The Cost-Saving Benefits of Building Automation and Control Systems in Facility Management

Building automation systems collect and leverage reams of new data to eliminate energy waste. For example, sensors connected to a BAS detect when rooms are unoccupied and send that information to the controllers to adjust settings or turn off equipment. The controllers communicate using a common language and have a user interface that lets building and facility operators view this information.

Energy Savings

Building automation control systems enable various functions like lighting, HVAC, and appliances to be monitored and controlled remotely. The systems monitor energy consumption and usage and manage the operating status of each to optimize power use and save money on bills.

Maximizing comfort for occupants and minimizing energy costs is often a balancing act for facility managers. This balancing act is even more complicated with the rise of hybrid work and unpredictable energy usage patterns. Energy efficiency in buildings has become a significant focus for many organizations, and implementing building automation and control systems is a way to achieve these goals.

A building automation system allows for the monitoring of energy use in a facility, including temperature, humidity, and the number of occupants in an area. This information is sent to a central controller, which sends signals to actuators or relays within a building. These actuators respond by lowering or raising the temperature, dimming lights, or turning on air conditioning.

In addition to saving on electricity, the systems can reduce maintenance costs by flagging equipment performance issues before they reach a critical stage and require costly repairs. This also limits the stress on a utility grid and creates a more sustainable building. The energy savings alone can be significant for a large commercial or residential building.

Maintenance Savings

A building automation system allows you to control the operation of your facility’s most important equipment. This means you can reduce energy usage, saving utility costs. For example, a BAS can be programmed to adjust lighting and HVAC systems to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, set back the thermostat when people aren’t present, or schedule ventilation based on occupancy levels. This helps you save on heating and cooling costs.

BAS systems can also gather and display information about a building’s energy use, temperature, humidity, security threats, etc. This gives your insight into potential maintenance issues and enables predictive maintenance. This can reduce unscheduled system downtime, resulting in lost productivity and unforeseen expenses.

Other non-energy-related maintenance costs are also reduced with a BAS. You can alert your staff to problems before they become significant and costly. For example, when a smoke detector is activated, your BAS can automatically send out alarms to everyone in the building and broadcast prerecorded safety messages that direct people on what to do next.

There are dozens of other operational functions that can be automated as well. For instance, if your company wants one entrance to be open at a particular time of day, your automation system can manage this and notify the proper individuals when it is time to unlock the gate.

Increased Productivity

Building automation systems allow facility managers to monitor energy usage by design, which cuts down on waste. Using this information, they can set schedules controlling energy consumption and ensure all equipment works correctly. This way, issues can be resolved before they become more significant problems that result in costly downtime and loss of productivity.

Another way to save money with a BAS is by setting occupancy sensors that reduce energy use when the building is empty. For example, if everyone leaves the facility at 9:00 pm, the sensors can trigger the system to go into night time setback mode and turn off the lights, saving energy that would have been used for heating or cooling.

This monitoring also helps reduce phantom loads, electricity used by devices plugged into power outlets but not being used. Studies show that a significant percentage of electricity in buildings goes to these phantom loads, and reducing them with the help of a BAS can cut down on energy waste.

A building with a well-functioning BAS will be more cost-effective because it uses less energy, which can lower operating costs and extend the life of all systems involved. The methods operating at peak performance for more extended periods will require less frequent maintenance and replacements, which can add significant savings over the long run.

Increased Security

While a building automation system’s primary function is to make a facility more efficient, it also helps protect property and IT assets. Investing in a BAS is a crucial benefit because it can help prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information or causing harm to occupants and assets.

For example, a building automation system can help protect buildings and their occupants by monitoring the air quality and ensuring a healthy environment is always maintained. This can also help a company reduce employee sick time and turnover costs.

Another benefit of a building automation system is the ability to save energy. When the system is engineered correctly, it will ensure that the most significant energy users in the building – like HVAC systems and lighting – are working optimally to reduce energy usage.

In addition to optimizing equipment performance, a building automation system can provide insights for future planning and identifying problems before they become more significant. It can also help managers monitor and adjust energy settings to save energy.

To maximize the cost-saving benefits of a building automation system, you should look for a solution that integrates with your existing technology. Ask about interoperability and open architectures if you’re considering a new BAS for your building. 

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