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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Many BAS can be accessed from any location with an internet connection so building operators do not have to be on site to access building data. Facilities with more than one building can integrate the systems of all the buildings onto a single front end computer which allows an operator to monitor the entire facility from a single source. Since the system provides the data to diagnose problems, it saves money by reducing the number of employees required to provide building maintenance.
There are many benefits to businesses from the use of BAS in their facilities and each system can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual company. Smart buildings help any business operate more efficiently while providing high levels of comfort and convenience to building operators and tenants.