Industry statistics demonstrate that building automation can yield significant energy savings. The technology optimizes HVAC and lighting settings, lowers utility bills, and empowers facility managers with data-driven decision-making. Successful streamlining is an ongoing process and requires an engaged team to make it work. To ensure success, the streamlining solution must fit your business’ unique workflow and goals.
Energy efficiency is a powerful, cost-effective way to combat climate change, clean the air we breathe, help families meet their budgets and businesses save money, and reduce impacts on health. Energy-efficient technologies, such as LED light bulbs and hybrid vehicles, use less electricity for the same amount of service. Energy-efficient buildings use less electricity for lighting, temperature control, ventilation, and other uses, saving up to 30 percent in utility costs.
A smart building automation and control uses information technology (IT) to connect and integrate multiple systems into a single network infrastructure. This allows for greater efficiencies and better management of building operations. Building operators can adjust HVAC, lighting, and shades using sensors based on occupancy and other factors.
Many barriers to energy efficiency can be overcome with financial incentives. Examples include appliance rebates and utility-sponsored programs for energy efficiency. These are designed to correct market and behavioral failures that can prevent energy-efficient technologies from delivering their full economic benefits. These include various social, cultural, and economic reasons, such as consumer distrust in energy-efficient technology or the lack of incentive to choose the most efficient appliance or vehicle.
A comfortable building environment reduces energy costs and helps occupants concentrate and work more efficiently. This is why buildings must provide various options and settings to meet individual occupant needs. A key to achieving this goal is eliminating energy waste in unoccupied spaces. An automated system can shut off lights or reduce HVAC output when occupants are away. It can also monitor occupant movement and adjust the temperature accordingly.
In addition to reducing energy waste, effective thermal comfort systems increase productivity by requiring less hands-on effort. When people have to get up and check their thermal setups constantly, they’re losing time that they could otherwise be spending on other tasks.
While people intuitively know that many factors impact their comfort, these often need to be translated into metrics that building designers can use. Fortunately, new healthy building standards now include predictive mean vote (PMV) to shift the conversation from abstracted data points like temperature to a more direct measure of occupant comfort.
As a result, employees spend less time on administrative tasks and more on their core job duties. They have more time to focus on what matters most and can better manage their responsibilities, ultimately enhancing the customer experience. A centralized control and monitoring system unifies processes and reduces costs through automation and simplified operations. It provides data analytics to enable predictive maintenance, extending the equipment’s lifespan and reducing costly downtime. It also alerts facility managers of potential issues, allowing for timely interventions.
By optimizing and streamlining business workflows, companies can make significant strides toward achieving operational efficiency. This can be done by implementing new technology tools, like workforce management platforms, that can unify multiple workflows in one place. It also involves periodically reviewing and updating existing processes to eliminate inefficiencies. Ultimately, streamlined processes save businesses money and allow them to achieve more with their available resources. They can also boost employee productivity and morale. This is due to removing tedious and time-consuming tasks, stifling their ability to complete work.
A building automation system (BAS) integrates historically siloed systems to enable centralized monitoring and control of HVAC, lighting, access control, power, and fire safety. The result is improved occupant comfort, reduced energy costs, and increased operational efficiency.
BAS is a networked collection of sensors and controllers that communicate using standardized protocols. The sensors collect and transmit humidity, temperature, and room occupancy data to the controllers. The controllers then send the data to a connected HVAC or lighting system. Then, the system turns the heat up before people arrive, shuts it down when everyone leaves, and adjusts settings for energy efficiency and occupant comfort. This eliminates frigid morning temperatures and stifling summer air and makes for happier, more productive employees.
Enhanced Occupant Experience
Today’s buildings offer a unique opportunity to enhance occupant experience and boost productivity. In addition, building automation systems can incorporate occupancy data to reduce maintenance costs and equipment downtime. They can also provide reports on energy usage, occupant comfort, and more to help businesses and building owners improve efficiencies and make the most of their investments.
Occupant experience is a major factor in employee satisfaction, and the benefits of enhanced occupant experiences are well documented. Studies show that offices that are too hot or cold reduce worker performance by 10 percent. By implementing a smarter, more efficient control system, you can provide your occupants with the comfort and productivity they need to succeed in their work.