The demand for energy efficiency, facility management, tenant experiences, and service innovation is growing fast. Hence, a smart automation system is becoming a solid technology foundation for next-generation buildings.
Real estate significantly contributes to carbon dioxide emissions, as occupied buildings account for over 40% of the global energy consumption. Across the world, many buildings have been upgrading and expanding technological innovations that can boost operational performance and sustainable practice. To this end, smart building automation systems can enhance buildings’ healthy environmental, social and economic systems.
What is a Smart Building Automation System?
As building management and the Internet of things (IoT) converge in the 2000s, smart building automation systems (BAS) appear as a solution to optimization opportunities. Basic functions of a smart BAS include monitoring and controlling the environment of building facilities on a single platform. Hence, it ensures operational performance and occupants’ safety and comfort. What makes it more advanced and special is the seamless integration of configurable controls with data-driven equipment.
There are two essential components undergirding the system to surpass the conventional BAS. The first one is IoT-powered meters that facilitate building supervision. They can connect thousands of sensors to measure utility uses such as electrical power, natural gas, water in real-time. With that said, building supervisors could monitor the overall operations of the building via one dashboard.
Secondly, it is the advanced analytics system that analyzes data collected across meters and sensors. The outcomes would provide actionable insights on predictive maintenance and prevention from unexpected downtime. Through this integration, building managers can extract valuable information to adjust operations accordingly and achieve a high return on investment.
What makes smart BAS stand out?
Deliver real-time visibility and insights into building operations
In modern BAS deployment, advanced energy analytics and reporting can deliver visibility and insights into building operations in real-time. The old-school automation systems are incapable of this.
With the aid of IoT-enabled devices and sensors attached to individual zones, the system allows managers to dive into energy consumption patterns, heat-loads by zone, occupancy metrics and more, to detect pressures on the power grid for prompt adjustment within the systems. Additionally, it can notify managers with predictive analytics when equipment maintenance and servicing are needed.
With such advanced features, the building operation can achieve new operational efficiencies and enormous savings. According to Deloitte analysts, smart BAS could help organizations reduce 30-50% energy usage or more in existing buildings. Larsen and Toubro Infotech, one of the largest IT companies in India, has saved over 55% on power thanks to this system.
Improve occupants health and productivity
Apart from mitigating the facility management, the smart BAS can improve occupants’ health and productivity. By constantly monitoring different variables, IoT-powered BAS proactively maintains thermal, air quality, and lighting levels at healthy levels. With better indoor temperature, air quality, and lighting systems, occupants are more comfortable and more beneficial. Moreover, the smart sensors installed in each zone enable management teams to offer customized experiences to their end-users. For example, occupants can adjust the temperature in their area via mobile applications without compromising comfort elsewhere. They can also provide feedback and ratings about the working conditions to the building managers. Building managers would enjoy a high occupancy rate and large return on investment by facilitating a comfortable, healthy, and technology-enabled work environment.
Last but not least, it is hassle-free for building owners to modernize old systems into IoT-powered BAS without incurring outrageous costs. Battery-operated IoT sensors are inexpensive and easily adapted for the current automation systems of the building. With robust, scalable, and low-power IoT connectivity, we can integrate sensors across the facility to capture comprehensive insights into diverse building functions and distributed assets. The existing sensors can easily be relocated or installed along the line as new business requirements and renovation needs arise.
A smart building automation approach has proved that it could be more than just an energy saver. With the development of new technologies such as 5G, or AI, the smart building automation system will shape the future of building operations.