A building automation system no doubt provides building owners and facility managers with a plethora of benefits such as smooth performance, increased efficiency, lower costs and so on. As a result, it might compel you to think why bother to upgrade it when it is working perfectly well? Although it is logical for you to be concerned about this, an upgrade to IoT connected BAS can step up the entire system and provide you with unprecedented benefits that a traditional BAS simply cannot. In this article we discuss how IoT benefits and strengthens your building automation system and leave it up to you to decide whether you should consider updating your system or not.
What is the IoT?
Before we delve into the benefits of integrating IoT and building automation system, let us first take a look at what is the IoT or Internet of Things. IoT is simply utilizing internet connectivity, cellular communication, and sensors or microprocesses to monitor and control things we use in our regular lives from our homes to office to cars. IoT does not only refer to communication over the web via machines rather it starts with web connectivity to devices and sensors, combines powerful data with the goal to generate valuable insights that can be accessed through a user interface. For the Building Automation System (BAS) industry, devices and sensors can be found at the direct digital control (DDC) level such as rooftop HVAC units, lighting fixtures and so on. The use of IoT enabled BAS empowers not only BAS providers and system manufacturers but also a wide range of stakeholders, including facility managers, building owners, energy managers, utility providers as well as building occupants.
How the IoT strengthens Building Automation System
Access to real-time data
With an IoT empowered Building Automation System, as a facility or building manager you can get real-time data of your building systems at your fingertips, anywhere. This access makes it easier for you to monitor and control the various building systems, take prompt and better decisions that help enhance the building system. It also means that the data you receive is simplified and user-friendly, so that you do not always have to rely on technicians to come to your rescue. You also get to see real-time trends, understand them, and take steps that are better for your business. For example, from HVAC monitoring data you can see an area of your property is being overheated or underheated, you can optimize your HVAC system to make sure the problem is solved. This will save energy as well as enhance occupancy comfort.
Holistic overview of building system
Integrating IoT solutions with Building Automation System means more than just controlling your building systems such as HVAC or lighting. It gives you a full overview of the entire building, so you gain better insight into your building operations – whether it is HVAC performance, equipment condition, or security issue. For example, temperature sensors in important assets like chiller can reveal existing issues, provide predictive analysis so that you can take preventive measures and reduce maintenance and repair costs.
Lower utility costs
Since one of the major purposes of building automation system is to reduce utility costs, IoT helps to achieve just that. With traditional BAS, HVAC system could be controlled in a pre-set, uniform manner. However, since everything is predefined, it can result in overheating or underheating some areas. In such cases IoT sensors provide real-time data and enable better in-demand control thereby reducing wasted energy costs. In addition, with easy access to helpful insights, facility managers or building owners can transform their building into an energy saving building by observing trends in lighting or HVAC system and ensuring better management of the system. For example, using submetering with IoT provides property managers as well as users to find out accurate usage of power consumption and take necessary actions to reduce utility costs as well as identify problems.
Reducing carbon footprint
Many industries depend on efficient use of HVAC system to reduce their carbon footprint. An IoT enabled Building Automation System helps in identifying energy waste, reducing energy costs, improving efficiency, and reducing carbon footprint. As a result, for today’s energy conscious facility managers or building owners, investing in IoT connected BAS is a rational step in order to reduce environmental impact of the business.
Enhanced comfort of building occupants
Whether you are a facility manager or a business owner, it is imperative that the building occupants are living or working in a safe, healthy, and comfortable environment to ensure satisfaction as well as productivity. Investing in IoT powered BAS in this case provides you with accurate and better control of the environment thereby elevating occupants’ comfort. Whether it is improving indoor air quality, controlling temperature or lighting, IoT sensors play a powerful role in maintaining a healthy and comfortable indoor ambiance.
In addition, with access to real-time data facility managers can accurately monitor the usage of the property, schedule maintenance, repair or cleaning activities in a timely manner and provide an elevated experience of comfort to the building occupants. This in return fosters productivity and good will among the building occupants, resulting in greater ROI.
In today’s technological advanced era, relying on traditional building automation system is no longer sufficient. Advanced IoT technologies have greatly modernized the building automation system and taken it to a whole new level that gives you better control and management, reduced cost, increased efficiency, and improved comfort level. Connect with A-TECH Engineering – a leading building automation and controls service provider in Toronto to learn more and get custom solutions for your building.