Industry experts are increasingly recommending that officials must integrate systems that control daily operations of buildings into an enterprise network for improved communications and efficiency between and amongst the devices. By doing so, crucial improvements in energy management and energy efficiency will occur, and buildings will perform better.
By using system integration, connecting buildings will provide more intelligent and green buildings for both new structures designed with building automation solutions, and older ones that undergo energy retrofits.
Those who attended the “Designing Government Buildings for the 21st Century” event in Washington D.C. took away some worthwhile information. Buildings, which account for about 40% of energy consumption in the United States, are currently performing in counterintuitive ways, wasting energy through lighting, HVAC, lack of elevator access control and more. These systems remain disconnected from one another, and more often than not are pulling energy at times when there is no need for it.
Currently the federal government is mandating a ZeroNet Building Solution, setting goals for federal building management to reduct carbon emissions to zero over the next 20 years. The Obama administration is focusing on the environment, looking to achieve energy efficiency through integrating building systems.
By focusing on technology to automate buildings as well as monitor and control building control systems, building management can make buildings perform smarter and greener. Through system networks, systems can be combined into a set that connects and automates a number of variables within a building, including communications, computing, power, control and closed circuit television (CCTV) security systems.
Whether a building is undergoing retrofits, or is being newly constructed, building managers who are integrating systems or choosing building automation are adding at least six different server devices that run and manage HVAC, lighting control, power, security, and elevators, and more often than not these systems do not communicate with each other.
Building energy management and IT must integrate systems by aligning the systems through their logical and physical networks. Emerging technology such as power-over-Ethernet is a vital means of distributing local electricity to necessary devices or areas. By converging systems, buildings run more efficiently and the systems communication improves.