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Sophisticated BAS Command Center Saves Staff Time

Podcast highlights:

1. The Collier County Operations Center includes wide range of Building Automation Systems, including the following:
• HVAC monitoring and control (more than 47,000 points).
• Lighting control.
• Card access (more than 590 readers, used for door and gate access, as well as tracking of VIPs for security purposes).
• Biometric access.
• ID badging (more than 4500 current employees and contractors with badges in system).
• Digital fingerprinting of employees and contractors. (Files are sent directly to Florida Department of Law Enforcement and results are back in hours not weeks as can sometimes be the case with standard fingerprinting.)
• Panic alarms (more than 100).
• Fire extinguisher cabinet monitoring.
• AED cabinet monitoring.
• Emergency blue boxes (used outside facilities as typically found on college campuses, as well as in all of the County's elevators, which includes a software system to check every line twice a day to confirm all are functioning properly).
• CCTV cameras (more than 600, including PTZ and fixed).
• Over 55 TB of video storage for CCTV cameras.
• Key management system.
• UPS battery monitoring.
• Work order management and space management system (integrated with AutoCAD for space management; all 658 facilities are in AutoCAD). Approximately 19,000 work orders are processed and managed a year.
• Lightning strike monitoring.
• XM weather monitoring.
• Fire alarm monitoring.
• Irrigation systems monitoring and control.
• Perimeter fence monitoring system (used at utility plants).
• Elevator monitoring and control.
• 800 MHz radio recording (same system used by County EMS and Sheriff's Office).
This center stands out because of the diversity of systems managed. There are plenty of security centers or central dispatch centers that are bigger and better, but the array of systems used makes the Collier County center stand out from other building automation centers.

2) Reasons for having such a sophisticated system include:

• Limited maintenance staff.
• Upper management directive: No new FTEs; instead, use technology where appropriate.
• With the limited staffing, a portfolio spread over the 2,000 square miles of Collier County, Fla., and just under 4 million square feet of building space to maintain, building automation is essential to help the facility management department do its job.
• Life safety, the number 1 responsibility of facility managers, becomes even more important in the Collier County Government FM organization. The FM department is the ultimate custodian of occupants housed by the county (jail inmates) and is required by law to maintain their space. Technology gives FM the opportunity to respond more quickly.

3. The building automation center has been built over a number of years. Growth in Southwest Florida has meant growth in county government facilities. Facilities are managed holistically within the Collier County department of facilities management, from project planning, real estate acquisition, design, through construction and ultimately on to the maintenance of the county assets. Because the FM department manages the entire process, the department has the opportunity to make sure that its vertical standards are followed and are included in new facilities, as well as renovations. These standards include the requirements of building automation tied into existing systems.

— Damon Gonzales, CFM, facilities manager, department of facilities management, Collier County, Fla., Government

Find more on this topic:

BAS, facility management, cost cutting, government facilities, staffing

posted:  10/20/2009