Data has had an elevated role in building management since the era of the Internet of Things began. University building managers have always been tasked with keeping campus facilities running in a cost-efficient and safe manner that is conducive to the learning environments of higher education. What was once a largely manual process of ‘tending to the farm’ is now handled with robust arrays of sensors that feed data into complex building automation and building analytics software.
The modern universal BACnet protocol is the current gold standard in building automation, keeping things simple and streamlined for facilities managers and technicians. However, if your campus features a legacy system composed of older protocols like Modbus and Lonworks, you may be juggling multiple systems, log-ins, and headaches throughout the day.
The original objective of the BACnet protocol was to revolutionize device interconnectivity by providing one standard set of communication rules. No matter the manufacturer, all devices using the BACnet protocol would work with your building’s BAS. This goal was promptly realized as the use of BACnet spread to building monitoring systems far and wide.
When President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan on March 11, 2021, it launched a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus, including $130 billion in stimulus money for schools in the pre-K through 12th grade age group. The intention of this new school stimulus money—called the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund—is to help schools safely reopen within 100 days and take actions to help protect students, staff, and families from COVID-19.
The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law by President Biden in March 2021, has set a priority of reopening as many K-12 schools as possible within its 100 days. As of the writing of this article, we’re a little more than a third of the way through that timeline. Facilities managers are ramping into high gear getting many buildings that have been shut down for a year or more ready for people to resume daily occupancy. Here are a few quick tips to guide your planning process as you start laying out your school building safety and school facilities management strategies.
There’s nothing more important to a K-12 facilities manager than the safety and health of the building’s occupants. The COVID-19 pandemic brought this into even sharper relief and now is the time to act. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 54% of public school districts need to improve or replace multiple school building systems—especially HVAC upgrades. Their report estimates that 41% of districts need an update or even replacement of antiquated or inadequate HVAC systems. That adds up to 36,000 schools across the nation.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) went into effect on December 27, 2020. This 5,600-page, $900B bill included $82B specifically set aside for education. Of that money, $52B will go straight to K-12 schools (about four times as much as the $13.5B allocated by the CARES Act in March of 2020).
Originally published on TheS4Group.com
Building management software (BMS) and building automation systems (BAS) will sometimes come packaged with an optional, limited style of mobile access through a building management app. However, when these applications require you to be connected to the building network to access the system, this is not really “remote” access so much as the option to use a phone or tablet while on site.
Building Automation Software (BAS) can be remarkably complex. Depending on the size of the facility, you may have tens or even hundreds of unique lighting, electrical, heat, cooling, ventilation, IAQ sensor, and other devices to monitor and control.