You’ve recently built or rehabbed your building. All new equipment controlled by a modern building automation system (BAS). But things aren’t as you’d hoped—you’re getting comfort complaints, the utility bills aren’t what the engineer projected, 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. And by “set up correctly” we’re not talking about the hardware installation, but the 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 controls 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 software (and perhaps a couple dip switch settings on the sensor).
Modern buildings are capable of being programmed 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.