Building automation systems: IoT meets facilities management

May 31, 2017

New-building construction as well as retrofit projects provides opportunities for companies in the building automation space. Building managers find motivation in a number of factors. For one, they view a more integrated approach to automation as way to save energy costs. Integration also saves administrative dollars, since it is more efficient to manage systems with one console as opposed to several.

Intelligent building management system

The implementation of an intelligent building management system allows building owners to address all those concerns at one time, by combining various building management systems  and services, considerably improving functionality and overall performance of those systems and integrating them into an enhanced IT infrastructure. Use of an intelligent building management system results in much lower operational costs and increased energy savings through automated energy conservation features.

Motion sensors can register when an area is unoccupied and turn off the lights and lower the temperature; late night cleaning crews can be monitored using passive RFID as they check in, and lights automatically turned on and off as they work through various areas of the building. With the use of IP networks, control is expanded, allowing users to adjust the HVAC settings of the building over their smartphone or tablet so the desired temperature is achieved by the time they arrive. Because they provide a unified operating environment, intelligent building management systems are easy and cost effective to operate and maintain.

The pervasive growth of Internet Protocol (IP) for enterprise data/voice/video communications has brought intelligent building management systems into the 21st century by allowing centralized and consolidated control and monitoring of systems from remote locations via the Internet. IP networks are media independent so each application can operate at the optimum communication speed and cost. All of the various building management systems communicate over the same IP Network, allowing them to be central controlled and coordinated. The Internet is replacing WANs and campus networks, and driving business transformation on every level. As wireless and broadband technologies have resulted in the mobile, 24/7 Internet, changing consumer expectations and use have further fueled business transformations.

How can intelligent building management systems lower energy costs?

In an average commercial building, as much as 30% to 40% of the facility is unoccupied at any given time. The lighting, HVAC, and cooling systems in the building remain on when occupants leave, wasting energy and driving up operating costs. Smart building management systems use motion sensors, access card readers, and passive RFID scanners to detect when tenants exit from any section of the building. Automated energy conservation features turn off the lights and cooling systems in the unoccupied areas.  By eliminating unnecessary energy use and making all the systems in the building work together as effectively as possible, intelligent building management systems can lower energy costs by as much as 30 percent.

How do intelligent building management systems create a comfortable environment?

To insure tenants have a comfortable working environment even in changeable humidity and heat conditions, smart building management systems automatically adjust ventilation and cooling output to maintain precise temperature set points. Tenants who work erratic hours or at unscheduled times can adjust HVAC settings through their tablet or smartphone so the building is at the desired temperature by the time they arrive.


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