Success of BAS hinges on staff training

building automation, controls, training, comfort   March 31, 2008

I’m Ed Sullivan, editor of Building Operating Management, and today’s topic is the importance of training operators when a new building automation system is installed.

Today’s building automation systems are both more powerful and more user-friendly than their predecessors of even 10 years ago. But that doesn’t diminish the importance of training for the staff who will be using the system. Although a new BAS will have a user-friendly interface, it is still a complex system. Operators need to understand the fundamentals of the new system, such as changing operating parameters. But they should also understand the full capabilities of the system, and the benefits it is intended to deliver. Otherwise, some of those capabilities are likely to go unused, which may reduce cost savings or other benefits on which the system was justified.

Failing to provide training can be an invitation to trouble. If occupant complaints arise, operating staff who don’t know how to use the system are likely to find workarounds that solve the problem but increase energy use. They may even make the initial problem worse. Indeed, the system may come to be seen as a problem.

Include training in the initial budget for the project, then put up a good defense against any attempts to cut it.


Read next on FacilitiesNet