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Introduction to IBMS

The contemporary era of construction has contributed to an unprecedented development in modern housing where a range of systems that facilitate automated operations are exploited (Braun, 2007). Modern high-rise establishments, for instance, require modern technology for air-conditioning, lighting, systems that power various machinery like lifts, security controls, and heating systems among other (Edwards, 2011). The range of tasks and the mechanism required to combine the activities to form a uniform functioning unit, therefore, necessitates the development of a sophisticated system that can enhance a seamless automation of these functions. Normally, the systems that are utilised in the management of these functions require incompatible and diverse software. As such, analysing and integrating the systems to enhance automation across all the operations of a building becomes problematic.

The purpose of IBM, therefore, is to generate a uniform integrated database through an open-platform software. The IBM differs from the ordinary BMSs because it enables the recipients to access the entire information across all systems via a solitary front-end interface (Sinopoli, 2016). The integration, therefore, enables the users to regulate a particular activity using the information gathered from another system within the integrated systems. The ability to manage such diverse activities in an automated fashion allows for increased performance optimisation. This is because the overall usage of various activities like lighting and heating can be accurately monitored in real-time, and hence increasing the level of control.

Drivers for IBMs

The decision to install an IBM hinges on a range considerations. The key factors, however, are categorized into two. The two factors that are considered to have the overriding effect in the decision making are the environmental and economic aspects involved. The systems enhances the evaluation of energy usage through easy access of data throughout the building and thus prompting a range of significant benefits (Best & De Valence, 2002).

Cost reduction

In the contemporary, the significant considerations are made based on the overall whole-life cost of the building as compared to the conventional considerations which stressed on the capital costs. Considering that energy accounts for a substantial portion of the costs incurred in the form of operational expenses, the need for the technologies that enable energy-saving is highly growing. The IBMs is, therefore, critical in reducing the overall energy costs because it provides a platform that facilitates easy, accurate, and real-time control of the activities such as heating, lighting, and other systems that contribute to excessive heat consumption (Gann, 2000). As a consequence, the costs relating to energy can be effectively and efficiently managed.

Energy saving

Basic operations concerning heating, lighting, air-conditioning (HVAC), or ventilation heavily rely and account for the overall energy that is utilized in a building (Han & Lim, 2010). The other operations that also contribute to the high usage of energy are the electricity required to control security controls, computers, lifts, and other machinery. An approximate energy usage of over 70% is reserved for the operations mentioned above, and hence, the need for an IBMS to assist in energy saving (Missaoui et al., 2014). Infra-red sensors are utilized in the activities involving heat control while timer or zonal based controls are utilized in the activities relating to lighting control. By using these strategies, the sensors enable an optimised control of heating and lighting since the energy will only be utilized when needed and saved when it is not necessary. In addition, the technology assist in the reduction of the overall emissions from the building (Wei & Li, 2011). As such, it contributes to the efforts of ensuring a reduction of the greenhouse-gas emissions as per the governing guidelines in the global environmental laws.


The IBMs mitigate the risk of energy intensity variations that is posed on the swift operations of a building and its occupants. In the modern setting, the reliance on energy to facilitate essential tasks such as communication has necessitated the need for a reliable energy supply in buildings and other commercial premises. The IBMs, therefore assist to mitigate the risk posed by a location’s power grid variance or energy quality by enabling a real-time means of monitoring the variations.

The control technology enabled by the IBMS enhance the management of the safety needs of a building through increasing the efficiency of the various safety operations activities encompassed in the structure. The safety needs involving lighting, HVAC, heating, smoke management, gas detection, air quality, fire doors, and other safety designs are easily managed through IBMS (Harrison, Loe & Read, 2005).

