Operation and maintenance of both public and private buildings can get very expensive if you’re not being smart about it. How do you reduce the work needed, and keep the energy expenses to a minimum?
1. Tie all functions to the occupants
If a building’s large enough, there’s going to be lots of times that only part of it is in use. While many new buildings have ways to automatically reduce ventilation, lights or heating when they stand empty, an important next step is to tie these functions directly to the user. A smart way of doing this would be to register what part of the building an office worker is going to need, and then putting the necessary functions online as he or she clocks in.
By doing this, you could also keep track of how much each part of the building is used, and in turn adjusting things like the cleaning schedule. You might not have to clean the whole area as often if some parts are more commonly used.
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2. Collect your alarm monitoring in one place
Your building is probably already outfitted with a series of alarms. Burglary, fire, lift and any kinds of technical alarms quickly add up. If these are all monitored separately, that means more work hours in return for a worse overview. While this might entail external alarm centrals, the operator should still be able to keep track of them all, and knowing they’re up and running. It’s obviously preferable if this can be done with a simple glance.
3. Upgrade old systems instead of replacing them
Asset optimization is a great solution for old buildings that still haven’t got any smart functionality to save energy. Wanting to upgrade your ventilation, lights and heating, does not necessarily mean tearing apart walls and floors and replacing everything with expensive new equipment. A lot of the time you can get away with installing simple sensors and other small devices to have the old equipment start acting “smart”, sending data to the cloud, where energy management systems can adjust them automatically in return.
4. Ensure your communication is secure
While putting your operations online through the cloud opens up new possibilities, you have to make sure it doesn’t lead to sabotage. There are, for instance, malicious programs constantly scanning for unsecured devices to hijack and either destroy or use to transmit expensive data. If this were to happen, it could mean major economic losses for you.
Luckily, there are simple solutions to hide your traffic through private tunnels, so you can rest safe knowing your building communication is not tampered with.
5. Get your operations into an app
Using the in-building ICS system to adjust your settings can be cumbersome, and not always possible. If you’re controlling several buildings at once, or just not able to be on the premises at all times, moving everything into an app will save both time and travel expenses. This way you can see if the building is still empty during off-work hours, adjust any suboptimal settings accordingly, and be warned as soon as something unusual happens – like high temperatures in a server room, or alarms being deactivated.
Of course, this necessitates an almost 100% uptime, which means you should rely on a trusted mobile operator, or even a roaming solution to let you choose between several. This way you’ll always have the strongest signal possible.