All too often we see building automation systems become building remote control systems. This happens for a few reasons, most of which are well-intentioned. For example, when a building occupant complains about being uncomfortable, it is the building engineer’s responsibility to remedy the situation in a timely manner. As a result, building engineers often find quick fixes such as putting a point in operator mode to achieve the desired result. By itself, there is really nothing wrong with this approach, however, doing so and not taking the time to find the underlying issue can be problematic. We also often see these points stay in operator because no one circled back to change it.
Another typical issue we see amongst building engineers is alarm fatigue. This happens when the parameters for your system alarms are either too tight, there are too many alarms altogether, or there is potentially some deeper issue in the programming. In these scenarios, so many alarms come up on the system that building engineers address the alarms without taking action because they simply can’t deal with so many issues at once. This is ultimately an issue that needs to be addressed with the service provider so facility managers can be held accountable for alarms that are addressed on the system but no action is taken.
Accountability is something that everyone can benefit from in some capacity. In the case of building automation systems, you need to know that when a problem comes up that it is being taken care of in a timely manner and also that it is being dug into after the fact to see if there is a bigger underlying problem.
Accountability in CBAS
In Computrols Building Automation Software (CBAS), in addition to recording histories on all points at all times, we also record every action by every user. You can easily access this data in our User Activity Report in the Reports Menu. From there, you can pare down your parameters by point, date, user, and action. In this manner, you can see when a user addressed an alarm, what changes were made, who put a particular point into operator, etc. This report can be very useful in order to hold your team accountable. This will ensure users are addressing issues and also signing out of their accounts when they are done with their session.
As Computrols does not have additional fees for additional users, it only makes sense for each user to have their own login. You can easily create new users and groups by going to the System Menu and clicking on Setup Passwords. Here you can determine password requirements to meet your IT security requirements. You can also expire passwords after so many days if you have a TAB contractor using the system for commissioning.
Also under the System Menu, if you click Program Passwords, you can adjust a user or a group’s permissions within the software. Here you will find global permissions that apply to every point such as Edit Schedules or View Schedules. On an even more granular level, if you click the Points Restrictions button, you can choose whether a user or group can view, command, program, or alarm each individual point in your system.
As you can see, CBAS offers some premium customization and accountability options in order for you and your team to run your BAS as smoothly as possible. For more information on these features, check out the CBAS User Manual.