When you step into the commercial building where you work, you are probably enveloped in climate-controlled comfort in a well-lit lobby. You may slide your ID card to enter the elevator, take it to the correct floor, and scan your ID card again to open your office, where the lights instantly come on in as you enter the room. While all you see is smoothly functioning technology, creating this comfortable work environment is not easy. It takes many different control systems working behind the scenes to operate a modern commercial building. Each of these individual systems controls an electrical, mechanical, or security process in the building, such as the HVAC system, lighting control, or elevator access. Building automation systems integrate the various individual control systems over an IP network so they can share information and work efficiently together to create a comfortable, secure, and energy-efficient building environment.
Understanding building automation and control systems is easy once you know what information they collect; realize how they use that information; and can identify the individual control systems that make up the integrated whole. Building automation systems use motion sensors, access card readers, and closed circuit cameras to determine whether an area is occupied. Then the building automation system shares that information among the various control systems, which put that information to use, adjusting systems to reduce energy waste while still ensuring that tenants are comfortable. The component systems and the way they use that information include:
- Lighting Control
When tenants enter and leave a building area, the building automation system switches lights on or off accordingly. Time and zone controls can also be employed that automatically turn lights off according to a set schedule.
- Temperature Control
Temperature control technology is used to turn the HVAC system on and off according to occupancy information. Designated schedules (time of day, week, etc.) can also be implemented to ensure that a set temperature point is maintained whenever the building is occupied. Users can employ an Automatic Tenant Override that allows users to adjust the temperature settings using their smartphone or tablet so their section of the building is at the desired temperature when they arrive in the morning.
- Air Quality Control
To safeguard tenants from potential harm caused by poor air quality, building automation systems provide indoor air monitoring and testing that identifies and eliminates unsafe levels of CO, CO2, and NO2 in buildings and parking garages; the integrated solution can also control humidity and remove unwanted odors to improve occupant comfort and health.
Building automation systems can also integrate a building’s safety and security systems, creating comprehensive security automation solutions that include:
- Access Control – regulates use of specific resources, denying or admitting specified entities
- Elevator Access Control – controls floor access using cards and readers; can be used as a stand-alone system
- Closed Circuit Television – fixed position, network, pan/tilt/zoom, thermal imaging, and license plate capture cameras can be used to survey all or part of your building and surrounding area
- CCTV Recording Solutions – digital, network, and hybrid video recording solutions provide a cost-effective way to monitor your facility; you can also opt for video surveillance as a Service
- Life Safety Systems – coordinates the fire, safety, security, surveillance, and smoke evacuation systems to contain dangerous situations and protect occupants
Modern web-based building management solutions allow managers to access and control all the various integrated systems through a single interface, using a touch-screen workstation on site, or remotely from anywhere in the world, via a smartphone, laptop, PDA, or computer workstation connected to the Internet.
As an integral leader in building automation in South Florida for the past 27 years, Advanced Control Corporation has created building automation solutions for thousands of building owners, helping them to improve the comfort, safety, and energy efficiency of their facilities.
Contact Advanced Control at 954-491-6660 to discover just how efficiently your building can operate with one of our building automation and control systems in place!