The Many Advantages of Connected Buildings

We hear a lot lately about connected buildings, but what does that mean today? Simply put, it is all the facility infrastructure of different digital systems in buildings that can communicate and share information.

Some examples of digital facility systems are building automation temperature controls, fire alarm, security, lighting, electrical and camera systems. Examples of specific industry systems include nurse call networks, wayfinding systems for people and assets, cable tv, weather stations, manufacturing systems and integrated medical systems/code alarms. All of these can be the foundation of intelligent facilities of the future that provide safety and sustainability, are resilient and hyper efficient and are people centric.

The types of digital systems that can communicate important data continues to expand at a rapid pace, and there are very good reasons to be able to understand these connections and the value behind the shared data. Connected buildings that communicate with a building automation system and the digital information shared are important tools for future management systems in the building and manufacturing automation space. Organizations such as EPA, and programs such as LEED and Energy Star® are continuing to modify their processes and certifications for facilities, and ASHRAE GL 36 standards are driving intelligent facilities design for HVAC due to the changes in digital technologies available today.

What Data is Being Used Today?

Today’s building automation systems and IoT/connected digital systems leverage important embedded data such as CPU usage, memory usage, product versions, forced points, failed points, communication failure and recovery and offline/online status. An integrated, digitally connected building automation system in healthcare enables best-in-class patient services from the scheduled arrival to when the patient leaves the building. The system alerts the staff to the patient’s arrival and can also trigger other connected systems in the facility to make sure that the patient is safe, and that different departments can be prepared. The exam room lights go on, the temperature of the room is set, the staff meets the patient at the proper location. The surgery room may be readied based on any planned surgical procedure. The patient room is readied, the shades are automatically closed, the room temperature is set, the lights may be dimmed and the remote display shows important care information. The bedside digital touchpad allows them to call the nurse, raise and lower the curtains, change the television station, change the color and brightness of lights and adjust the room temperature within prescribed parameters. Much of this is driven from the type of visit or if the patient has indicated a personal preference when making the appointment. This enables the staff to focus on direct patient care more than ever before.

What Are the Advantages of Building Automation Systems?

There are many good reasons to incorporate connected buildings at your organization. Automating and digitally connecting facilities can help protect your facilities, visitors and employees. These connected systems must be highly maintained and monitored, and Faith Technologies employs the Schneider Electric EcoStruxure™ Building Advisor to help our clients do more than just maintain a building. Building Advisor is a cloud hosted application that leverages digital twin, big-data and analytics to bring automation and continuous monitoring of systems to streamline building maintenance, optimize performance and extend asset life. This system utilizes a hybrid model of on-site and remote experts to provide service that is responsive, outcome driven, and is an extension of your operational team. This building automation service is critical when you consider the following:

  • An estimated 55% or more of tasks in building maintenance are reactive
  • More than 40% of building occupants are dissatisfied with comfort levels
  • Greater than 80% of equipment fails before its expected age

Building Advisor automates maintenance checks with continuous monitoring, based on building size. A medium sized building may have 900+preventive maintenance checks per year vs. a large site which may have 4,000+ automated checks per day.

There are numerous advantages to connected buildings. Studies show the end user value includes:

  • Nearly 30% decrease in unscheduled maintenance, prioritizing maintenance based on impact and ROI
  • Achieve compliance and sustainability goals
  • 33% fewer occupant complaints and improved comfort and wellbeing
  • Maximized asset life and improved building resilience
  • Up to 20% energy cost reduction
  • Harmonized maintenance across portfolio

Faith Technologies can support your building automation needs; contact us today to see how connected buildings can bring value to your organization.