Maintenance keeps equipment working and is an important factor in making a building more sustainable. But when maintenance is data-driven, it becomes even more powerful.
As a leader in architectural engineering, Pennsylvania State University has been at the forefront of sustainable building technology, with the university committed to making its campus more energy efficient while also designing and testing cutting-edge energy appliances and power systems. This primarily happens in two university-owned buildings in the decommissioned Philadelphia Navy Yard. There, researchers test energy systems and experiment with real-world solutions to support sustainable construction.
Equipment malfunctions. Energy waste. Leaks. Uncomfortable conditions. Addressing these concerns promptly has long been a key responsibility for property managers. But the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics software that continually tracks building data are changing when and how such concerns are addressed. By integrating analytics and IoT, property management can become easier and more effective than ever before.
Though automated building management systems work towards improving energy efficiency, one of the biggest obstacles in achieving energy reduction is human beings. These include developers, building owners, facilities managers, tenants and other building occupants, designers, construction companies, and architects. As anyone who has been involved in a major project knows, the more people involved, the more difficult it becomes to reach agreement.
There are countless ways for commercial property owners to lower their building operating costs. These expenses can include property taxes, insurance premiums, utilities, upkeep of infrastructure like HVAC and other systems, repairs, renovations, or payments to contractors who contribute to the upkeep and operations of the structure. Reducing costs can be achieved through hiring expert tax accountants, renegotiating contracts, passing some of these costs on to tenants, or investing in infrastructure to reduce these expenses.
A building automation system allows for the control of a building’s operations through a central point, using automated means to manage HVAC, electrical, lighting, security, and other systems. These can vary in complexity, depending on the building type and primary objectives for installing it. But while each system should be customized for each building, there are basic elements the best building automation systems (BASs) have in common.
Fred Betz implements initiatives to promote sustainability at healthcare facilities around the world. He also helps develop compliance documentation for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). His work relies on the “predicted mean vote” (PMV), a thermal comfort model used to anticipate the temperatures people consider comfortable based on climate, culture, and how people dress.
It’s tempting to compare a fully operational building to a living organism. It’s a common metaphor, and it’s easy to see why. Both have complex structures with myriad components, all working in their own specialized way while simultaneously affecting each other. Communication between these components is vital to the well-being of the organism.
The evolution of building automation systems for hospitals comes as the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies have lowered the costs of automation and are opening up new opportunities for creating safe, healthy, and efficient environments.
Americans spend a lot of time indoors. How much time? According to the EPA, the average American spends as much as 90 percent of their time inside. And a large percentage of that is spent at work. The challenge for facilities managers is to ensure time spent at work is as healthy as possible.