What Is a Master Systems Integrator?
People who work in commercial buildings naturally have some idea how many systems are working...
As a building owner, it’s prudent to evaluate your building management system (BMS) data to determine how efficiently your building performs over time compared to industry standards. This benchmarking can reveal important information, like that your energy consumption is higher than similar buildings. But simply knowing that your energy is unusually high doesn’t mean you have a clear path to reducing your energy bills or improving equipment performance.
When using only a standard BMS, data is limited to a subset of devices and doesn’t provide full visibility into your network, which means problems may not be apparent. If a piece of equipment is wasting energy or malfunctioning, you may not know how to resolve the situation—or that there is anything to resolve. Working with a partner to develop effective, data-driven facilities management improvement strategies and taking an automated approach can allow you to understand exactly what is happening in your building’s network and streamline building management, bringing you closer to truly turnkey property ownership.
There are several common facilities management improvement strategies that owners can use to enhance building management and support turnkey property ownership. However, missed opportunities for operational optimization and true automation are a common complaint. When your system is not operating as efficiently as it should, a master systems integration (MSI) partner who can provide a big-picture view and has extensive controls expertise can make a meaningful difference.
There are two main areas where oversights are typically made: facility performance and maintenance. By integrating an analytics platform with machine learning (ML) capabilities, significant improvements are possible in both of these areas. These platforms gather data from every part of your network and open up new possibilities for automation by allowing you to write custom rules to trigger alarms, notifications, and adjustments. Applying ML algorithms to building data gives analytics software advanced capabilities such as forecasting energy consumption, anticipating performance changes, and offering better improvement suggestions as it learns how your building behaves. When integrated in a well-architected system, this helps turnkey property ownership become a reality.
Today, smart technologies are revolutionizing how facilities perform. For building owners, two of the most important aspects of building performance are:
With growing concerns about air quality, particulate matter, and viral transmission, building owners are faced with not only adhering to industry WELL building standards, but also ensuring occupants feel comfortable and safe. Key areas include:
Monitoring data and automating processes related to these areas allows you to take full advantage of smart technologies and create better building conditions.
Energy is one of the biggest costs of any commercial facility and also one of the biggest areas of potential waste. In fact, Energy Star reports that 30% of a commercial building’s electrical use involves wasted energy consumption. By identifying ongoing energy savings opportunities, companies can realize up to 25% in energy savings on average—and, in some cases, up to 50% in energy savings.
An intelligent analytics platform can streamline processing, monitoring, and reporting of data from your BMS, HVAC equipment, devices, and sensors, pinpointing ways to reduce energy consumption, both immediately and over time. Comparing your building’s energy consumption to energy standard benchmarks as well as its own historical data and correlating variables like equipment performance, fixes, and building conditions are instrumental in forming energy reduction goals and employing the right strategies to achieve them.
For example, historical data trends from your HVAC system may reveal that an energy issue is related to a separate piece of equipment connected to your BMS and not the actual HVAC system. With advanced analytics, you will be armed with an objective—and, potentially, automated—way of correcting suboptimal equipment performance and evaluating the effect on the system as a whole. Data is displayed and can be accessed on demand via customizable reports that provide clear progress updates on efficiency achievements.
One of the key reasons intelligent analytics can produce significant performance improvements is the way it transforms ongoing maintenance. Rather than relying on interval-based or reactive maintenance, the advanced fault detection and diagnostics capabilities of these platforms allow for a more sophisticated maintenance model. Malfunctions can be detected instantly or even predicted, alarms can be prioritized, and problems can be quickly isolated. In many cases, the platform can make automatic adjustments to eliminate the need for manual intervention or recommend solutions to simplify the troubleshooting process. With a mobile dashboard, many of these solutions may be possible to implement remotely, minimizing site visits.
Additionally, intelligent analytics can confirm that maintenance has been performed and validate fixes to improve transparency with contractors and refine your overall facilities management improvement strategy.
Turnkey property ownership is a highly desirable goal, but many struggle to achieve it. Working with an integration partner with deep domain expertise can help you develop facility management improvement strategies and integrate smart technologies that make sense for your building. This includes deploying an intelligent analytics platform, defining KPIs, identifying automation opportunities, creating custom setpoints and priority filters, and configuring a mobile-first dashboard that allows all stakeholders to access relevant data from anywhere. With the right products and services, you will be quickly on your way to a turnkey operation and meaningful return on your investment.
Natalie writes about trends in commercial real estate technology, building data analytics, master systems integration and controls for building systems.