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.
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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.
Over the past half century, green building initiatives have transformed our approach to commercial properties. Today, those developing green buildings usually seek to comply with standards set forth by internationally recognized agencies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. However, these standards tend to focus more on design and material rather than operations. Integrating Internet of Things (IoT) technology into green buildings goes beyond these certifications to allow for building management that supports sustainability on a daily basis.
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.
An intimate jazz concert took place in October 2020, in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, at a downtown bar in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. An audience of less than two dozen students and faculty from the University of Illinois sat listening, all of whom had recently tested negative for Covid-19. For some of the performances, the musicians performed wearing masks or with covers over their instruments’ mouthpieces; the rest of the time, they did not. While they played, a mechanical engineering professor experimented offstage, altering the airflow at the venue throughout the evening by turning on and off exhaust and recirculation fans. His students monitored air quality to determine how well-ventilated the building was by measuring the presence of fine particles and carbon dioxide concentrations.
During the summer of 2020, the United Kingdom’s government responded to substantial pressure from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to prioritize energy efficiency in an effort to revive the economy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the government committed £1 billion to retrofit public sector buildings. This “green recovery” not only provides much-needed infrastructure to increase energy efficiency, but is creating jobs throughout the UK, preparing buildings for low-carbon heating, and setting the country on a course to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.