You’ve recently built or rehabbed your building with all new equipment—geothermal system, energy recovery unit, chilled beams, heat pumps—controlled by a modern building automation system (BAS). But things aren’t as you’d hoped. Comfort complaints, high utility bills, condensation, your maintenance folks need to constantly make adjustments. That last cold spell had your staff scrambling to put the building into manual operation for fear of freezing. With all new equipment, why is this happening?
It’s the software
Today’s BASs are very capable, but have to be set up correctly. By “set up correctly” we’re not talking about the hardware installation, but the automation software. Your BAS is no longer a hardware system with some software controls, it’s a software system that controls all your HVAC equipment.
To truly optimize a building’s performance, one has to look at its systems holistically. Start by understanding its theory of operation. Building usage characteristics (office, hospital, museum), space design (closed offices, open floor plans), and mechanical design all have an impact. The software automation must reflect these building needs, and are critical to delivering a comfortable and healthy work environment while simultaneously lowering maintenance costs due to fewer service calls. But they are rarely implemented properly and completely.
A simple example—programming occupancy sensors to turn lights on and off is easy. Controlling HVAC operations is very valuable, but harder. How does the system respond to room occupancy during the day? Will it trigger full occupied operation if someone enters in the middle of the night? What if you want the lights off while the space is occupied? It’s all a matter of getting the software right.
Modern buildings are capable of being automated to operation optimally all day, every day. IDS can help you design and specify new buildings that work as intended, or help you fix the automation in your existing facilities.
Call us to find out how we can help you.