Building Automation Systems are a favorite tool of facility managers looking to take the heavy lifting out of monitoring building maintenance. From keeping track of power consumption to monitoring HVAC and plumbing systems to ensure everything is running smoothly, BAS technology helps streamline the monumental task of managing commercial, corporate or industrial facilities. New technology is being rapidly developed to be integrated into existing BAS frameworks to add functions, such as building security to the list.
Taking stock of your needs
Before embarking on an undertaking as large and all-encompassing as adding a BAS to your facility, or even expanding your current BAS, it's important to get a firm grasp on your specific facility management needs. According to FacilitiesNet, this is the most common source of strife when it comes time to install or augment BAS technology. As building automation integration can be incredibly extensive, make sure you identify beforehand a specific function you need the BAS to perform for your facility; monitoring maintenance, power consumption and overall facility management are all within the scope of BAS technology. Each need carries with it specific considerations, including what hardware you need to install and what existing facility management data (if any) will need to be transferred to the new system.
Not just for basics anymore
The modular nature of many BAS technologies means that facilities managers can augment their existing facility management system with new technology designed to add additional functionality or tackle additional tasks. One area that has seen development in recent years is diagnostics. Whether detecting actual new issues that need maintenance attention or highlighting existing issues such as deteriorated equipment, more fully integrated diagnostic software can help managers both stay on top of current facility needs and prevent more from developing.
For example, the Critical Alarm module from FacilityDude centers around diagnostic systems to monitor, classify and respond to potential security concerns appropriately. The module boasts what they call intelligent filtering as a way to both sift through duplicate and false alarms, as well as to respond quickly to legitimate alerts from sources such as fire alarms and security cameras, and encourage the proper response before they escalate into major issues.
In order for these more modular systems to work properly, facilities managers need to ensure that existing maintenance concerns with current equipment are addressed. That way, the new BAS technology can more seamlessly be integrated into the existing framework and provide its maximum benefit.