With 37 floors and a height of 137 metres, the “Sky Tower” has been a major feature of Bucharest’s skyline since 2012 as part of the Floresca City Center complex. The tower and adjacent six-storey office complex comprise 54,000 square meters of usable floor space. Seven stories alone are occupied by the headquarters of Raiffeisenbank Romania. To best satisfy its tenants’ wishes regarding comfort, energy efficiency and space flexibility, building developer Raiffeisen Property Holding International focused on an intelligent and flexible building infrastructure from the start. To meet these requirements, the building automation system implemented by Vienna-based systems integrator GTS Automation uses building automation solutions from Beckhoff.
“We develop properties with enhanced value by focusing on sustainability, energy efficiency and modern functionality,” says Bernd Steingruber, Senior Expert at Raiffeisen Property International GmbH (RPHI) in charge of the Floresca City Center (FCC) project. “Our goal with this project was to provide Raiffeisenbank Romania and all other potential tenants of the FCC building with energy-efficient, modern spaces that feature maximum flexibility,” adds Steingruber.
Maximum flexibility – down to the smallest office space
The main requirement for the Sky Tower was to have maximum flexibility, down to the smallest office space. “Most leases run for three, five or seven years, and no one knows what will happen afterwards so floor plans are always subject to change. In addition, existing tenants’ needs change constantly. They want to expand, divide an open floor plan into many small offices, or go the other way and take out walls. We are dedicated to accommodating such changes with an infrastructure that is easily adaptable to new conditions without having to tear up floors, run new wiring or make additional significant investments in hardware or software,” says Bernd Steingruber about the reason why he wanted GTS to install a sophisticated room-by-room control system laid out in a grid. This was the best option to make reconfiguring spaces as easy as possible via ‘drag-and-drop’. “The special challenge regarding the HVAC systems in the Floresca City Center was to design them to be as flexible as possible for changing office concepts. The I/O system is based on modular Bus Terminals from Beckhoff, which makes it possible to quickly reconfigure the architecture,” explains Georg Kubasa, CEO of GTS Automation.
Standard solutions: Redundant control systems for maximum reliability
“The individual floors operate without their own intelligence. We operate each entry and exit via a central server on the ground floor instead. This provides all monitoring activities with cycle times in the millisecond range,” adds Georg Kubasa. The evonXAMcontrol system installed by GTS reads and visualizes roughly 8,500 hardware datapoints.
The entire Control system architecture is based on Beckhoff PC based control: 156 redundant BK9050 Ethernet TCP/IP Bus Couplers for individual room controls and the central HVAC controls, 413 digital KL1408 input terminals for linking the room control panels, 525 KL2408 digital output terminals, and a few other terminals functioning as data collectors that interface with subsystems.
Systematic space savings
“Wherever space is at a premium, Beckhoff has the right solution,” explains Georg Kubasa. “The broad portfolio of I/O terminals covers the entire spectrum of signals in building automation applications.” The GTS manager knows only too well how difficult it is to accommodate tight spaces: “The modular Beckhoff components take up much less space than other systems – that’s a huge advantage. It even enables me to run ventilation systems with small wall cabinets instead of freestanding distribution boxes.”
Clean air and amazing views
When the number of Raiffeisenbank Romania’s executive meeting rooms on the Sky Tower’s 7th floor increased from the originally planned two up to eight, Georg Kubasa was faced with the question of where to get the air for four times as many rooms. “With the appropriate control logic, it was easy,” says the systems integrator. “Each meeting room has presence sensors and CO2 detectors. That way, the system can spread the available air evenly over the rooms that are in use. And if all are occupied, the room with air quality most in need of improvement takes precedence.”
Ajey Phatak / Rajesh Adhangale
Beckhoff Automation Pvt. Ltd, India