A Building Automation System (BAS) is a computerized network of detectors and controls impacting, for the most part, on a building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Other building components that it might control may include lighting, elevators, security, etc. A Building Automation System can range from simple to comprehensive, all depending on the client’s budget and long-term goals for the building. Some building systems might be included in a BAS for necessity reasons, (i.e. it’s easier to maintain one computer system than to manually check and adjust various mechanical equipment due to the building’s sheer size and varied program needs).
A Building Automation System is necessary to the efficient operation and maintenance of the built environment. The necessity of a BAS is more evident in large facilities, as running costs are much higher for managing the volumes within. It all boils down to increasing energy efficiency, while keeping operation costs low. Note that large facilities are more prone to energy lose. Installing and implementing a simple BAS will control the building climate to specific temperatures during the day and seasons, and provide lighting based on occupancy. HVAC and lighting are the two big areas where huge energy savings are immediate, thus recuperating overall maintenance costs. Failsafe measures can also be built into the software to monitor system performance and mechanical malfunctions. Facility managers and even maintenance staff can then be promptly notified through email and/or text.
A Building Automation System (BAS) offers the following benefits:
– increased energy efficiency
– lower operating and maintenance costs
– improved indoor air quality
– greater occupant comfort and productivity
– quicker response and building maintenance
Note that a BAS may be a complex system, especially for those without any prior experience in IT, but key is understanding the simple needs of occupants (i.e. providing the appropriate amount of HVAC and lighting dependent on time and occupancy loads). A skilled system manufacturer or technician will work out the details regarding the network.
As trends grow in technology and Sustainability, a Building Automation System is one item that facility managers will come across in their careers and need to be familiar with. While energy costs rise every year and the need for staff productivity remains high, smart building technologies will become more the essential in maximizing the performance of existing mechanical equipment and maintaining a comfortable built environment.