The impact of the BAS goes beyond reduced energy use and utility savings. It also relates to productivity and worker efficiency. For example, the BAS streamlines troubleshooting activities by allowing technicians to trend areas to analyze the indoor environment more accurately.
"Trending is probably one of the best things we can do," Boehm says. "If we know we have a problem area, or if we know we have an area where we're over-conditioning, we can definitely go into that right away. We're way ahead of everything, instead of being behind it."
The BAS also directly affects the way technicians look at long-term equipment performance. The system aids technicians in performing thorough preventive maintenance, ensuring strong performance throughout the equipment's life cycle.
"One of the things we do is we have a nice work-order system that is maintenance-driven, obviously, to get the life cycle out of the equipment," Boehm says. "When we do regular maintenance on a piece of equipment, we go through every phase of the equipment itself.
"We're checking the zones, we're checking pneumatics, and the (direct digital control) panel's checked. Even the air that feeds our pneumatic electronic systems, we're checking that for moisture and oil content."
The BAS upgrade could not have come at a better time for Pittsburgh International Airport. After a drop in flights created a loss of revenue, every department in the organization had to make changes. The new technology not only has helped the maintenance department become more efficient. It also has helped follow through on the goal of lowering utility costs during tough economic times.
Says Boehm, "One of the things we can't afford to do is be behind the 8-ball here because we don't have that manpower that we used to have. This system has made it that much easier. I guess you could call it the 12th man."
Airport Looks for Ways to Cut Costs
Building-Automation System Upgrade Meets Energy-Efficiency Demands
Airport Upgrades to Wireless BAS
BAS Improves HVAC Control, Energy Efficiency
BAS Promotes Trending and Preventive Maintenance Practices
Building-Automation System: Technician Training Key to Performance