24 Jul Planning a Building Automation System Project
Building Automation Infrastructure
Modern building automation systems (BAS) can control basically everything that is electrical in the building, and will reduce building energy and maintenance costs. Even on a smaller scale, BAS is very complicated. The building automation network connects high-level programmable logic controllers with lower-level controllers, input/output devices and the user interface. There are standards such as the ASHRAE Standard 135- BACnet, a Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks. These guidelines set protocols that allow connectivity between different brands of devices.
Typically you can achieve modern network connectivity with IP-based networking but can include existing wiring, or can integrate high-bandwidth wireless networks and other protocols. A multitude of proprietary hardware is available, some of which are interoperable and some do not integrate well with other brands.
Due to the vast selection of hardware, the vendor who provides and specializes in one brand may not have the knowledge to integrate their system into the whole control system or program settings that meet the building goals.
BAS Provider Qualities
Since a building automation system consists of many layers and each layer builds on the layer below it to provide more functionality, the BAS provider needs to have familiarity with the latest systems. Meters and sensors are used to gather data which filters through the BAS. Alerts are programmed to fire when thresholds are met. There are many reputable vendors that have systems out in the market that can be customized for any application, so the key to success is in the development of a complete end-to-end system that includes installation of the system and the training of the operators. It is beneficial to select a provider that incorporates design, installation and training into their offerings.
The structure and design of building automation systems are getting more complicated every day. Sensors, actuators and small controllers are distributed around the building and collect data in microprocessors. Connectivity, interoperability and friendly user interface are important for infrastructure components. A multitude of hardware with “smart tech” is available and can be integrated into new construction design or existing systems. It takes a knowledgeable partner like Albireo that has the depth of experience to select the best and most economical equipment to meet project goals. By being product-agnostic, Albireo can select and design a BAS that is customized for the customer’s unique business model and budget ensuring excellent ROI.
Ideally, the BAS provider is a design/build firm and can implement the system installation seamlessly. Albireo is able to work with most product lines and has partnerships around the country to complete the installation. Using a competitive bid system, Albireo ensures the best pricing. Whether it is a new construction project, or an upgrade to an existing system, Albireo has specialized certified technicians with the familiarity to implement any product expertly.
Albireo has the technical prowess and offers the latest in building automation systems, with extensive operator training. After expert installation, Albireo does not stop there. Albireo recognizes that a BAS is only as good as the personnel who are using it. They have developed extensive training on how to optimize the outputs and alerts. Albireo will bring experts to your facility for training sessions with a depth of knowledge on topics such as DDC Control System Operations, Access and Security Control Systems, and HVAC System Configurations. With the simplified user interface that Albireo sets up, personnel can focus on problem areas and catch maintenance issues that are indicated by system alerts instead of doing physical inspections where a developing issue could possibly be missed.
Integrating all of the systems in a building into one integrated automated system is really cutting edge. Typically, the separate systems are managed independently by different personnel. The BAS can simplify the challenge for building managers and maintenance employees. But looking past the cool summary screens and text alerts, past the lights and thermostats turning on and off themselves, past the organized coordination of all the systems of the building, the bottom line is a BAS will save money. When a BAS system is installed, twenty to thirty percent in energy savings is often achieved; there can be a reduction in operating costs with less equipment breakdown and outages; maintenance staff can become more efficient; and occupant comfort levels can be maintained.
Once you have made the smart decision to include automation in your building project, to attempt to navigate the myriad choices in “Smart Building” technology without an experienced partner is just…not smart. Select a provider that maximizes these benefits, while simplifying the process. This will lead to the highest level of success and the biggest savings at the time of the project and long into the future. Building automation is the “gotta have” building managers need to stay at the forefront of building management and the challenges related to it. Albireo is equipped to provide the best in building automation services. Contact us to learn more.