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Modern building management system for the Strabag PFS Fault Management Center

Given the high potential for optimization and consequently also cost savings that can be leveraged through smart central monitoring, open-loop and closed-loop control of properties, building automation is becoming an ever more important facet of modern facility management.

The task fulfilled by building automation is to bundle and process all the relevant data generated by the technical facilities within a property. This central provision of data is guaranteed through the cross-property networking of all sensors, actuators, operating elements, loads and other technical facilities.

Depending on the requirements of the user, building automation takes any number of different forms. These include open and closed-loop control of lighting, heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems taking into account external lighting, temperature, wind, time of day or movement, as well as optimized surveillance. Other areas which can be implemented using building automation technology include access control systems, the monitoring of window and door contacts as well as alarm systems, and consumer data acquisition from heat, water, gas or electricity meters.

The overriding aim is to achieve central monitoring as well as open and closed-loop control of selected property parameters.

STRABAG PFS provides support services for a wide range of large-scale industrial customers and real estate management firms, and may draw on an extensive fund of fault management experience in highly sensitive areas of technical facility management.

Breakdown of monitored systems and facilities

  • 3,300 emergency power supply / emergency power generating systems

  • 9,500 rectifiers

  • 26,000 battery systems

  • 3,600 converters

  • 560 air conditioning systems and 2,620 partial air conditioning systems

  • 6.700 compressed air monitoring systems

  • 70.000 public telecommunication stations

  • 15.000 compact devices for telecommunication facilities

  • 250 air conditioning systems for shelters

  • 20 fue celles

To address the growing demands made on building automation and stay abreast of the latest technological developments, in Q4 2014, STRABAG PFS commissioned the GaBI Management System (short in German for Building Automation and Operating Information system) which is based on the SCADA system SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture (WinCC OA).

Irrespective of the manufacturer, all system-critical messages issued by the technical facilities within the property are connected over the GaBI management system following prioritization to the Fault Management Centers. This guarantees that the systems can be debugged within the agreed response times.

Störungsmanagementzentrale der STRABAG PFS

In the main, the Fault Management Centers perform identical tasks. Here, a geographic division takes place between north and south Germany. In addition, redundancy is guaranteed in a crisis situation, meaning that faults and messages are always processed by the Fault Management Center in the second location.
Employees working in the STRABAG PFS Fault Management Center utilize the GaBI management system.

Technical data

Over 4,000 locations managed by STRABAG PFS are already linked to GaBI, and on final completion this number will have risen to around 8,500 locations. By Q4 2015, around 400,000 data points were already connected within the system, and the total number is set to be around 1,500,000 data points once completed.

The system comprises a redundant pair of master servers, and on final completion a maximum of 60 communication servers. WinCC OA Version 3.12 is currently being used, and the server runs the operating system Linux RedHat EL5. The clients use Windows. Approximately fifteen value changes and one alarm signal occur every second.

As the GaBI Management System supports standardized communication protocols such as BACnet, SNMP, IEC, OPC, and others, it will enable simple, low-cost processing of technical building information in the future.

Implementation of existing and new technologies in GaBI

As the GaBI Management System supports standardized communication protocols such as BACnet, SNMP, IEC, OPC, and others, it will enable simple, low-cost processing of technical building information in the future.
The BACnet communication protocol in particular, which has become an internationally established standard in the field of building automation, forms the basis of new manufacturer-independent communication for the GaBI management system. The wide-ranging selection of certified BACnet devices from different manufacturers is ensured by means of European certification.

The SNMP protocol is additionally becoming established in facilities such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), photovoltaic systems etc., which are also successfully operated at STRABAG PFS.

The Citrix application is a constituent part of the GaBI system. It runs on a Citrix server in the computing center of an external service provider and serves as an input portal for user login at the GaBI Management System. Users are fault managers in the Fault Management Center, operating system specialists and service engineers.
In the Citrix application, logging into the system sets the access rights to files and program areas of GaBI. Every user group is assigned a user rights level and after logging into the system, will see a certain log-in screen showing the relevant user rights.