Value enhancement

The system assist developers to enhance the value of the property by managing to significantly reduce the building’s operational costs while maintaining high quality standards that offer high quality comfort levels for their clients. The IBMS streamlines the operations of a building through the use of software that enables the gathering of the data relating to energy consumption and other remote control services. The technology, therefore enhances the flexibility of control and access and thus providing the energy efficient means of controlling the operations of a structure that aim at improving safety and comfort for the occupants (Nguyen & Aiello, 2013).

The application of IBMS

The application of an IBMS relies on its ability to deliver a common platform which integrates a host of systems that are utilized to enhance the operations of a smart building (Flax, 1991). The resulting impact, therefore, is an enhanced performance and control of the operations of a building. For the system to work effectively, communication protocols which facilitate the exchange of information between the system and the various devices involved are required. The communication, however, is complicated because of the systems require a set of protocols to improve its effectiveness. As such, further integration is required to inspire the efficient communication between the systems and devices.

The protocol is identified as a standard ISO protocol and is widely used in the HVAC industry setting (Neirotti et al., 2014). The other commonly utilized protocols are Modbus and LonWorks. The Modbus was developed to provide intelligent devices a “master-slave” means of communication. The protocol is common in various field concerned with activities like infrastructure, energy, and transportation. It was, however, initially developed to serve the industries. The LonWorks, on the other hand, was developed to facilitate control applications. The platform has over time been adopted in various sectors like in industrial automation, transportation, buildings, and street lighting et al.

Using these protocols, an IBMS is linked with a LAN that facilitates the sharing of information between all the systems that are encompassed in the management system. The protocols are directed through a router that transforms them into an IP (internet protocol) or an Ethernet that is on an open platform. The management system is also web enabled in that the controllers are linked to a graphic interface that assists them to interrogate as well as navigate the system (Clements, 2013). The interface facilitates a variety of functions which can be operated remotely. The controllers are able to view trends, analysis, graphics, and reports. The interface also facilitates the easy control of functions like updating the schedules concerning heating, lighting, air conditioning, and security alarm management among other functions. Since the cloud in used to hold the gathered data that is centrally stored, users are able to easily access the data using laptops, tablets, and smartphones which are both wireless gadgets.

In a high-rise building, there are various managers that can utilize the platform to perform the operation controls involved in the building. The managers that can use the platform are the tasked with managing the facility, production, electrical, IT, and the security departments. The manager in charge of the facility oversees the general enhancement of the building performance as well as ensuring that the employees are comfortable. The building’s electrical manager guarantees the quality of energy and ensures constant power availability. The responsibilities of enhancing productivity through optimising costs. They enhance productivity through increasing the efficiency of processes and the efficiency of machines as well. The IT manager’s responsibility in the building is to ensure the key applications required to the management are available at all times. The responsibility of safeguarding the building’s assets, people’s safety, and ensuring that the core functions of the entire business are safeguarded is placed on the building’s security manager.

The IBMS installation and specification

The process of specifying an IBMS requires a broad range of considerations. The first consideration includes a comprehensive description of the calculations as well as the specifications of the system loads. The next consideration involves the features as well as the choice of the system. The choice of the components of the system and its features is also a consideration that must be made. The next consideration involves the fuel features and the requirements concerning its storage. The next consideration involves the commissioning of the system and it hand-over while the preferred network protocol must also be included in the considerations.

A number of factors are also considered during the design process. The particulars concerning the specifications that are necessary for the commissioning of the system must be available. The design must also exhibit the capability to enable the easy access of all the sensors, field controllers, and the entire set of devices involved. The design must also facilitate easy testing and address the future maintenance needs. The system design must also allow for future expansion provisions (Wang, 2009). The system should be able to handle an upgrade of its function capabilities without necessarily affecting its overall rate of performance. The mechanisms and the wiring must also be distinguishable through a constant numbering system.

