Almost all buildings have some form of building management system to monitor mechanical and electrical services. When the operation of certain facilities are properly controlled and monitored, a comfortable environment is maintained. With a building automation system, operations are controlled in the most efficient and effective way.
How does building automation system work?
In building automation system, there is a computer system used to calculate the preset requirements of a building so that the connected services can be controlled according to the requirements. Inputs that include temperature sensors and outputs like on and off signals are connected to outstations located in different parts of the building. Each of these outstations has their own computer systems programmed to provide the necessary information to help building management decide on the necessary levels of control that have to be applied. Each of the outstations is connected to one another so that they can share information in real time. For remote access, a modem is also linked to the system. Computer technology is the key to building automation system to manage the facility and costs effectively.
The level of control and monitoring through a business automation system depends on the information provided by the sensors. Computer programs tell building managers how to respond to the information collected. Aside from providing a degree of control to the building environment, information will allow building managers to respond to emergencies like power outages. There are instances when some building conditions do not meet specifications that corrections have to be made immediately.
Occupancy times on different areas of the building are also inputted into computer so that business automation management can meet occupant requirements. One example of the services usually controlled by building management is heating. The heating system is enabled at various pre-determined times to ensure that building occupants enjoy the desired temperature at the start of the day. However, occupancy is not only the factor that determines start time because building automation system also takes into account temperature in the outside environment, space temperature and the building structure. When a computer system takes over control and monitoring of different systems, the building operates efficiently.
The importance of automation in building management systems
If the building management system has been in operation for more ten years, it is very likely to be obsolete and would greatly benefit from an upgrade to an automated system. Replacement of the building management system with automation provides an ideal opportunity to optimize energy monitoring capabilities including real time identification of problems in the HVAC system. When issues are highlighted by building management system, building managers can immediately undertake diagnostic functions. However, it is important for building managers as well as maintenance contractors to be familiar with the capabilities and operational parameters of building management system. Whenever necessary, they must keep themselves updated with the operation and maintenance manuals to understand the system. Those who are involved in the system will be able to address problems proactively before it heavily impacts on occupant comforts.