New developments in room automation bring lighting controls and automated shading together with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The result is a room that is integrated for energy efficiency, responsive to demands of occupants, and more cost-effective to construct than separate control systems.
Room occupants can positively influence building performance, if the user interface is designed to engage them. A single interface that combines HVAC, lighting, and shading functions makes that possible. The fume hood operator's panel applies the same user interface concepts, giving the whole system a uniform, logical feel.
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Jim Coogan, P.E., is a principal in product development at Siemens Building Technologies. In 30 years of designing controls for mechanical systems, he has contributed to products ranging from room controllers to Internet-based interfaces. Jim has chaired several ASHRAE committees and participates in programs with the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories. Publications include papers on room pressurization and laboratory ventilation. Jim earned his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.