Having the ability to remotely monitor and optimize your building’s systems—everything from heating and cooling equipment to lighting, ventilation, and more—isn’t a dream of the future. Many facilities are already utilizing building automation in one way or another, whether it’s automating a single operational component or implementing a complete building automation system covering every aspect of a facility.
And it’s not just for big buildings, either. Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the efforts of innovative building automation companies, buildings of any size can take advantage of cost-effective automation solutions that help save money, increase operational efficiency and productivity, and boost the market value of a facility.
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Iota offers a number of IoT-based controls and systems that are easy to implement and let you get started saving right away. (Here are two ways to automate that produce substantial cost savings immediately.) Depending on your needs and goals, you might also be interested in checking out some of the building automation companies listed below.
5 Compelling Companies In Building Automation
A global leader in industrial automation, Rockwell’s offerings center around enabling smart manufacturing. But the company recognizes that having multiple automation control systems in a single facility—for process automations, environmental monitoring, and building management—is costly and complex. For some industries (like pharmaceuticals), the right building and environmental conditions are just as crucial to maintaining product quality as the processes that create those products. To help solve this problem, Rockwell Automation offers an integrated control platform that unifies all these systems. The goals: to help reduce product variation, reduce energy costs, and improve time-to-market.
Lutron is a leader in the lighting control industry. Its lighting solutions are touted as human-centric, meaning they are intended to create more comfortable and productive work environments for building occupants. The key to it all is giving both building managers and occupants more control over lighting. To that end, its solutions offer ways to manage the amounts of both electric light and daylight in spaces with things like motorized window shades, personal control solutions, and LED control technologies. These advanced lighting strategies not only enhance comfort and productivity, but also help reduce overall building operating costs.
PointGrab offers a product that works in conjunction with building automation: an occupant sensing platform. Called CogniPoint, it uses workspace sensors to monitor occupancy levels in workspaces. That data is then transmitted to integrated building automation systems, acting as a trigger to adjust or turn on/off lighting, HVAC, security features, and anything else. It can also trigger automatic call generation for services like lavatory cleaning. The technology behind the sensors is quite advanced and uses machine learning technology to perform advanced analytics. Its smart sensing solution has been deployed at the groundbreaking Edge Amsterdam building, and more recently at Deloitte’s London headquarters—the largest office building in the world to achieve certifications for being both an exemplary “green” building and one ergonimically designed to enhance occupant well-being.
If you look for them, there’s no shortage of news stories about hackers accessing and attacking company networks via building automation systems. That’s because older automation networks had little or no security features, nor were they usually monitored for threats. (According to the website, some 60 percent of BAS—building automation system—products in place today are around 20 years old.) As the problem of “BAS hacking” increases, that’s all starting to change. Although not a building automation company itself, Forescout provides an important service to protect BASs from attack. It provides real-time threat detection, among other things, that can help prevent just about any kind of attack, from manipulating a data center’s HVAC system to gaining access to restricted areas of the building.
If you’re a facilities manager in the hospitality industry, you’ll be interested in Mode:Green’s building automation solutions. (Their services have also been tapped by NASA, the Walt Disney Companies, ESPN, and more.) The “official technology integrator of Forbes Travel Guide,” Mode:Green is the authority on improving the guest experience with technology. It focuses on creating “simple solutions in complex environments,” with advanced control systems for a range of elements from lighting and audio/video to climate control and more. Mode:Green’s automated systems also encourage better energy management.