Building automation is a complex topic, but it can be simplified to understand exactly what a building automation system (BAS) is, and the many benefits it has for building owners and occupants. Simply put, a BAS is a system that automates many of the tasks that are required to run HVAC, so it can be thought of as an HVAC control system. The BAS is equipped with a user interface that allows the user to adjust control setting and detect any issues relating to the building system preference.
Layers of A BAS
There are four layers in a building automation system, including the server/application layer, supervisory layer, field controller layer, and the input/output layer.
- The server/application layer consolidates data from many different supervisory devices, then delivers the data to the end user through the user interface.
- The supervisory layer is home to the supervisory devices, which can be thought of as similar to a home router, as they collect traffic from the field controllers.
- The field controller layer looks at data from inputs, including temperature sensors, then the control outputs.
- The input/output layer is home to the sensors and control devices.
Outcomes Of A BAS
The outcomes of a building automation system can be broken down into four areas: life safety, uptime, energy saving, and staff efficiency.
- Life Safety is ensuring that the health and well-being of those inside the building are protected at all costs. As everyone in the commercial building industry knows, life safety is the main purpose of any building system. A building system is there to improve the lives of those who occupy the building, so if the system has any negative impacts on life safety, it needs to be fixed right away. One of a building automation system’s primary outcomes is improving life safety.
- Uptime is simply the amount of time that a system or the systems controlled by a BAS are up. Anytime a system is down, it is called downtime. Downtime can either be planned for performing maintenance, or it can be unplanned, meaning the system is down unexpectedly due to failures.
- Energy savings are an essential outcome of a BAS, as energy efficiency is one of the primary reasons people make the switch to an automated system. With a BAS, you can visualize and manage the building system to create energy savings.
- Staff efficiency is another important outcome of a BAS, as the control systems are meant to help workers become more comfortable, efficient, and productive.
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