Facility Manager Cost Saving/Best Practice Quick Reads RSS Feed
September 18, 2013 -
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Today's tip from Building Operating Management comes from Rita Tatum, contributing editor for the magazine: Dashboards that use energy and other data from building automation and energy management systems are gaining wider use in facilities.
The desire to know what is happening with energy use stretches from the building occupant to the boardroom, thanks to more enterprise-wide systems. The ability of today's BAS/EMS to take almost any data point, sometimes through middleware, to a standardized database means everyone can get the information they need. "Once the information is in one location, a contractor can tweak the dashboards," says Jim Sinopoli, managing principal, Smart Buildings.
Using enhanced and targeted dashboards, facility departments can view schematics of air handlers and variable air volume boxes. Meanwhile the business executive's dashboard displays how much energy was consumed, how much that energy consumption cost and how today's expenditures compare to last year's during the same time period. In the building lobby, digital signage or interactive kiosks let tenants and the general public see what energy the building is using.
"Owner IT departments finally seem ready to support, even embrace, the convergence of IP-enabled BAS devices on the corporate enterprises," says Robert G. Knight, senior associate with Environmental Systems Design. "Early adopters have been forecasting this for years, but until fairly recently we observed a healthy amount for friction from the average corporate IT and infoset teams."
The technological advances in BAS/EMS are not just for big companies. Smaller building operators also can tap this newer technology. Like elsewhere in the information technology arena, "yesterday's bleeding edge feature is today's standard offering," says Knight.
Jack Althoff, owner of ProJex, Inc., believes the current energy picture will continue to encourage BAS/EMS retrofits. "Tenants are into green improvements," says Althoff. "So if you are going to be competitive in the marketplace, you need solid BAS/EMS to attract clients and to keep operating costs as low as you possibly can."