Commercial buildings account for nearly half of total energy consumption in the U.S. at a cost of more than $300 billion per year. Much of that energy is wasted through inefficiencies, resulting in significant and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. The energy waste also translates to higher electricity bills that can be avoided by adopting a strategic energy management approach.
Many larger structures pair their HVAC systems with chiller plants to keep their indoor spaces cool. According to the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Star program, only 18% of commercial floor space in the United States uses chiller systems. But that number rises to nearly 40% when we look at commercial buildings over 100,000 square feet. Chiller systems are common in airports, shopping malls, factories, hotels, and hospitals.
The fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) features in building analytics software are powerful tools to eliminate energy waste and reduce costs. A 2020 report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Smart Energy Analytics Campaign found that FDD produces a median energy savings of 9%. In commercial properties and public buildings, this adds up to significant savings.
More than 30% of the energy consumed in the United States each year can be attributed to HVAC systems in buildings. And much of that energy is likely wasted because most of those systems don’t work as efficiently as they could. Optimizing HVAC systems and fixing faults could reduce overall energy consumption by 5-15%.
The introduction of smart technology has rapidly improved the sophistication of integrated building management system architecture. With building management increasingly dependent upon connected devices and systems, the role of automated building systems and the need for advanced system architecture will continue to expand, too.
Analytics software with machine learning (ML) algorithms is an invaluable asset for facilities managers. These platforms make sense of the raw data the sensors collect from a building’s various systems to detect anomalies, trends, and opportunities for improvement. They drive advanced automation strategies and act as the brains of cutting-edge smart buildings.
Modern automated building management systems (BMSs) offer significant benefits for both building owners and tenants. They improve capabilities for monitoring, maintaining, and managing equipment to reduce energy usage and associated expenses, improve comfort, and maintain a healthy indoor environment. They not only add to the value of an asset, but can increase the income it generates. However, building management systems involve specialized installation, programming, and maintenance. This requires capital investment.
Smart technologies are changing building management system standards. The days of building managers and maintenance teams simply monitoring operations and reacting to problems are over. Today, optimizing operations, providing the best occupant experiences, meeting efficiency goals, and remaining profitable requires that building systems work together seamlessly.
Limiting access to software applications, building systems, and IT infrastructure is critical for building security. This means it’s important to put in place an identity management system that identifies and authenticates users to ensure only authorized individuals can access building systems and data. Today, such systems can be integrated directly into your building management system (BMS). These systems can include passcodes or passwords, radio frequency identification (RFID), MFA devices, and biometrics.
Historically, installation of lighting systems and controls was kept separate from other building systems. But this siloed approach no longer makes sense in an age of smart building technology. Building owners and facilities managers are realizing that integrating an intelligent building management system with lighting controls is a powerful way to lower energy costs and improve performance.