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Making premises information available to everyone

Modern buildings are capable of generating a wide range of data on parameters such as local operating conditions and energy consumption. Being able to manage this information through easy-access channels driven by the browser- and SQL-based YIT Niagara system provides owners and residents alike with an excellent resource.
YIT Corporation

YIT’s Niagara platform has been designed around industry standards to provide the different groups of users involved in owning, managing, and using buildings with the information they need in the most appropriate format for their requirements.

Building owners, for example, often have fully computerised maintenance and premises systems today, and the YIT system uses standard XML protocols to transfer reports on alarms, maintenance measures, and energy consumption to these systems. Building management and maintenance companies are often linked into these systems, or can be provided with a separate feed from the relevant database, or can access a building automation system via the Internet. Alarms can be communicated to maintenance personnel directly via SMS messages or e-mail.

End-users have so far lacked a channel for accessing building-related information, however. Which is why YIT has now developed the YIT ExtraNet and the YIT Info Channel.

YIT info channel

A true information resource

Designed primarily for residential buildings, the YIT ExtraNet offers a resource for accessing a mass of information, including the documentation generated during a building’s construction, residential rules and guidelines, operating manuals for domestic appliances, local maps, information on local public transport connections, and instructions on what to do in an emergency. The YIT ExtraNet is also an ideal forum for bulletins and information on topical issues.

Residents can access a YIT ExtraNet through an Internet browser, using their own passwords to see all the relevant information associated with their property. If requested, the system can also provide data on apartment- or house-specific energy and water consumption from a site’s overall management system.

Building managers can use the text editor built into the YIT ExtraNet to produce bulletins for residents, and can also access data, such as overall energy consumption and apartment-specific consumption.

For residents without an Internet connection or older people, who perhaps do not feel comfortable with relying on a PC for information, material can be printed out for distribution via noticeboards or popped through people’s letterboxes.

Extending the YIT Info Channel

The usability of the YIT ExtraNet can be extended even further with the YIT Info Channel, a TV-based resource that can feature selected parts of the information available through a YIT ExtraNet.

In addition to the YIT ExtraNet, the system requires a LAN or GPRS network connection, an Info Channel subsystem, and access to a building’s antenna system, as well as residents’ TVs of course.

The YIT Info Channel offers a cost-effective and reliable resource for providing residents with real-time information on a wide range of topics related to the buildings where they live and the local community.

The relevant pages from a YIT ExtraNet are downloaded automatically to a YIT Info Channel subsystem, with the selection carried out by the relevant building manager.

Transfer connections to a YIT Info Channel takes places via the Internet. Connections can also be handled via wireless GPRS, or DVB-T and WLAN.

A Linux-based embedded unit, developed by First Technology Oy, is equipped with Flash memory for storing the relevant pages to be displayed. Being designed without a hard disc, fans, a PC, or Windows operating system makes the system secure. Further protection can be provided by a firewall, if needed.

All the information you need

The system transfers the information to a preselected TV channel, accessible by TVs connected to either analogue or digital transmissions. TVs in public areas, including vandal-proof flat screen units, can also be set up to broadcast an YIT Info Channel and display information such as a building’s latest bulletins.

A YIT Info Channel can also be further extended, using the in-built software, with information from third parties, such as local shops, libraries, the local municipal authorities, and news channels. This is an ideal way of bringing residents up-to-date with local events and what’s on locally. A Web-based interface is provided for managing more extensive systems.

> Petri Sääskilahti
(Published in High Technology Finland )