Once installation is complete in new construction or an existing facility, the next challenge is to operate, monitor and maintain this BACnet-driven facility at peak performance.
"Spending money on a fully integrated building does not mean the building will run itself. Too often, building owners are willing to spend money for 'green' or 'intelligent buildings' but balk at the additional funds necessary to hire a properly trained building operator," says Reliable Controls' Smith. "Experience shows that the best-laid plans of building engineers all fall to ruin at the hands of a poorly trained operator with a love of manual overrides."
Clearly, as Steve Guzelimian, regional sales manager for Alerton, points out, "it takes a determined group to operate a system that was designed to be efficient." For example, building systems need to be started up correctly and verified. The work continues with measurement and verification. "This often is made easier by the use of building automation systems to monitor and actively control," he says.
New building systems can be complicated, and operators overseeing them will wind up spending many hours reviewing reports, tuning sequences of operation, and writing new sequences. Individuals capable of holding this position need to be well trained. "All systems — mechanical, electrical or software — tend to degrade over time if they are not constantly monitored and maintained," stresses Trane's Shedivy. "Operation of the facility is crucial. A poorly trained operator or a system that is hard to use can lead to overrides and 'band-aid' solutions to problems that defeat the intended purpose of a high-performance system."
Maintaining proper operation steps is essential for a smart building to not only meet a building's needs and use, but also slash energy and operations costs. Delivering a return on investment with an intelligent building requires diligent education, notes Daikin McQuay's Bjorkstrand. "Technology often is perceived to be more expensive to buy, install, and service, but with today's technological advances, this is no longer the case," he says. "Technology can reduce the lifecycle cost of the building and help to maintain the value of the HVAC system and other critical building assets.
Experts agree that a smart building is a long-term effort. In fact, the journey to building intelligence never ends. "An intelligent building is a work in progress," notes Alerton's Guzelimian. "It is essentially a building that actively changes its operation based on the varying needs of its occupants."
BACnet Helps Make Buildings Intelligent, Meet Control and Data Analysis Goals
BACnet's System Integration Helps Collect, Aggregate Building Data
BACnet Protocol Eases Automation And Integration Of Building Systems
BACnet Can Be Used To Make Buildings Intelligent In Either New Construction Or Retrofits
Get The Most Out Of BACnet By Properly Operating Building