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Facility managers planning on a new or replacement building automation system should keep these three points in mind.
• Internet connectivity is highly desirable in building automation systems, but comes with critical responsibilities. The responsibility to secure these systems cannot lay with the customers. By adhering to IT best practices, and taking advantage of cloud computing and wireless technology, the buildings can enjoy powerful, convenient and secure BAS systems. Building automation systems’ rapid technical evolution has to include cutting edge security practices.
• One of the interesting innovations in the world of BAS is the ability of integrating multiple systems. Whether it is partial or full-integration, facility managers should always consider this feature when specifying their BAS.
Although there are benefits derived from the partial integration approach based on applying open standards to proprietary control subsystems, the full-integration concept is superior to all because it applies open standards whenever possible and/or practical.
There is less hardware with the full-integration approach because integrating building control sub-systems at the control network level reduces the number of drives required. In addition, the full integration approach reduces the number of devices, due to shared information throughout the system. The full integration approach to building automation gives the owner the ability to receive competitive bids for each building which may not be possible with the proprietary based control systems.
• It’s crucial to provide training for the staff that will be using the BAS. If people don’t know how to operate a system, it’s worthless. When it comes to training, it's important for facility executives to determine the responsibilities specific people will have and to give them the right level of training. An overlooked component of training is the need to sell the new system to users and show them how it will make their lives easier.
This quick read is from Raed Salem, director of MEP Engineering, Larson & Darby Group. Read more from him about BAS.