If you have your own office space or building, you’ve probably experienced some form of HVAC troubles in the hotter months. Uneven heating or cold spots, unpleasant odors, weird knocking or grinding sounds — fear not, you don’t have a ghost! It’s probably that your HVAC system is either struggling to keep up with the higher demand or is set improperly for the number of people actually using the space. On our hot summer days our HVAC units are probably working harder than you’re used to. If you have a particularly noisy one, you may even hear it plodding along even though it’s on the outside of your building. 100-degree days can mean everyone in the office is looking and feeling sluggish, including your HVAC. If the humidity goes up as well, then your HVAC will struggle just as much as anyone else. And when your air conditioning unit struggles, your electricity and maintenance bills can skyrocket.
So, what’s the solution? Well, you could meticulously monitor the actual occupancy of the space and manually adjust the HVAC system every time. It’ll probably save you a little bit on maintenance and electricity costs, but the increased manpower cost and wasted time will likely more than offset any savings. We have a smarter idea: Building Automation.
Building automation most broadly refers to creating centralized, networked systems of hardware and software monitors and controls a building’s systems. When facilities are monitored and controlled in a seamless fashion, this creates a much more reliable working environment for the building’s tenants. Furthermore, the efficiency introduced through automation allows the building’s facility management team to adopt more sustainable practices and reduce energy costs. Multiple building systems such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, security and others so they can be controlled by one single interface for greater efficiency and optimized performance.
The technology that exists today allows buildings to essentially learn about the occupants’ routines. A modern building automation system will monitor the various facilities it controls to understand how to optimize for maximum efficiency. It’s no longer a matter of heating a room to a specific temperature; systems today can learn who enters what rooms at what times so that buildings can adjust to the needs of the tenants, and then conserve energy when none is needed.
There is a growing overlap between the idea of controlling a building and learning from all the data the system collects. That’s why automated buildings are called “smart buildings” or “intelligent buildings.”
What does this mean for you, the building owner? It means less wear and tear on essential systems. It means a predictable schedule so you know what systems can be maintained at what times. It means lower costs in the long run and increased value of your building. Integrated automation services can increase your building’s property value by up to 8 dollars per square foot, depending on what kinds of Building Automation you have installed. Let’s say you have a moderately-sized building of 10,000 to 15,000 square feet – that’s still an $80,000 increase at least, not counting the increased attractiveness smart buildings have towards potential buyers.
While we’re deep into 2021, it’s never too late to reap the benefits of Building Automation. Get in touch with Level One HVAC and we can assist you with design specifications, installation, and maintenance for your Building Automation Services. You can reach us at (248) 486-6500 to schedule an appointment or just to find out what we can do for you. If you’re too busy for that, it’s no problem: just fill out our online contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.