Creating a Green Building Environment with a Building Automation System

April 5, 2017

A Green Building Environment (GBE) is efficient, productive, comfortable, safe and healthy, and supports the business needs of the occupants. Building owners and managers face several challenges in establishing optimum levels for each of these components of GBE. Building owners invest in Building Automation System(s) (BAS) to automate their buildings. A well-utilized BAS helps operate a building at optimum efficiency, lowers operating costs, enhances comfort levels, increases productivity, improves code compliance, and maintains a GBE.

Understanding building automation and control systems

Understanding building automation and control systems is easy once you know what information they collect; realise how they use that information; and can identify the individual control systems that make up the integrated whole. Building automation systems use motion sensors, access card readers, and closed circuit cameras to determine whether an area is occupied. Then the building automation system shares that information among the various control systems, which put that information to use, adjusting systems to reduce energy waste while still ensuring that tenants are comfortable. The component systems and the way they use that information include:

  • Lighting Control

When tenants enter and leave a building area, the building automation system switches lights on or off accordingly. Time and zone controls can also be employed that automatically turn lights off according to a set schedule.

  • Temperature Control

Temperature control technology is used to turn the HVAC system on and off according to occupancy information. Designated schedules (time of day, week, etc.) can also be implemented to ensure that a set temperature point is maintained whenever the building is occupied. Users can employ an Automatic Tenant Override (ATO) that allows users to adjust the temperature settings using their smartphone or tablet so their section of the building is at the desired temperature when they arrive in the morning.

  • Air Quality Control

To safeguard tenants from potential harm caused by poor air , building automation systems provide indoor air monitoring and testing that identifies and eliminates unsafe levels of CO, CO2, and NO2 in buildings and parking garages; the integrated solution can also control humidity and remove unwanted odors to improve occupant comfort and health.

Benefits Of Building Automation Systems

Integrated building automation offers benefits in many areas including limiting environmental impact, saving on energy costs and improving building security and safety. The systems not only regulate building functions, they compile data to help building managers determine ways to further cut costs and increase the efficiency and comfort of their buildings.

Energy Savings

it is estimated that a BAS can save a business between 5% and 30% on utility costs by managing HVAC and lighting systems. HVAC and lighting are the two largest users of energy in modern buildings and are usually the first systems to be automated. Wireless BAS systems can monitor every zone of the building and make instant adjustments to maintain comfort while lowering energy usage. Lighting can be reduced remotely in areas of the building that are not occupied which also cuts energy costs.

Environmental Impact

By reducing the energy usage of a building, a BAS also reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. A BAS can be integrated into plumbing systems to monitor and reduce water usage. By eliminating waste, these systems help buildings use resources more efficiently and reduce their impact on the environment. The systems also allow third parties, like government agencies, to collect data and validate the amount of energy consumed by the building.

Improved Security

The need for security depends on the nature of the business conducted in the building. A BAS can be programmed to lock doors and turn off lights at a designated time. Should an employee wish to access the building after that time, a key card will allow access and the system will turn on the lights in the area where the employee is working, but nowhere else. The system can also be programmed to control exterior lights in parking lots and security cameras. Should a security breach occur, the system will notify appropriate personnel.

Building Maintenance

In addition to monitoring energy usage, an integrated BAS monitors and collects data from all the zones in the building and reports the results on the system’s computer. By reviewing the information provided by the BAS, an operator can identify and diagnose operational problems early without having to send a technician to locate it. Finding operational problems early and correcting them saves on the cost of building maintenance and prevents breakdowns which can interrupt business operations.

At Anglo African, our automation solutions are based on intelligent installation system that meets the highest requirements for applications in modern building control. KNX technology (http://www.knx.org) is accepted as the world’s first open standard for the control of all types of intelligent buildings – industrial, commercial or residential. Our solutions are for new and existing buildings and is extendible/adaptable to new needs.

Are you looking to improve the efficiency of your business . Learn how Anglo African team can help you to implement an automation strategy for your enterprise needs. The Anglo African team is fully committed to helping you in achieving your  new vision to drive operations to the fullest potential. For specific queries, get in touch with Navin by calling on: 2331636 or via e-mail at navin.mautbar@infosystems.mu

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