The benefits of automation are inarguable. Almost anything can be automated. Emails can be sent, social media can be scheduled, security systems can be set, heating can be adjusted, lights can be turned on – all with the tap of a finger on your mobile device. The simplicity and ability to increase your productivity is already a major benefit, but property automation takes the benefits to a whole new level. With the ability to save on utility bills, control your property from anywhere, and intelligently adjust building components implementing building automation is a no-brainer. Here are our top nine benefits of automating property system management.
1) Constant Control – A top benefit of building automation systems (BAS) is the control that property managers have from anywhere. They have 24/7 access to the building’s systems from any device that can connect to the internet. If there is a meeting during off-hours or maintenance personnel need office access on a weekend – the property manager can simply adjust the HVAC, turn on the lights, turn off the security, and unlock the doors with the push of a button.
2) Intelligent Adjustments of Utilities – A NEST or Computrols system can learn the building occupant’s habits and adjust the HVAC accordingly. The heat or air conditioning will be turned down or off during off-hours and automatically turned to a comfortable temperature during office hours. Unoccupied areas of the building can have lights dimmed automatically until the area is occupied. This will save properties money on their utility bills.
3) Money Savings - Businesses can save between 5% and 30% on their utility bills with a BAS. With the ability to smartly schedule HVAC and lighting, utilities are used minimally when they aren’t needed. No longer will properties be heating an unoccupied space or lighting an empty office. Lighting and HVAC are two of the main uses of energy for businesses. With automation, this cost can be greatly reduced. Learn more about money savings here.
4) Peace of Mind – When property managers have control of the property from anywhere that provides peace of mind. Their phone will alert if the security system goes off, a door is opened in off-hours, or the smoke/carbon monoxide detectors alert. If an unplanned event takes place and the HVAC and lighting needs to be turned on quickly, it can be done from the BAS dashboard on any device with internet access.
5) Increased Awareness – Depending on the BAS system used, utility usage can be stored, added to databases, and made into graphs. This will provide an increased awareness of utility usage for the property manager. The PM can then make intelligent decisions about scheduling HVAC, lighting, and security/safety systems.
6) Single Control Board for Multiple Properties – A BAS can control airflow, monitor energy usage, and can integrate with security, lighting, and other building systems for a single point of control. A BAS system can also be set up to have a single dashboard to control multiple buildings. This can save property owners on the cost of staff. A single person can control the building systems of multiple buildings from one dashboard.
7) Energy Efficiency – Studies suggest that buildings can save 10% to 30% in energy usage through automation. An HVAC BAS optimizes HVAC by resetting set-points of boilers according to outdoor temperature, optimizing HVAC start/stop times according to office hours, using economizers for free cooling, and efficiently ventilating.
8) Better Indoor Air Quality – A BAS can be set up to provide the best possible Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Temperature and humidity sensors can monitor thermal comfort. Sensors for carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) monitor pollutants in the air, ensuring safe, breathable air. Control systems can even be added to control smoke in the event of a fire, providing breathable air during escape. Click here to read about the importance of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
9) Occupant Comfort – A BAS can control the comfort for both occupants and equipment. Equipment such as fire sprinklers and plumbing need to maintain a temperature above forty degrees to avoid a frozen and/or burst pipe. So, it is important to always keep a minimum temperature on BAS HVAC at 45-50 degrees when the building is unoccupied. A BAS also makes it possible to control the comfort of occupants by automatically turning the HVAC on to a comfortable temperature before occupants arrive and to slowly turn the HVAC to a lower level as occupants are set to leave the property. In addition, sensors can be added to rooms that will control zone ventilating, heating, and air conditioning. Humidity sensors can be added to dehumidify properties in the summer or add humidity to the air in the winter.
Controlling building systems through a BAS is the way of the future. The ability to intelligently monitor and adjust heating, air conditioning, ventilation, lighting, and security is necessary as companies seek to use their budgets efficiently. This allows properties to run streamlined. Utilities are used as needed and less people are needed to monitor and care for properties.