Archive for the ‘Introduction’ Category

Lonworks – Control Network for Building Automation

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

 An introduction to Lonworks

Lonworks networks really describe a complete solution to the problem of control systems. Like the computer industry, the control industry was, and in many cases is, creating centralized control solutions based on point-to-point wiring and hierarchical logic systems. This meant that you had a “master” controller, like a computer or programmable logic controller, physically wired to individual control, monitoring and sensing points, or “slaves.” The net result worked, but was expensive and difficult to maintain, expand, and service. It was also very expensive to install.

Lonworks networks started out with some very simple notions – control systems are fundamentally the same regardless of application; a networked control system is significantly more powerful, flexible, and scaleable than a non-networked control system; and businesses can save and make more money building control networks over the long term than they can with non-networked control systems.

Where and how is Lonworks used?
Lonworks networks can be found in all key building automation sub-systems including heating, ventilating, and air conditioning, lighting, boilers, air handlers, security, elevators, fire detection, access control, energy monitoring, irrigation control, and window blinds. In factories, Lonworks technology can be found performing a multitude of industrial tasks — from running wastewater treatment plants to checking paint colors to monitoring the arrival of parts at assembly stations. Lonworks is supported by Echelon.


LonMark is a proprietary protocol developed by the Echelon Corporation in conjunction with Motorola in the early 1990s. The LonMark standard is based on the proprietary communications protocol called LonTalk. The LonTalk protocol establishes a set of rules to manage communications within a network of cooperating devices. To simplify implementation of the protocol, Echelon chose to work with Motorola to develop a specialized communications microprocessor called the Neuron. Through the use of this chip and its supporting software, the protocol establishes how information is exchanged between devices. Because much of the communications protocol is contained on the chip, system designers and installers can focus on other aspects of the system.

While LonTalk addresses the issue of how devices communicate, it does not consider the content of the communication. A second protocol, known as LonWorks, defines the content and structure of the information that is exchanged. LonWorks is a distributed control system that operates on a peer-to-peer basis, meaning any device can communicate with any other device on the network or use a master-slave configuration to communicate between intelligent devices. The LonWorks platform supports a wide range of communications media.

LonWorks-compatible devices communicate with each other through what is known as a Standard Network Variable Type or SNVT. While a SNVT defines a device just as an object does for BACnet, its approach is somewhat different. For a SNVT to function, both the sending and the receiving devices must have detailed knowledge of what the SNVT structure is. Therefore each SNVT is identified by a code number that allows the receiving device to properly interpret the transmitting data.

Initially, LonWorks did not define what a particular SNVT code meant. This resulted in confusion between vendors who used the same code to mean different things. To eliminate the confusion and to standardize SNVT codes, the LonMark Interoperability Association was formed in 1994. Made up of hundreds of manufacturers and integrators, one of its primary goals was to lay out standard methods for implementing the LonWorks technology.

To ensure that any device installed in a LonMark system will work properly with other devices, LonMark requires that in order to carry the LonMark logo, products must have been verified to conform to the LonMark protocol. LonMark uses a Web-based tool to reduce the time and cost for certifying devices.

One of the more recent innovations made by LonMark is the network profile. The idea behind the network profile is that no matter who makes a particular device used in a building system, such as a variable speed drive, all like devices will perform a similar function. To ease and speed system installation, LonMark then defines how a particular device should function on the network, from the points included to how they are named. This predefined network profile is the minimum profile for any connected devices. Manufacturers can add additional items to the predefined profile based on their particular product, giving them flexibility while maintaining simplicity and interoperability.

LonWorks has been accepted and adopted by the international standards organizations (ANSI/CEA 709.1 and IEEE 1473-L).


Saturday, April 11th, 2009

I have worked on Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) technical groups on Intelligent building solutions.  Undertaking evaluations and consulting research on various products, services, solutions and standards to support of procurement, development, troubleshoot and performance-tune these applications, and how to specify and successfully get installers to comply with these requirements at minimum of effort by the contractor / installer to comply with the end user requirements.

