These days, just about anything that happens in a building can be automated. That said, not everything that can be automated should be.
Smart Building Platform
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.
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.
The 1970s energy crisis caused a significant change in how buildings were designed and built, many of which are still in use today. Structures became increasingly airtight and insulated to conserve energy. While these design changes resulted in energy savings, they also reduced the fresh air circulating through a building’s HVAC systems. Additionally, synthetic materials became common in the construction, decoration, and maintenance of built structures.
In 1979, Purdue University held a workshop called The Dynamic Response of Environment Control Processes in Buildings. One of the most lively areas of discussions involved how emerging computer technology could curtail energy usage—a topic that was both new and urgent. In the US Department of Energy’s report on the workshop, we find this prescient statement: