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The hidden costs of building automation

Are you getting the most out of your Building automation system (BAS)? A BAS connects and automates various building systems, such as lighting, HVAC and security, through one set of controls. These systems can reduce energy costs, increase comfort and improve building performance – but there are some common, often overlooked issues that can reduce performance and cost you money.

Unused system capabilities

Failure to fully utilize BAS features and capabilities reduces building performance and leaves money on the table. Vary schedules and prioritize alerts and alarm settings appropriately. Maintain control over airflow, temperature, humidity levels and other comfort parameters. Monitor trend data to look for system faults and correct them in a timely manner.

Neglected maintenance

Poor system maintenance can disrupt operations and waste energy and money. Make sure your system maintenance agreement includes regular maintenance and updates, as well as guaranteed response time for emergency repairs. Check for details such as the amount of support hours provided and any service charges.

New system components

Facility remodeling or expansion may require additional system components or features. Newer parts and software may not be compatible with your legacy system. The central controller may need to be replaced and system expansion could increase licensing fees. Use more cost-effective third-party components if possible.

Warranty issues

Warranty surprises can be expensive. Read the fine print. Learn details about the extent and limitations of coverage, availability of parts and service, and any difference between warranty guarantees on installation and equipment. Make sure you understand the entire claims process.

Cybersecurity threats

Data security risks are growing. A system cyber hack can be costly in terms of lost critical data and system interruption. Purchase and install equipment that meets cybersecurity compliance standards such as ISA/IEC 62443. Close potential back doors to system servers and manage usernames and passwords from a central location. Develop and implement an attack response plan that includes methods of analysis, response to expected outcomes and a plan of action.

To ensure long-term savings and system performance, regularly monitor and adjust device schedules and system setpoints. Establish a program for periodic system updates and routine maintenance.

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