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Chamber of Engineers Annual Conference on Intelligent Buildings

The Chamber of Engineers held its 24th Annual Engineering Conference on 5th May 2016 at the Radisson BLU Golden Sands. The conference entitled “Intelligent Buildings” focused on a variety of aspects related to buildings.

In his opening address Chamber President, Ing. Norman Zammit referred to the introduction of the first personal computers and mobile telephony, highlighting how technology evolved over the last 30 years, making it possible for this technology to be used in buildings to render them intelligent. From basic Building Management systems, to an evolution of integrated systems, where these systems can feature security, access control, CCTV and fire detection.

Ing. Zammit pointed out that health and safety requirements in this sector need to be reviewed to reassess the possible need for certification of these innovative engineering systems.

Hon. Joe Mizzi, Minister for Transport and the Infrastructure, also attending the conference, referred to the introduction of basic building management systems, which eventually gave birth to a new era of intelligent buildings. “The most important contribution of these types of buildings is not just the comfort provided to the users but more importantly the contribution towards the sustainability of our environment. Considering that the principle of sustainability can be applied to a number of buildings in the same area and the other concepts of sustainability are applied, then the result would be a smart city,” he said.

Participants were also addressed by a number of high profile speakers, including IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, Prof. Hani Hagras from the University of Essex. Beginning from the premise that globally, buildings account for 35% of all energy consumption, Prof. Hagras discussed the need to provide autonomous intelligent techniques which adapt to the environment within which they are installed.

Professor Joseph Cilia elaborated on the concept of a Novel, Smart, Efficient and Reliable energy system that can provide the power and energy  demand in a building at all times. Such systems make use of  existing grid connected PV systems to run independent of the grid if and when required.

Various case studies were presented, related to Bridging Data Centre Facilities with Intelligent Monitoring (MITA), Smart Data Centres (BMIT Ltd), Technological Innovation in a Pharmaceutical Warehouse (Actavis Ltd), Mater Dei Hospital and the New Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre, Overview of SmartCity Malta (ESI Malta Ltd), a Novel Smart System to Provide for Energy Demand in Buildings at all Times (UOM/Abertax Technologies Ltd) and Renovating Public Buildings to Increase Energy Efficiency and Reduce Greenhouse Gases (Sustainable Energy and Water Conservation Unit).

Dr. Charles Yousif from the University of Malta presented a comprehensive study on the potential of improving energy performance of dwellings in Malta, discussing both energy and economic impacts, with practical solutions being proposed and evaluated.

Bank of Valletta provided insights to its role in the Energy Efficiency Financial Institution Working Group (EEFIG) which is an expert group set-up by the European Commission and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative to provide insights on how to ease access to finance for energy efficiency in buildings and industry.  The EEFIG feedback has been considered by the EU Commission in the process of the Review of EU Energy Efficiency Policies, to be finalised later this year.

The conference was chaired by Dr. Inġ. Patrick Attard on behalf of the Chamber of Engineers. The event was organised in collaboration with: Bank of Valletta, Citadel Insurance, BMIT, Enemalta plc, ESI, TREND/AIS Technology and was supported by IEEE Malta and MST.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 May 2016 15:03