of the whole system. The integration of the building’s systems creates possibilities of easy control and expansion of the global, superordinate system.

The tendency to decentralise control systems, present for many years now, is a natural consequence of experience and work on increasing reliability and immunity against random accidents and disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.), and against conscious attacks (sabotage, vandalism, etc.). Already towards the end of the 1950s and in the beginning of the 1960s, in rocket guidance systems, spacecraft, banking systems and other important systems the concept of 'distributed intelligence’ was used through installation of additional, redundant controllers.

The best possibilities and the largest variety of uses of communication network among open systems is provided by distributed intelligence networks – EIB and LonWorks. These networks, exhibiting a peer-to-peer-type architecture, allow the connection from any network node with any building automation device. Such a system does not have a central unit establishing connections between one sender and one receiver unit, so there is no way it could be susceptible to a breakdown of the whole network, as is the case with hierarchy-based systems. The nodes are smart appliances and can exchange data between them via cable or wireless connections. Changes to the management and functionalities may be introduced via a modem, and each network node may control and manage actuation devices not only in its own zone, but across the whole building. Node intelligence may not only execute humidity measurements or sense the CO2 level in the air, but also economically control the HVAC system and the lighting.