The specifications must focus on the needs of all the beneficiaries of the system. The involvement of all the beneficiaries is important because the systems aim is to benefit all its users. To achieve the benefits, it is necessary to, therefore, ensure proper specification, excellent installation, prudent commissioning and effective operation. In addition to the salient considerations, the other matters that must be taken to account include the building’s location, critical control segments, the environment, and the manufacture among other considerations. The regulation and standards in the BMS must also be considered before proceeding with the processes involving the implementation of the IBMS. CMD regulations 2007 and other recent regulations like building regulation 2012 provides the professional guidelines that are necessary when using an IBMS (Wood & Salib, 2013). These considerations are necessary because thy will significantly affect the needs concerning the system’s regular maintenance.

Regulations and standards

The security considerations of a security manager in IBMS

The manager with the responsibility to control security within a building using an IBMS must generate a security plan that will effectively manage the security concerns that might arise. The manager must first begin by formulating a plan that seeks to mitigate the risks in the entire system’s lifecycle which includes the design phase, the installation, as well as the operation stages. It is important to focus not only on the design phases but also to emphasise on the next stages which involves safeguarding the entire interests of the parties that are affected by the building’s security needs.

The security risk that might affect the building through any form of manipulation or attack on the platform that assist the IBMS to operate is the core responsibility of the security manager, and hence the need to ensure an effective risk mitigation strategy by implementing the plan across the entire phases of the system’s design and operation.

To achieve the success required in developing an effective risk mitigation plan, the manager must involve everybody that is identified as party to the system throughout its design as well as operation phases. The manager must facilitate a coordination of efforts between these parties. The parties include the system’s integrators, the administrators of the selected network, the personnel of the particular facility, and the occupants. The manager must ensure all the stakeholders understand the unique problems that might negatively impact the security efforts concerning the IBMS.

Security challenges

As opposed to the conventional designs that were operated on a stand-alone system, the contemporary designs have stressed on integrating with multiple systems. The contemporary systems are linked to numerous systems such as remote access servers, IT data centres, and numerous public utilities. As a consequence, the modern designs have through the influence of enhanced technology and contemporary standards shifted to utilizing open protocols. Despite generating increased benefits for the IBMS recipients, the technology has also generated new problems relating to security (Schumacher et al., 2013).

Various considerations are, therefore required to ensure the security threat is effectively mitigated. The managers with the security responsibility must ensure best practices are achieved throughout the processes involving the system’s acquisition, design, and its eventual operation period. In the initial stages, the security manager must formulate a security plan that encompasses the aspects of the commercial building such as its overall size, the level of the impact that a potential security breach would cause, and the potential costs concerning the system’s strategy installation as well as operation (Wells, 2003). In addition, the manager must offer his technical contribution towards the evaluations of factors such as the users’ risk tolerance parameters, the user’s budgetary allocation for the security plan implementation, and the unique security specifications of the user.

The considerations are categorized into three sections which include the needs for infrastructure protection, the needs regarding threat detection and the strategies for mitigation, and the hardening of the relevant devices.

The design stage

During the design phase, it is critical to ensure that parameters surrounding the IBMS are secured. This is because the manager’s decision in the phase will determine the system’s security capabilities in the other operational phases. The manager is therefore required to involve the other managers that are responsible for the system’s installation as well as the operation. The factors for consideration during the design activities are the network infrastructure, the physical security, and the selection of the devices.

The aspect of the physical security describe the considerations that will ensure the IBMS’ information, devices, and networks are not accessed by unauthorized persons. The considerations include; linking various access barriers like the building’s compound, rooms, elevator, and other access controls, preventing and controlling the network devices which include the switches, routers, and firewalls from any physical access by the unauthorized persons, and protecting the communication cable across all the channels.

The aspect concerning the network infrastructure which provides the means through which information is disseminated across all the systems and networks involved, a number of considerations must be made by the manager. The considerations involve the following factors; limiting the various points of the network access, the usage of firewalls, managing the user access, and remote access restriction.

The considerations involving limiting the points through which the network can be accessed must ensure focus on ensuring the IBMS’s isolation meets the required specifications and the access is limited to necessary situations. The firewall considerations must ensure that the entire transition points that allow inflow or outflow are safeguarded by the firewall.

