As winter approaches, you may be thinking about the high costs of heating your multi-unit residential building in Chicago and the increased lighting costs that come with reduced sunlight. Thankfully, reducing your overhead costs may be as simple as utilizing a Building Automation System (BAS) with the Internet of Things (IoT), and once you install the system, you won’t just save money during winter, you will save money all year long.
Creating Your Smart Building
When building automation and the Internet of Things are combined, you have what is known as a Smart Building. A building that is 'smart' utilizes advancements in technology to monitor the structure’s vital systems and components, including the HVAC system, lights, security system and water. The operational specifics of each system is controlled by an advanced software program that let’s you look at the data and decide if any changes need to be made in order to reduce overhead costs or make the building’s occupants more comfortable. They can also provide you with alerts when a piece of the system malfunctions or fails.
Building Automation Systems (BAS)
The process of precisely controlling your residential building’s mechanical and electrical systems starts with a Building Automation System. BAS systems are designed to lower your overhead costs by controlling your energy consumption through sensors and software programs. The sensors monitor energy usage and other vital system components and send that data to a software program. The data can then be organized into graphs, charts and reports that you can use to determine how much energy you are using and where you could potentially cut your usage.
For example, upon viewing the charts, you might notice that the lights and HVAC system are operating in areas that are not in use during certain periods of time during the day or night. In order to save money, you might consider turning the lights off to those rooms and increasing to decreasing the temperatures in those rooms, according to the season in order to save money.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a method of communication between systems and objects that historically haven’t been able to communicate with each other. For example, let’s say one of your residents enters the parking garage at an hour when the parking garage isn’t normally in use. As the vehicle passes through the garage’s entrance gate, it sends a signal to increase the lighting in the parking garage. The lights then tell the security cameras to follow the car and monitor the areas around the car, which increases safety. The security system may even be able to make an announcement to the security personnel, alerting them to the fact that a resident is in the garage. A minute or two later, the heating or air conditioning activates at the front doors, providing your resident with climate controlled air, which increases his or her comfort. This is all possible with IoT smart building technology, and if you already have BAS system in your building, IoT becomes extremely simple to implement.
Combining IoT with BAS for Precise Building Control and Energy Efficiency
Here at Althoff, we have a technology group that is dedicated to providing IoT smart building and BAS system integration solutions for multi-unit residential buildings in Chicago. We even accept custom projectsthat require unique solutions in order to implement successfully.
Open Source Technology
To help speed up the process of turning your high-rise residential building into a Smart Building, we often utilize devices and technology that are open source, which means the devices and software are not proprietorially limited to one brand or a certain list of certified repair and maintenance vendors. One of our favorite technology vendors is Vykon because they offer open distribution and technology along with a dedicated support team.
To learn more about how BAS can save you money this winter and all year long, call us today at 800-225-2443.