Think about the various systems in your home, like lighting and heating/cooling. On a small residential scale, it’s entirely possible to control these functions manually — although you might have to follow at least one member of your family around and remind them to turn off the lights or turn down the climate control before they leave.
But on the scale of commercial and industrial operations, expecting to manually control heating/cooling, lighting, plumbing, security systems and various machinery is unrealistic — especially when you factor in how crucial operational efficiency is to the bottom line of large-scale facilities.
The solution? Intelligent building management systems are designed to automatically control various utilities and equipment within commercial and industrial facilities. Thanks to the proliferation of data available today via smart sensors, these systems have more information than ever before with which to make intelligent decisions about how to regulate energy usage and optimize overall functionality. These systems can monitor everything from high-level building controls to specific functionalities on the production line.
What types of components can these building management systems oversee?
Here’s a sampling:
- Processing equipment
- Security systems
Here are four key advantages of using an intelligent building management system worth noting.
Maximize Operational Efficiency
The building automation and control industry is expected to reach somewhere around $100 billion by 2022, which represents year-over-year growth exceeding 10 percent. The reason so many companies and organizations are investing in this tech? As Electrical Contractor Magazine cites, better building automation helps increase energy efficiency and security of buildings. In other words, there tends to be a pretty substantial return on investment (ROI) for organizations successfully implementing these systems.
True operational efficiency means balancing resource input with output, which is where data insights and automation enter the picture.
Cut Energy Waste
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, about one-fifth of all energy used in the U.S. goes toward powering commercial buildings. When you consider industrial applications on top of that, you can see the difference it makes when these buildings optimize their energy consumption.
Planning and constructing buildings with “whole-building design” in mind from the start of the project is one way to reduce energy waste. Another is operating buildings — whether newly constructed or retrofitted at a later date — with building management systems. The aim here is utilizing the exact amount of power needed to operate effectively.
And, for companies looking to continually demonstrate their commitment to going green, this strategy is an important way to show measurable reductions in waste and CO2 emissions.
Maintain Equipment Proactively
Equipment malfunctions tend to be quite costly — in terms of the expense to repair or replace the faulty machinery and lost productivity during downtime. One function of building automation is the ability to closely monitor the performance status of various pieces of equipment, then engage in proactive maintenance as needed rather than waiting for something to break down completely.
As one expert writes for Food Manufacturing, “Proactive maintenance is always better than reactive maintenance, which often includes costly downtime.”
Optimize Experience for Occupants
Last but not least, better building management can simply make commercial and industrial environments more comfortable for occupants. When you’re talking about these effects on a large workforce, environmental comfort and safety have a direct bearing on productivity and satisfaction. Even something simple like optimizing the temperature based on outside and inside conditions can go a long way toward providing a better experience for everyone within.
All in all, intelligent building management systems make facilities more efficient and less wasteful.