Building owners, operations, and facility managers are always on the move, continually reacting to new emergencies and pulled in different directions. In a world where facility managers need a real-time building automation system, it certainly feels like learning all this technology occupies more time than it saves.
Even with extensive training, building automation software is often too complex for the everyday user. If only there were a simpler, user-friendly way to save time, labor, and money. If only there were a way to make faster decisions based on easily understood information.
Fortunately, there are several ways to design building automation that put you in control. Here are four easy-to-use types of building automation systems that save time and help you make more informed decisions that reduce costs.
1. Cloud-Based Remote BAS
Remote solutions soared in popularity starting in the early 2020s, and a cloud-based control strategy is known to not only reduce operational costs but enhance the effectiveness of your BAS. Engineered Systems Magazine lists the following as the main solutions of a remote BAS that’s accessible via the cloud:
- 24/7 monitoring of equipment usage status, energy consumed, and HVAC operations;
- The use of cloud-based command and control in an Internet of Things (IoT) environment;
- IoT-based remote dynamic scheduling, consumption reports, and HVAC adjustments;
- Predictive monitoring of critical equipment, limiting the possibility of disruption due to failure to prevent building downtime;
- Remote BMS/BAS shutdown and restart for buildings or sections that are unoccupied for the duration of this pandemic and similar future events;
- Timely alerts in the form of SMS and emails in case of abnormalities/deviations; and
- Single console view of multiple sites in different geographic locations.
These are all realistic outcomes with a cloud-based system. When you have a building automation remote monitoring solution, all this information and data is accessed conveniently through the internet rather than a local area network.
Cloud-based remote building automation systems are the ultimate in efficiency. Easily accessed at any time from any terminal (laptop, desktop computer, mobile device) with WiFi access, remote BAS solutions allow users to access time-critical information from the kitchen table, on the road, and even from the roof of a different building in your portfolio.
These cloud-based solutions store vast amounts of data and can provide important historical trends that improve decision-making. They often have simple, convenient dashboards that present data in an easy-to-interpret format.
Cloud-based BAS systems make checking on building systems (HVAC, electricity, heating, etc.) easy, immediately identify problems, and work out real-time solutions. They’re sound systems for those facility and operations managers who are often called away, are out of the office, or travel frequently.
2. BACnet-Enabled BAS
BACnet is an acronym that stands for Building Automation and Control Networks. It is an open communication protocol that allows for integrating different building systems regardless of the supplier. This means BACnet-certified building product and system providers can design, implement, upgrade, and revise systems and solutions without affecting others.
A BACnet-enabled building automation system (BAS) immediately connects to all BACnet-enabled devices, ensuring quick data transfer between different building products supplied by different manufacturers. It is also a scalable solution as it does not limit the number of other BACnet products that can be added or integrated.
Your building’s heating, lighting, air conditioning, electricity, electrical, fire, and safety systems, along with its phone systems and WiFi are likely all provided by different companies. BACnet-certified solutions ensure all these systems operate seamlessly.
3. Secure BAS
In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity is a real and present danger for building data. This tip is more about avoiding the high costs associated with a data breach than efficiently managing building systems. Whatever BAS system or software solution you choose, it must be secure.
Data breaches can affect your building’s operations and performance while providing hackers with information about your company’s schedules, access codes, passwords, employee data, and personal information.
Fortunately, the ASHRAE BACnet committee released an encrypted security protocol and layer called BACnet Secure Connect, which helps to protect all BACnet-certified building systems.
4. End-User BAS
Building automation apps for mobile devices are a perfect example of approachable, end-user-focused BAS systems that anyone can put to good use. These apps are designed to be intuitive and simple to understand, allowing you to access your building’s maintenance through the familiar format of a smartphone app.
The best part about building automation apps is that they can expand the list of effective users in your building, from front-line employees and supervisors to senior-level managers. This makes them an ideal solution for 24/7 operations where nighttime shift managers and employees need to react at a moment’s notice.
The ability for anyone to control settings, review performance, and immediately stop any potential problems is invaluable for businesses or manufacturers with multi-shift operations. You can also set permissions to limit certain users to certain devices, tasks, or information relevant to their needs. The best building automation apps allow you to set alarms, track energy usage, and immediately notify you of any issues. They can be great tools for identifying seasonal trends where energy usage rises or falls.
Secure, Mobile-Optimized BAS Solution Through ODIN
Looking for a BAS solution that gives you all of the above? ODIN (Operator Display Integrated Network) is a BACnet-certified, mobile-optimized building automation software with SSL encryption security protocols. It’s safe, secure, and easy to use.
ODIN puts the power of your building or facilities systems in the palm of your hand. Its intuitive user interface and user-friendly dashboard make managing your building’s systems much easier and much more straightforward.
To learn more about how ODIN can reduce costs and improve efficiencies, contact us now.