Building automation and controls. Solved.
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Intelligent Building? To someone unfamiliar with the commercial building industry, this might sound like a joke. But intelligent buildings or smart buildings are no joke – they are the future! Intelligent buildings are opportunities for incredible energy savings, can boost building security and comfort, and make sound financial sense. This infographic was designed to give some ideas about what makes an intelligent building. (article continues below)
The drive for energy efficiency can be traced back even past the oil shocks of the 1970s, but that was definitely the biggest spark for key programs everywhere from the federal government to some of the world’s biggest manufacturers. But if the will was there, the technology in many cases simply was not.
The continuing development of intelligent building technologies, however, has now made it increasingly simple to implement building-wide efficiency measures.
Modern building automation systems cover a broad range of options from heating systems to bathroom sinks.
Modern HVAC systems depend upon temperature controls that can use a variety of sensors and programmable settings to maximize comfort while minimizing energy usage. Many also incorporate air monitoring systems that help to control contaminants such as dust, pollen and other potential health hazards.
These heating and cooling systems depend on several types of centralized equipment, many of which have grown significantly more efficient in recent years, including fans that circulate air and compressors that cool it. One of the most important innovations to help bring down the energy needs of this equipment has been the variable frequency drive – a system that allows devices to operate at multiple settings so that they are not working harder than necessary. These systems can also be extremely helpful for a variety of industrial equipment as well, much of which has historically had nothing but an on and an off switch.
Other automated systems offer easy energy savings as well, including automated lighting and plug load controls. The first can offer a range of different types of sensors to ensure that lights are left off unless a room is actually being used, while the second will automatically shut off electrical outlets for equipment that is not in use to help combat phantom load.
Even water usage can be improved through building automation, however, with increasingly reliable systems available to control sinks and toilets in modern bathrooms.
And, of course, all of this energy and water usage is increasingly being tracked in real time and transmitted to web-based monitoring platforms that can give building managers and businesses a clear picture of where the money is going in their buildings. This can help to identify where the biggest waste is coming from and how best to address it.
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