Building automation has long been seen as the key to solving three problems: improving energy efficiency, reducing operating costs, and improving the occupant experience. Over the past decade, the possibilities of automation have greatly expanded, spurring building owners and facilities managers to invest heavily in automation systems in both new buildings and legacy properties..
Building Automation System Integrators: How to Find a Partner That Can Provide Total Network Connectivity
The investment in a next-generation building automation system is no longer a luxury or even a differentiator: it’s a must-have. Tenants and occupants demand the convenience and health and wellness benefits that come from automated controls and management. Automation is key to reducing energy costs and increasing productivity, but only when features are integrated and used correctly.
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are critical for teams to track the performance of their commercial building’s operational systems. Gathering and understanding data around areas such as energy efficiency, maintenance, air quality, and security are essential for implementing building operation improvement strategies.
Building management system vs. building automation system—is there a difference?
Even seasoned facilities managers may be surprised to find that building management system (BMS) and building automation system (BAS) are largely used interchangeably. Both terms refer to computer-based control platforms installed within commercial buildings that control and monitor mechanical and electrical equipment, such as HVAC, electric power systems, lighting, ventilation, and other core functions.
Whether you manage all aspects of your facilities or contract out maintenance and integration services, a fluid operation is essential to the success of commercial properties. This means attending to multiple, evolving, and, often, competing priorities—and compromised productivity can quickly have a negative impact.
Deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in commercial buildings and the universal network connectivity of equipment is increasingly investigated and pursued by owners, facility managers, and contractors. Their impact on building automation systems can be significant, opening up opportunities for improved efficiency, better operational performance, and enhanced occupant comfort. But security concerns should be considered carefully to ensure the introduction of these technologies does not create new vulnerabilities.
In 2019, the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, issued a clear advisory about Optergy’s Proton/Enterprise Building Management System after finding that “successful exploitation of [specific] vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to achieve remote code execution and gain full system access.”
Today’s commercial buildings account for more than 35 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States. And in most commercial buildings, heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) systems consume more than 30 percent of total energy use.
The past year has been a time of tremendous transformation for many of us, including those who own, operate, or service commercial buildings. COVID-19 has changed occupant priorities and habits. Environmental and economic concerns are increasing the need for efficiency. Emerging technologies are redefining how buildings are designed and managed.
Commercial buildings are one of the major sources of a city’s greenhouse gas emissions. With climate change becoming a global concern and widespread regulations to reduce carbon emissions, sustainable buildings are not just a good idea, but a necessity. Yet, sustainable building operations are usually not among the key priorities of building owners or facilities managers.