David has in the past assisted & supporting technical submissions to ACE, BRISA, BOC, CABA, CIBSE & RIBA. In 2006, in conjunction with Paul Mason developed the BRISA, consulting engineers design / production duties detail key stage publication.


2007  –  Teaching homes to be green: Smart homes and the environment – Green Alliance

The Green Alliance approached David to help them with their new best practice guidelines, with Gordon Brown’s latest prioritisation on green living, David’s advise was in a select group of quite a few rather impressive co authorities, including:  The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The DTI, The Environment Agency, The Energy Savings Trust, Defra, CLG, The BRE to say nothing of The Prime Minister’s Office itself.

Channel 4 – Grand Designs 2008

David was appointed to assist in the design a special housing project, on Channel 4 – Kevin McLeod’s “Grand Designs”, which was broadcast in April 2008.


Promotion of Automated commercial buildings:

For the US and Canadian markets, I’m known as an evangelist on promoting BI benefits worldwide and is regularly requested to give talks, presentations, workshops and seminars overseas on the subject to both to national / federal governments organisations, trade association groups and at International conferences about advance building services and IIT solutions, including BOMA, CABA, IET, Infocom & Realcom at various international venues.

Attended CABA Intelligent Buildings Town Hall – Realcomm07, held at Hynes Convention Centre – Boston USA relating to a special Intelligent Buildings Task Force to share and discuss some of the key objectives for the industry

CABA Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forum – InfoComm07.

I was asked by CABA to give a speech and a workshop at the Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forum, relating to IIT solutions and the opportunities, training, risks and rewards within this industry, held at Hilton, Anaheim, USA, in conjunction with InfoComm Conference & Exhibition. CABA’s feedback was very positive. CABA reported that “David received the loudest applause of any of the speakers”, relating to Davmark’s IIT solution held at Hilton Anaheim USA – Infocomm07.

InfoComm is the world’s largest tradeshow in the professional audiovisual industry held in the USA. Nearly 28,000 attendees attended.

David Slade – about me

Saturday, April 11th, 2009



I commenced work as an apprentice electrician, and have gone on over the last 25 years to hold senior design and management positions working within multinational and SME companies, within Building Services built environment, with a wide range of knowledge, expertise and experience, in tacking major capital projects with confidence. I have worked on a vast range of design solutions for different industries and uses.

To be one of the best you need to understand the project communications,  design responsibilities and client confidentiality, when working with clients on internationally-known projects, with curious media interests looking for a story.

Unusually for a engineer trained person. I’ve also had has experience for client’s offering  business development, taking manufacturing products and other professional services to market.

That’s without the cause related charity work.

Known as the ‘Third sector’ – That another different world again.

This is a major clash of mind sets, as they don’t normally fully understand each other.

For the engineer:

Works with facts, engineering physics, rules & regulations, building codes and regulations, use standards to determine what to select and use. Prove with calculations, and designed so that it can be constructed by others.

Computer: Intel computer with Microsoft software: Word, excel, Autocad and other specialist software being used.

Output: drawings, reports, specifications……..For a tender issue – Box or CD full of paper work (A4, A3, A0) bound / loose for copying by others.


For advertising it’s generally about branding and a single message to market, using as little amount of words and images, as possible to communicate this to the intended customer.

Designer: Images, phase, image, look and feel.

Computer:  Apple G5 – (What other computer’s could my client be using then? Intel whats that?)

Output: Dependent on output media: One image, tag line or a poster.

The effort is getting to this delivery point.

Marketing is different it’s about planning and ‘the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably’. This definition covers just about every aspect of business, from what you pay for your raw materials, right through to how you make, price, distribute, advertise and sell the ‘look and feel’ of the product / service.

Designers and publishers:  Apple G5

Management: G5 / Intel computers

I’m also internationally known for my developed in Integrated Information Technology (IIT) design approach solutions.

I’m regularly requested to present these ideas at various seminar / leadership forums and workshops internationally, including CABA Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forums, relating to leading edge IIT solutions and business opportunities, risks and rewards. Introduced and defined “Lifetime Freedom Homes” to the industry.

Welcome to my world


Hello world!

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


This is my blog site!

David Slade