Safety Through Building Automation
Effective managers understand the importance of safety, often embracing technologies that help achieve safety, such as building automation technology.
A building automation system (BAS) is a network of sensors and controls that connect, automate and monitor the various building systems, optimizing occupants' climate and maintaining specific operating conditions required in the facility. They also provide effective means for a small number of individuals to monitor conditions and equipment, adjust settings, observe trends, anticipate changes, and address prioritized needs while proactively planning for regular maintenance events.
Safety is one of the key breakthroughs achieved through an informed investment in building automation technology. Added protection and care are gained for both employees and guests, as well as the second benefit of preserving and increasing the longevity of the building’s mechanical gear. The third benefit is the support these two provide for the business mission's sustainability and continuity by reducing operational risk.
Importantly, all organizations have a duty to think about the safety of their staff. Employees are most effective when they feel safe and well-equipped in stimulating surroundings. Integrated lighting control systems have manual and automatic dimming, ensuring appropriate light levels and adjusting as needed for incoming sunlight. Motorized window shades facilitate safety and allow for conference privacy, can lower on a schedule or automatically in response to excessive sun and UV rays. BAS systems manage indoor air quality while monitoring CO2, carbon monoxide, and industrial gases, delivering needed fresh air.
Hotel and hospitality establishments need to plan for guest safety. BAS systems can help. Guest rooms are equipped with occupancy sensors, smoke detection, evacuation signals, carbon monoxide detection, and alerts. Other useful BAS features include precautionary monitoring of chlorine gas in pool and spa areas, carbon monoxide in garages, and starting exhaust fans when fitting. Shoppers and guests will appreciate feeling safe inside and are more likely to return.
BAS systems monitor potential equipment problems, alert attendants, and can avert catastrophic equipment failure. Monitoring differential air pressures protect against duct collapse and prevent air handler damage. Unmonitored “dirty” electrical power caused by poorly maintained electrical gear can cause heat, arcing, and fire risk and damage building electronics. Building automation technology can monitor switchgear and breaker panels for peak, momentary and average kWh, current draw, voltages, sudden spikes, or other problems. Steam and refrigerants circulate through buildings and need to be monitored for leaks or other concerns. Building automation technology can also reduce moisture where it doesn’t belong. Finally, properly working HVAC systems keep servers and network equipment cool, protecting those investments.
An enterprise represents a complex combination of people, processes, and capital equipment, all working together in balance, unfortunately easily disrupted. Critical systems must remain online and operate, and evacuation or automatic system shutdowns need only activate when necessary. Available analytics packages can predict and provide an advanced indication of likely equipment failure, increasing safety and overall system reliability, isolating repair to a point rather than sudden cascading equipment damage and possibly harm to those in the building. BAS technology supports safety by monitoring systems, recording data, projecting performance trends, and highlighting potential problems before avoidable shutdowns or an unnecessary evacuation occurs.
Building automation systems can increase safety for your people, both employees and guests, as well as for your HVAC and related systems. Also, by considering and protecting your people and equipment, the third significant facet of safety is achieved, namely that interruptions to your organization are minimized or eliminated, ensuring daily business continuity and allowing your overall enterprise to endure and thrive. Safety means success! Give us a call to learn more about building automation solutions from Point Monitor.