The considerations concerning the user access management must encompass the use of various solutions like password control, central authorization, network monitoring, and user management among others. Other devices such as the workstations, routers, and other implanted controllers also require further restriction. The other aspects for consideration during this phase include the unique and enhanced authentication strategies used like the use of smart cards, biometric, or a multi-factor authentication that combine two methods.

The remote access restriction consideration involves accessing the factors like utilizing an encrypted connection that is secure and requires authentication of the various sessions that are performed remotely, secure protocol usage, SNMP risk evaluation, developing a DMZ , and utilizing a two-factor authentication strategy (Thornton & Lanthem, 2006). While selecting the components of the IBMS, the manager must select the devices that promote encryption, logging capability, built-in locks, and IDS additional provision. These features will ensure the security manager is able to control unauthorized access, detect breaches, and continuously monitor the events of the system. The wireless technology choice of the manager must also exhibit built-in firewalls as well as support increased encryption (Nichols & Lekkas, 2002).

Security consideration during installation

The security manager’s considerations during this phase must encompass the factors like firewall configurations, user-account configuration, system device hardening, and facilitating threat detection. These factors are necessary because some systems used in the BMS can affect the efficiency of the IBMS. It is, therefore, necessary for the manager to ensure that continuous evaluations of the systems linked with the IBMS during installations are made.

It is also necessary to ensure the new devices involved in the installation are updated using the cutting-edge security versions to eliminate any potential security vulnerabilities that might affect future operations. The manager is also supposed to protect the IBMS during the process of installation because it might be exposed to external attacks during the process. The manager is, therefore, expected to isolate the system until the point all the necessary security strategies have been implemented. By hardening the devices linked to the system, the security manager must consider to independently evaluate the devices to identify the available services as well as ports, evaluate the sources that can enable malicious software to affect the IBMS, and ensure the in-built security features of the linked devices are enabled at all times.

In addition, the manager must consider to ensure the host devices are automatically updated by enabling the features for updates and ensuring firewall software configuration. The manager must configure user accounts by limiting unnecessary access, limiting the user password duplication, and ensuring that passwords are periodically updated. Finally, the manager is responsible for detecting and aiding the efforts of threat mitigation by considering the suitable procedures to be utilized in the process.

Security in operation

The security manager is accountable for the activities concerning security that continue after the process of installation. The manager must consider how to manage factors such as system monitoring, patch management, account management, IBMS awareness, continuous auditing and the maintenance of the firewall. Monitoring the system constantly will enable the security manager to swiftly detect breaches, and hence take immediate steps to mitigate the damage. The activities concerning the user accounts management involves the actions that must be taken to ensure the previous occupants of the building are not able to access the system’s services.

The process of changing the access information must be completed across all the access controls. The factor of managing security patches involves the considerations concerning the procedures, policies, and the personnel assistance joined together to assist the continuous security potential threats. These considerations are necessary because they will assist a manger to implement a plan that protects the systems from the interruptions caused by the threats. The considerations for a backup as well as recovery strategy is necessary because it will assist in safeguarding the system’s specifics.

The manager musts also consider the strategies of creating awareness amongst the users of the system. The awareness must focus on the security needs the responsibilities of all the users. The manager must consider to continuously review the firewall to ensure that the system is constantly safeguarded. The considerations concerning the continuous auditing of the system’s security performance is necessary to ensure the measures adopted are working effectively.


The IBMS vulnerabilities identified to cause a negative impact on the security of the occupants of intelligent high-rise buildings are numerous and risky. The benefits that the system generates, however are significant in the modern era. It is, therefore critical that the security manager is capable of analysing the potential risks, understanding the criticalities of the system, achieving the required network isolation level, and integrating all the departments that are involved with the development and operation of the IBMS to ensure the essential security considerations are made in all the stages involving the entire process.


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