Facility Managers Have Multiple Reasons To Consider Wireless Building Automation Systems (BAS)

  March 11, 2013

Today's tip from Building Operating Management comes from Gislene D. Weig of PlanNet Consulting: Facility managers have multiple reasons to select wireless building automation systems.

Wireless building automation system networks, simplistically speaking, are networks of electronic devices designed to monitor and control the mechanical, electrical, and lighting systems in a building. In a BAS network there are mainly three tiers or levels. Tier 1 (the top level — the primary bus) is where devices such as logic controllers, work station terminals, web-servers, and other supervisory devices are networked. Tier 2 (the secondary bus) connects to major mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components like the central plant controller, air volume box controller (VAV), boiler controller, and lighting controller. The third tier is where end devices like thermostats, lighting sensors and others sensors are located. The most common implementation for wireless BAS has been the sensor level (tier 3) due to the ease of installation, flexibility, and lower installed cost.

Wireless systems or hybrid (combination of wired and wireless) systems are worth considering under a variety of circumstances. Here are four cases where it is worthwhile for facility managers to consider a wireless or hybrid BAS:
  • When there is a desire or requirement to implement BAS networks in new, existing or retrofit buildings where wiring is a challenge.
  • If adding more sensors and actuators throughout a building can further improve the comfort of occupants while reducing energy consumption.
  • When wiring is either aesthetically undesirable or cost prohibitive (e.g., historical buildings).
  • When there is a need to increase flexibility. Without a need to re-wire, tasks like re-locating or adding thermostats and sensors throughout a space becomes extremely easy, with a minimum of disruption to tenants.

This has been a Building Operating Management Tip of the Day.


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