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Wondering About The Types Of Building Automation Systems? Here’s A Better Question.

Posted by: IotaComm

Building automation systems (BAS)—also known as building management systems (BMS)—have been around for decades. These computer-based control systems gave commercial building managers a way to manage and monitor the complex web of mechanical, HVAC, and electrical equipment that makes a facility run. Even today, BAS systems are still the best way to control building environments—and probably will be for the foreseeable future.

So why not talk about building automation systems?

Because building automation software alone is no longer enough. Especially in today’s environment, building managers have multiple concerns that they didn’t have previously, such as:

  • COVID-19-related requirements
  • Sustainability goals
  • Cost-reduction mandates, and more.

Traditional building automation systems are great for controlling and monitoring operational components, but they simply don’t have the capability to address the more complex issues above. So instead of talking about types of building automation systems, the question to ask is: What tools should you use to optimize building operations?

The answer to that is BAS plus the Internet of Things (IoT).

A New Type Of Operational Toolkit: Building Automation Systems & The IoT

A BAS is a command and control system that relies on humans to determine when and how certain functions should be performed. As a building manager, you instinctively know, for instance, when the lights or the air conditioning units should be turned off daily. You can then program your BAS to do these things.

But what if some parts of the building empty out earlier than others? And what if that only happens occasionally, but not predictably? Your automatic schedule is still useful—but not optimal.

In contrast, facility managers who utilize the IoT in addition to their BAS could manage operations more strategically. They could deploy occupancy sensors throughout the facility, which collect building occupancy data 24/7. Not only can sensor data be used to turn off lights in spaces that aren’t being used in real time, but analysis of the data over the long term—done via advanced analytics platforms that are not reliant on humans—can give you new insights around daily space utilization. As a result, you can devise the optimal lighting strategy for your building, and program the BAS accordingly.

The IoT’s array of sensors make it possible to monitor in real time just about anything inside your facility, from temperature to air quality to energy use and much more. And machine learning analytics platforms can mine all your building’s data to quickly glean insights you can use to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

Today’s building managers are using the IoT in combination with BAS to:

  • Maintain healthy indoor air quality to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19
  • Practice more responsible water use and achieve greater energy efficiency in an effort to become more sustainable (and use the collected data as proof of their efforts to stakeholders)
  • Reduce energy use to cut utility bills
  • Reduce carbon emissions to comply with local and state regulations

To read more about how to gain control over your indoor air quality in relation to the COVID-19 virus, download our free white paper.

While some types of building automation systems can be outfitted to accommodate the latest sensor technology, it’s typically difficult to do this kind of upgrade and the result is not seamless. IoT solutions (like ours at IotaComm!) can be deployed on a smaller scale, are retrofittable, and are cost-effective, giving you the exact data you need for more useful building automation.

Work With Us To Optimize Your Automation

Get more out of your building automation system by partnering with us at Iota. We’re an IoT company that focuses on optimizing energy efficiency, sustainability, and operations for commercial facilities.

Once we understand your goals, we’ll provide you with IoT sensors to remotely monitor the appropriate building characteristics. Our advanced software platform will continuously analyze the data, producing actionable recommendations that will help you achieve your goals. And our knowledgeable team will be with you every step of the way. If you’re ready to do more with your BMS, we hope you’ll get in touch!


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