Old horror movie writers loved to depict robotic systems as malevolent beings, and nothing seemed more threatening than a building controlled by machines. While these movies can certainly be entertaining, the modern reality is much different. Building automation is not only beneficial to a structure's inhabitants, but it can also be a valuable tool to help protect the environment.
If you want to make going green one of your structure management goals, installing a building automation system can be critical in achieving this objective. A building automation system can improve your structure's sustainability, increase your brand's image as an environmental steward, and even qualify for green certifications or grants.
The Basics of Building Automation Systems
Building automation is a relatively broad term that can encompass everything from HVAC to lighting to security. Even a smart thermostat is a straightforward form of building automation, although commercial structures typically use more sophisticated equipment. Most systems integrate various sensors to track occupants or monitor interior conditions.
Systems installed in large commercial buildings are usually custom-designed, so you can choose to integrate as much or as little control as your needs and budget allow. For example, you may only want to automatic some aspects of your HVAC system to save on energy usage. At the same time, other buildings may fully integrate security, lighting, and even water into their automation systems.
The Role of Building Automation in a Greener Future
A key aspect of building automation is that it can reduce your building's overall energy usage by tracking occupants and adjusting and monitoring interior conditions. Instead of relying on building occupants to adjust thermostats, the system can monitor everything from heating load to air pressure. This data allows the system to reduce energy usage while maintaining a comfortable environment.
Occupant tracking can also help keep your building green by ensuring that you don't waste energy on unoccupied spaces. Automated systems can also smartly maintain a base level of heating or cooling to restore a comfortable temperature when occupants return. This approach can often be much more efficient than turning the HVAC on and off whenever occupants leave.
Expanded automation systems can also allow you to "greenify" other aspects of your building. For instance, automated lighting can more effectively save energy than simple room motion sensors. A building automation system can even monitor your plumbing for leaks, automatically shutting smart valves to avoid water waste and potential flooding damage.
Building automation systems come in many forms. If your goal is to increase your building's sustainability, a building control automation contractor can help you develop a plan to keep your structure green while also keeping your budget out of the red.