6 Benefits of Building Automation Systems for HVAC

If you think of how much energy and money could be saved if everyone simply turns off the lights when they exit a room or adjust the thermostat when they leave for vacation, you may wonder why we don’t power down more often. 

Optimized and automated energy protocols give us the ability to preserve energy, reduce expenses, and improve our environment, but the technology still needs to be universally adopted. However, businesses that opt for automating mechanical systems within their buildings receive a great value, and regain control in managing their operating costs. 

Building Automation Systems (BAS) are designed to analyze a commercial building’s energy usage, occupancy, and much more, to give property managers the vital information they need to optimize building settings that, in turn, delight occupants.

Indoor properties consume roughly 40% of all global energy, making homes, offices, businesses, schools, government facilities, and more some of the leading causes of carbon emissions. That’s a lot of energy used just keeping the lights on and the temperature cozy! 

Additionally, there is reason to believe that up to 15% of those emissions can be curbed with automation tools that limit waste and provide useful feedback on energy usage in typically larger commercial buildings. 

Property managers and building owners are increasingly counting on Building Automation Systems (BAS) to reduce energy output and the associated costs of using energy to operate a commercial building. 

The core mission of VAC is to deliver cutting-edge building automation solutions to our VRF HVAC customers so that they can better manage their properties, improve energy efficiency, prevent emergency service and failures, and delight their tenants. The following benefits of building automation systems make outfitting a building for smart controls a no-brainer!

Top 6 Benefits of Building Automation Systems for HVAC Control

Lower Energy Costs

Energy costs have soared in recent years, and with most governments’ committed to reducing carbon emissions, we can assume they’re staying high for a while. That’s why more property owners are looking for ways to save on energy consumption and maximize efficiency in their buildings.

A BAS-optimized building can permit energy-efficient control strategies such as temperature setbacks during unoccupied periods, demand-controlled ventilation, and optimal start/stop control of HVAC equipment, and thus significantly reduce maintenance-related energy costs.

Highly-optimized commercial buildings have reduced up to 30% of their energy costs, allowing for reinvestment and other greater uses. Consistently low energy costs also make commercial properties more attractive to prospective buyers and developers. 

Improved Comfort

Studies have shown uncomfortable working conditions directly correlate to reduced efficiency in employees (not just in humans… computers that overheat are none too productive either). 

A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that BAS can increase occupant satisfaction by up to 90% by providing optimal thermal conditions. An automation system allows a more surgical application of heating and cooling compared to legacy HVAC systems that apply the same settings across entire floors or even buildings. 

Many employees consider how their work environment will feel when deciding on taking a job. If they were interviewed at the office where they would work and felt sweltering heat, or blistering cold, it may impact their decision. Businesses could miss out on top talent by not delivering a comfortable work environment, leading to decreased productivity and performance. 

When people work in an optimally ambient setting, they can focus more, relax, and do their best work. In essence, this makes employee comfort satisfaction paramount to achieving higher productivity and morale. 

Increased Productivity

Human productivity is not the only aspect influenced by building automation. When a commercial HVAC unit experiences a failure in the middle of the summer, it can almost certainly lead to a disruption in normal business operations. 

Inconvenient outages and closures can lead to dramatic losses in revenue, inventory, and more. Nevermind the costs of urgent repairs; when a building is out of commission due to the inability to operate, the repercussions can be devastating to company goals. 

BAS can detect and diagnose HVAC system issues, allowing for smarter preventative maintenance and reducing total downtime. With the ability to see the health of all mechanical attributes in one interface, operators can stay ahead of avoidable setbacks and further enable maximum efficiency. 

Reduces Maintenance Costs

BAS continuously monitors data from HVAC, lighting, electrical systems, plumbing, and more, and the information received can give the building manager valuable insights on the usage of all the systems in the building. This data assists in identifying potential issues and growing problems early on, helping avoid costly emergency repairs and stressful equipment failures. 

Additionally, with the help of a building automation system, an optimized building can achieve energy savings by efficiently shutting off and turning on systems such as lights, HVAC, and other electrical components, when the regions of a building are unoccupied. We know that when appliances run continuously, they often endure unnecessary wear and tear, causing shortened mechanical lifespans. 

Suppose a property’s mechanical systems are only running when occupied and thus turned off when empty (overnights, weekends, holidays, seasons). In that case, systems like lights and HVAC are used less frequently, allowing the machinery to remain like-new for a longer period of time.

Data Collection

Building automation systems allow us the unique ability to collect data on various mechanical dependencies within the building that help operators decide when certain mechanical attributes will be on, what setting they are designated, and for how long. 

The data that a building automation system collects can help cut out most of the guesswork that would ordinarily be up to a property manager setting a plan for lights, HVAC, plumbing, security systems, and more. 

With a full report of occupancy and energy consumption data, managers can implement the settings that best facilitate occupant satisfaction and business energy efficiency goals. 

Furthermore, the long-term collection of this data will enable the operators to continuously adjust and optimize parameter settings to achieve maximum satisfaction, savings, and productivity. 

Increases Security

The coalescence of HVAC, alarms, lighting, access controls, security cameras, and more, lets property managers and owners observe more of what is happening in their buildings and automate certain functions to deter criminal behavior.

Connecting a BAS to fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other hazard sensors means you’ll always be the first to know in case of an emergency. With faster response times, you’ll help ensure your building occupants’ safety and reduce potential damage.

By linking with security cameras and video monitoring systems, a BAS enables building managers to keep an eye on what’s happening in real-time. Not only does this help to spot potential issues, but it also means you can react quickly if there’s a problem.

With a BAS, building managers and security staff can keep tabs on everything remotely, even from their mobile devices. This makes responding to security incidents and emergencies a breeze, no matter where you are.

Get Set for Success With Building Automation

Commercial building automation systems are dynamic and adaptable to the ever-changing needs of a business. As a facility grows or needs additional features, a BAS can be expanded to ensure it always meets the building requirements. 

Property owners who take advantage of the benefits of building automation systems can substantially upgrade their infrastructure, lower their energy expenses, and improve the working environment of their occupants. All of this can be accomplished while also delivering businesses’ environmental and sustainability goals. Building automation systems are one of the best ways to streamline effective property management and satisfy tenants and occupants.