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Building Environment Monitoring and Detection Systems

In the UK, the weather extremes we typically experience can place extra stress on the systems used to manage building environments. Weather conditions change daily with weekly tracking of weather events sometimes showing extremes from sub-zero temperatures and spring-like temperatures.

Environmental monitoring systems are considered as critical in comms rooms, server rooms and data centres. With a centralised system the entire space can be monitored for unwanted events. The same system can also be expanded to help protect other building areas and reduce overall operational costs. For some instances, the monitoring systems also help to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations, protecting materials from damage and people from related occupational health & safety incidents.

Weather Related Risks

There are several risks associated with wide ranging weather patterns. Firstly, they place extra loads on building heating, cooling and ventilation systems which must respond as a cybernetic system to their thermostat controls. More energy is used as these systems try to heat up, cool down, and manage humidity levels. Heavier workloads can lead to system failures, especially in poorly maintained air conditioning and boiler systems. Weather extremes can also lead to local flooding and burst pipes, presenting the risk of water leakage inside critical IT environments.

Environmental Event Detection and Monitoring Systems

The AKCP range of environmental monitoring solutions is based on the robust technology developed for the sensorProbe+ hardware platform. Each device has plug-in RJ45 IP sensor points, starting from a 1-port device to models with 4, 8 and 16 ports. Additional third-party systems can be monitored using digital inputs/output (DI/DO) terminal connections.
SensorProbe+ actively monitors its environment on a 24/7 basis analysing the data collected and checking with alarm threshold points for deviations. The most installed sensors are for temperature, humidity, and water leakage/flood. Air flow, motion detection, access control, fire and smoke detectors can provide additional information that can be coupled with local IP camera footage for further investigation.

As soon as such an event is seen, a push notification is triggered which can be via email, SMS text, phone call or SNMP to provide a critical alert warning. Instant notifications allow organisations, engineers, and managers the opportunity to analyse the information gathered and take corrective and preventative measures, protecting critical systems and helping to ensure business continuity.

This means that the ACKP SensorPobe+ can help protect businesses, organisations, industrial facilities, retail distribution warehouses and many other types of building environments from damage and downtime. Ensuring service uptime, protecting reputations, minimising costs that can result from the damage over temperatures, high or low humidity levels, power outages, burst water pipes and local flooding.

The AKCP system can also help to reduce operational costs. Temperature and humidity monitoring provides data on the operational performance of local Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Warning building engineers and IT managers when an air condition is overcooling or lowering humidity to unnecessary levels wastes energy. Allowing room temperatures to rise when there are no active workers still provides a suitable environment for IT systems to operate and is a recommendation from ASHRAE.

For more information see:
Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments, Fifth Edition

Industry Compliance

Several industries must implement systems to monitor and record environmental data to ensure compliance, operational and product safety. Examples include food preparation, storage and distribution, pharmaceutical process control manufacturing, hospital, healthcare related buildings and scientific laboratories.

The AKCP range of plug-in sensors, base units and monitoring platforms provides an ideal solution to help manage industry compliance. By gathering data and issuing push-notifications when operational environments change, the system helps businesses and organisations to maintain compliance to industry standards. Data logs provide evidence for interna land external audits and reports for third party bodies. With an AKCP system in place areas can be monitored for intruders and unauthorised access, power outages, water ingress into cabinets and the accidental power-off of cold storage systems including fridges and freezers.

Smart Buildings and Sustainability

The term ‘smart building’ is closely aligned with building energy efficiency but what does the term mean? A smart building is one that integrates building-wide infrastructure systems including HVAC, electrical power, lighting, alarms, and security, into a singled managed network.

Smart building technologies provide a way to automate building management. Converging disparate systems provides the data and control required to save energy and ensure a building operates more ‘intelligently’ to operational and occupancy demands. This type of practice helps to make a building more sustainable, allowing money that would typically be spent in an operational budget on electricity and gas, to be used for further investment. A typical example being a hotel with fluctuating occupancy levels that needs to maintain a set room temperature (for environmental health) when there is no-one in the room during the day or overnight if unoccupied.

More information:

Building Management Systems

A building management system (BMS) is sometimes referred to as a building automation system (BAS) and is an IT-based system used to detect, monitor, and control critical building infrastructure systems.

In smarter buildings, AKCP sensorProbe+ units can be deployed to monitor similar environmental parameters to a server room or datacentre, temperature and humidity, airflow, access, power, and energy usage.
Small AKCP sensorProbe SP1+ and SP2+ devices can be deployed at key points within a building to gather data to help to automate HVAC operations and save energy. Larger SensorProbe+ SPX8 and SPX16 models can be deployed within server cabinets throughout a facility to provide BMS type data through the AKCPro Server software monitoring platform. Typical uses can include hospitals, retail outlets, warehouses, and distribution centres.

The "AKCPro Server Central Monitoring Software2: can be run on-premises or as a cloud-based application and provides a user-creatable dashboard for monitoring key areas and information. Drill down is available to historical data logs. The mapping tool can also be used to show geographically disperse facilities or a campus site, with individual rooms drawn up to show data points and modelling.


The AKCP sensorProbe system is fully scalable and can be adapted to suit a facility as it changes over time. An AKCP system not only helps to safeguard and protect operational asset and reduce operating costs. AKCP systems help to protect IT operations from sudden events that can interrupt business operations. They can also be used as a building management system to provide a comprehensive overview of a building, not only providing automated alerts but the data needed to manage, control, and reduce energy usage.

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