Building automation systems control various components within a building’s structure, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC). HVAC system performance and sustainability is key for today’s building operation.
The primary goal of this type of infrastructure is to improve system efficiency, reduce costs and increase safety. A centralized building management platform brings all of these parts together, but this description is a simplification of what’s really going on behind the scenes.
Main Components of a BAS
Building Automation Systems can be implemented either during initial construction or through a retrofitting process for an existing structure. It uses five component categories to provide a smart building environment.
These devices track temperature, humidity, the number of people in a room, the lighting level and other values. The sensors transmit this information to centralized controllers.
This component acts as the “brain” of the BAS. It collects data from the sensors and then sends commands to HVAC units, lighting systems, security alarms and other connected parts.
- Output devices:
Once the controller sends out a command, actuators and relays go into action to follow the requirements. For example, they can reduce or increase the heating in a particular part of the building, dim lights in unused offices, or turn on the air conditioning before people come to work.
- Communication protocols:
The BAS uses a specific language that’s understood by the system’s individual components. BACnet and Modbus are the most commonly used options.
- Terminal interface:
Users can interact with the BAS through this interface. It presents information so that users can monitor the condition of the building or choose to override settings manually.
Importance of User Interfaces
The terminal interface is an important part of an effective building automation system. Organizations need a way to access the data produced by the sensors, discover whether problems need troubleshooting, and look for areas of inefficiency they can address. A poorly designed user interface may not provide the necessary access or analysis that a business needs to understand its BAS performance levels.
Modern visual data overlays provide building managers with insights delivered in a user-friendly form. Managers can quickly react to changes because it’s easy to see what’s going on in the system on a day-to-day basis. Machine-to-machine communication guides decision-makers with objective information.