As control systems used in manufacturing, in process, in infrastructure and utilities, and in buildings converge, ISA has become a resource for information and technology about building automation. Modern buildings are complex structures with many aspects. This is true whether the building is an office tower or a manufacturing plant.
For example, every modern building contains a complete water distribution system, and some even maintain water treatment and disposal facilities inside them. These systems require instruments like flow meters, level sensors, pressure transmitters, wet chemistry analyzers and an entire set of controllers. These controllers will send signals to valves, variable frequency drives, and other final control elements, using either analog wiring or, more likely, digital networking protocols, either wired or wireless.
Temperature, humidity, and lighting must also be monitored and controlled in any modern building. Fire controls and alarm management are important to any modern building. And modern HMI panels that are indistinguishable from a process control system are used to visualize it all.
Anyone who is in charge of a modern building, who is a building engineer, operator, or maintenance worker, is working with some of the most complex automation systems ever designed. Just the algorithms to operate air handlers and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are extremely complex, such as the air herding algorithms ISA's Béla Lipták designed for IBM's world headquarters and now in common use.
New trends in building automation include air conditioning and heating systems and lighting systems that react to the presence or absence of people automatically. New in boiler control systems is the use of automatic corrosion monitoring and detection systems. And new in security are both increased concern about the cyber security of building control systems and the physical security systems that are often now tied directly into the building's other automation systems.
ISA's web site will provide resources to you as a building automation professional\, and provide technical forums and networking with other building automation professionals experienced and passionate about the subject.