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What things should you take into consideration for building automation?

When considering an automation system for your buildings heating and cooling system, finding the correct information about your automation process can be difficult. This article will take you through some of the important facts that should be considered before beginning any automation process.

The first item that you should consider before beginning your automation process is the complexity of the project. Finding a balance between necessity and over-engineering will ensure that your project goes smoothly from start to finish. Before beginning a project, you should always get your system engineers to feel comfortable with the design and implementation of your automation system.

Avoiding unnecessary design changes and anticipating any building conditions are essential to keeping a project below budget and ahead of schedule. Another item that you should consider is that building automation systems are changing quickly. Technology that was implemented five to ten years ago is now becoming outdated and may require an upgrade.

Choosing equipment, such as interfaces and software, that will remain relevant in the near future will allow your automation project to be easily upgraded when required. Choosing system hardware and software that will be unsupported within the near future only generates more work and money for your company in the long run.

Choosing Your Controller Interface and Software

If the control interface is the heart of an automation project, then your software is the brain. When choosing these items, one should always consider:

  • System “Openness”
  • Simplicity of Programming
  • Maintenance

Each of these items is important in its own way, but together these items make your choice of hardware and software easier. When choosing a company to supply and support your project, you should always be aware that not all companies produce the same hardware and software. Some companies use proprietary software that requires a specialized technician to provide support.

These technician visits can be costly, and he added cost can eat away at maintenance budgets quickly. The simplicity of your programming is also a key factor in selecting your hardware and software. Being able to easily use the interface, as well as program simple conditions for your system to operate with, can reduce the chance of incorrect programming.

The ability to maintain your own equipment and software is crucial as well. Choosing an overcomplicated control unit can be more trouble than its worth. Ready to get started? Call us today at 408-295-2182

How Building Automation and Controls Can Save Your Company Money

Remember when building automation was the domain of science fiction and cartoons? While we aren’t quite up to that level, yet, building control has come a long way. We’ve got everything from smartphone apps to control your air conditioning and lights to complete systems for building automation. In fact, not only can you deploy building automation and controls, it can save your business some money.

 

Electric and Gas

Energy usage in commercial buildings is coming under more intense scrutiny every year. It’s not surprising since those buildings waste around 30% of the energy they use. Advances in sensor technology and cloud computing make building automation and controls a viable alternative for saving on energy costs. With the right setup, your building will automatically adjust heating, cooling, and turn off lights. Taken together you can expect to see a significant lowering of your energy costs.

 

Improved Productivity

Air quality plays an important role in employee health. Improved air quality has been linked to better cognitive performance, reduced illness and fewer headaches. All of which improve overall employee productivity. Building automation allows you to optimize air quality and ventilation during working hours. This reduces employee absences and boosts productivity related revenue.

 

Extend Equipment Life

A nice side effect of raising or lowering the temperature in your building during off hours is that it extends your equipment life. Reducing the total number of times the equipment needs to cycle on and off in a day means more time before the equipment needs to be repaired and replaced. Similarly, lights bulbs have a relatively fixed life. Turning them off during non-working hours not only saves electricity, it extends the working life of the bulbs.

 

Preventative Actions

Depending on how sophisticated your building automation and controls system is, it can warn you when things start going wrong. Everything from notifications when a bulb burns out to alerts when equipment fails. Some systems even use machine learning to gauge when equipment needs servicing based on changes in performance. Catching a problem before it turns catastrophic can often mean the difference between an inexpensive repair and a very expensive replacement.

Building automation is a money saving investment. It lets you reduce energy costs, improve productivity and extend equipment life. It’s also a good PR move. Making your business greener is something many potential customers like to see.

Call O.C. McDonald today (408) 295-2182