Recently, FacilitiesNet published an article titled “Three Tips for Planning a Building Automation System Project.” The piece walks readers through considerations that they should take into account when replacing their current BAS. We found the article to be helpful and related to our own recommendations. Below, we have addressed each of their recommendations from Computrols perspective.
Facility managers planning on a new or replacement building automation system should keep these three points in mind.
- 1. Internet connectivity is highly desirable in building automation systems, but comes with critical responsibilities. The responsibility to secure these systems cannot lay with the customers. By adhering to IT best practices, and taking advantage of cloud computing and wireless technology, the buildings can enjoy powerful, convenient and secure BAS systems. Building automation systems’ rapid technical evolution has to include cutting edge security practices.
Computrols understands the potential risks that come along with the benefits of the Internet of Things. The security of our clients’ systems and data is of the utmost importance to us, which is why we take enhanced measures to ensure our clients’ safety.
- 2. One of the interesting innovations in the world of BAS is the ability of integrating multiple systems. Whether it is partial or full-integration, facility managers should always consider this feature when specifying their BAS.
a. Although there are benefits derived from the partial integration approach based on applying open standards to proprietary control subsystems, the full-integration concept is superior to all because it applies open standards whenever possible and/or practical.
b. There is less hardware with the full-integration approach because integrating building control sub-systems at the control network level reduces the number of drives required. In addition, the full integration approach reduces the number of devices, due to shared information throughout the system. The full integration approach to building automation gives the owner the ability to receive competitive bids for each building which may not be possible with the proprietary based control systems.
For over 30 years Computrols has been in the business of integrating to 3rd party building automation systems. We have successfully integrated to countless systems including Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Siemens, and Trane and have the capability, in-house, to develop additional interface solutions as needed. Computrols has been and will continue to be on the forefront of integration technology in building automation. Additionally, through our integration solutions, Computrols still supports many of our competitors’ products that they themselves no longer support.
3. It’s crucial to provide training for the staff that will be using the BAS. If people don’t know how to operate a system, it’s worthless. When it comes to training, it’s important for facility executives to determine the responsibilities specific people will have and to give them the right level of training. An overlooked component of training is the need to sell the new system to users and show them how it will make their lives easier.
Simplicity and training our clients to become self-performers has always been at the core of Computrols’ mission statement. A direct result of focusing on creating intuitive software has been ridding end users of the exorbitant service contracts required by our competitors. This concept has been carried over to our hardware technology and into our training as well, as we continue to provide easy to install direct digital controls and hands-on training. In addition to our detailed, personalized training sessions, Computrols also provides its customers with a number of data sheets and tutorial videos on our website and complimentary 24-hour technical support.