What is building automation? It is a system that monitors and controls a building facility such as mechanical, security, fire, flood safety, lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning with the goal of creating a reliable system and lowering the energy and maintenance cost.
There are four main functions in a building automation system:
- To control the building environment.
- To operate systems according to occupancy and energy demand.
- To monitor and correct system performance.
- To alert and notify alarms when needed.
The key component in building automation system is the “controller”. Controllers manage the performance of various facilities in the building such as mechanical systems, lighting systems, and many others.
These systems can be embedded with smart controllers which allow the controllers to manage the performance accordingly so as to converse energy. In addition, with the growth of technology all of these can be automated and the controllers can learn by themselves accordingly. Hence, buildings equipped with these are called smart buildings.
Terms to Understand
Some of the terms related to building automation that you should understand are:
Building Management System (BMS) and Building Control System (BCS) — These are more general terms for systems that control a building’s facilities, although they are not necessarily automation systems.
Building Automation System (BAS) — A BAS is a subset of the management and control systems above and can be a part of the larger BMS or BCS. That said, building management and building automation have so thoroughly overlapped in recent years that it’s understandable people would use those terms interchangeably.
Energy Management System (EMS) and Energy Management Control System (EMCS) — These are systems that specifically deal with energy consumption, metering, etc. There is enough overlap between what a BAS does and what an EMS does that we can consider these synonymous.
Direct Digital Control (DDC) — This is the innovation that was brought about by small, affordable microprocessors in the ‘80s. DDC is the method by which the components of a digital system communicate.
Application Programming Interface (API) — This is a term common in computer programing. It describes the code that defines how two or more pieces of software communicate with one another.
How does Building Automation System (BAS) work?
BAS essentially has five essential components:
- Sensors – devices that measure values such as temperatures.
- Controllers – system that take data from sensors and device how it should respond.
- Output devices – devices that carry out the actions sent by the controllers.
- Communication protocols – set of rules that use to communicate between components of BAS.
- Dashboard or User Interface – screens that humans use to interact with BAS.
Why are BAS useful?
BAS are useful because:
- They help to save money for the
By using automated system and the right controllers and optimizations, BAS can help to save money for the building owners by reducing the utility cost and maintenance cost.
- Comfort and Productivity
By ensuring that all facilities are working correctly such as improved ventilation and air quality, this will create comfort and productivity for the people in the building to work on their activities.
- Environmentally Friendly
By reducing the environmental impact through saving energy, BAS can help to reduce the output of greenhouse. By reducing waste through efficiencies, BAS can leave an even smaller environmental footprint. Furthermore, government can collect data associated with the building from BAS whenever necessary.
Therefore, investment in Building Automation System proves to be beneficial in long term. If you have any question or need consultation about developing building automation system, do not hesitate to contact us.