Top 5 Building Automation Products All FMs Should Consider
Managing a building or office space comprises dozens, if not hundreds, of tasks that facility managers have to keep track of every day. Thankfully, many of these tasks and responsibilities can be handled automatically through Building Automation Systems (BAS).
There are plenty of building automation products on the market right now that address areas like security, HVAC and lighting. Many provide features in a well-rounded, integrated system. Here are a few to look for if you're planning to automate some of your company's facility operations.
1. Lighting systems
Lighting automation systems like Lutron's Quantum allow facility managers to save energy, avoid increases in temperature and account for different lighting needs within the office.
Lighting automation systems can be used to schedule on and off periods for different areas and keep track of how much energy is used in the facility.
Having this information and the convenience of managing your lighting from a central point can save hours of time and simplify your tasks at work.
2. Security systems
Automated security systems like those from Johnson Controls can help you avoid data breaches and potential safety risks by testing cybersecurity, networking surveillance cameras and providing in-depth user access controls. These systems can be integrated into larger facility management programs, but be sure to double check with your vendor to ensure their protocols are compatible with your network. If security and facilities management are separate teams within your organization, be sure to coordinate the two groups to avoid conflict and mistakes from occurring.
Heating, ventilation and cooling often make up the largest use of energy in commercial spaces, and much of that can come from inefficiently using your heating and cooling systems.
Using an automated HVAC system like Siemens' Synco allows facility managers to schedule and regulate changes in heating. By doing so, they can save energy and account for nuances like office events or weather changes.
4. Emergency systems
Dangerous situations like facility fires are never fun to think about, but automating your emergency response systems can help your workers stay safe and respond quickly should disaster strike. Implementations like Computrols' CSimon fire and safety controls can allow you to quickly and intelligently respond to fires by centralizing response information, automating communication to employees during a fire and providing remote access to your fire control systems.
5. Energy diagnostics
At the heart of efficiency lies the ability to gather, interpret and properly use information.
An energy diagnostics system allows facility mangers to keep up-to-date on their current and historical energy use so they can gather accurate insights about the efficiency of their building and make impactful changes.
Delta Controls' enteliWEB is an example of a modular diagnostics software program that can either be used as a standalone product or integrated into larger systems. This is especially useful if you're running a facility that already has major automated components.
Many building automation systems can provide the services noted here in the form of a package, making integration and communication a more straightforward process. Save your company money—and yourself significant time—by using automations to keep your operations running reliably.