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Improve Efficiency through Building Automation

BOMA/GLA Education

Building automation is a series of controls, wireless or wired, that connect multiple systems within a building to a single platform where everything can be managed. Building automation systems give building managers access to equipment performance and usage in real time.

Effectively, this allows users to access information from any device, such as their phone or computer, to analyze the hours of operation for systems such as HVAC or lighting. Building management can view trends on when certain utilities are used, how often, and to what degree throughout the year.

improve efficiency through automation

The key component of a building automation system is called a controller which acts as the “brain”. It collects information from the sensors and then sends commands to systems such as:

  • HVAC
  • Lighting
  • Security
  • Card and keypad access
  • Fire alarm system
  • Elevators/escalators
  • Plumbing

Benefits of Building Automation

Building automation brings with it more efficient building operations including improved occupant comfort, cost savings due to a reduction in energy usage, increased productivity, and better data insight.

Automation enables multiple types of equipment to communicate with one another. For example, motion detectors can be used in a space to alert the HVAC system when to adjust the temperature to improve occupant comfort based on when someone is in the office, and then alert it to power down when no one is present.

Integrating automation and communication between multiple systems is a great step in making your building as efficient as possible. Building automation controls that provide immediate access to data for building owners through a web-based interface can catch problems and finely-tune any necessary adjustments from anywhere.

How to Automate Your Building’s Systems

In order to automate your building’s systems, each individual system will have to be linked to each other via a control unit or dashboard. The control unit will then be able to relay instructions to each system individually for when they are supposed to be turned on or off.

Based on the relevance of the technology in your property, it may be able to be updated to link together or you may have to upgrade to new technology that can become automated. Most buildings built after 2000 were equipped with building automation systems in order to make buildings more efficient.

Increase the Value of Your Property

While the upfront cost varies based on what you are connecting, how many systems, and whether you want the controls to be wireless or wired, the long-term cost savings can improve the value of your property. Automation provides managers with quality data on how systems are performing which enables teams to discover better ways to manage operations and maintenance, while controllers can regulate benefits like tenant comfort and better air quality.

Data collection allows for real time information so managers can see exactly what is happening with the building’s equipment. This reduces the need for costly service calls and visual inspections to isolate a potential problem. Management can see where issues are and deploy teams where needed to immediately resolve issues.

In addition to the system’s data collection benefits, value is improved through utility cost reduction. The system’s controllers send messages through HVAC sensors. These sensors save energy by regulating the temperature when tenants are physically present in the building and immediately lowering it when they leave. This control system maintains comfortable temperatures improving the occupant’s experience.

Building automation systems improve energy efficiency, increase your property value, and improve sustainability. Speak with a professional today to find out what steps you need to take to automate your building.

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