Good entrepreneurs know that profit isn’t always about generating more revenue but also about reducing expenses.
Saving your team’s time in detecting issues in offices and production areas while consuming less energy directly and effortlessly increases your business’s profitability.
With the automation of premises and buildings, you can rreduce energy expenditure while enhancing security in all areas of your business, eliminating thousands of unproductive tasks that your maintenance personnel perform each year.
BUILDING AUTOMATION - SMART BUILDING SERVICES
Having control over which areas of our building are occupied gives us the ability to manage all facilities based on this parameter in a completely automated manner.
No longer will a light remain on, an air conditioner active, or a window open all night when there’s no one working in the area.
The systems we are all familiar with for 24-hour video surveillance and recording are fine; they allow us to see what happened at a given moment, and even preserve a nice video as a souvenir of the day when we were robbed.
What if we could use this video capture to analyze it in real-time and have it instantly alert us to an intrusion or unusual behavior?
This is already a reality, and the result is definitive for total control of security in buildings and large areas. A video analysis system linked to the building’s control system achieves absolute control of everything that happens without errors, along with significant savings in security personnel..
Equipping the building with intelligence in all its areas allows us to use all its resources to mitigate any intrusion into our facilities.
In the event that the building is threatened by an intrusion, outdoor lighting can be automatically activated if there is any suspicious activity in the vicinity.
The building can emit automatic deterrent messages through the external public address system, and at the same time, it will call us on the phone, allowing us to see what’s happening from the comfort of our home.
Additionally, the building can call a Central Receiving Station (CRA) connected to the police. This is just a small example of what automation can bring to the security of our business.
Access control in workplaces allows for organized employee and visitor traffic, and it provides a simple way to obtain information about the arrival and departure times of all personnel.
Access control linked to building automation will remotely provide us with information when a door has been tampered with, an obstruction is in place, or a door is being held open. It can even allow us to open a door without being physically present in the building.
Receiving a call from a delivery driver at the entrance of our business, opening the door for them to drop off goods, and then closing it again is a feature that can greatly facilitate the logistics management of our business.
Many companies choose to invest in a photovoltaic installation in order to achieve ignificant cost savings in their electricity consumption. However, like any investment, it is crucial to analyze the results as accurately as possible to place them where they become increasingly profitable.
For optimal economic performance of our photovoltaic system, it is essential that production is managed automatically. This system will send the generated energy to the most suitable point of consumption within our business, utilizing surplus production for purposes such as climate control, energy storage, vehicle charging, or any other consumption point in our facility.
The system will reuse the energy within the building whenever it is more profitable than feeding it back into the grid for minimal financial return on the bill.
Air conditioning systems in buildings and offices typically generate the highest electricity consumption costs compared to other installations.
Most buildings have global air conditioning systems for a single zone or, at most, they are divided by floors. By segmenting the air conditioning system into smaller zones, we can effectively cool or heat only the spaces that are truly necessary at any given time, resulting in significant cost savings within the building.
If we also consider that no one will leave their office climate control running all night ecause presence detection will turn it off, and if someone opens a window in a zone, the building will turn off the climate control for that area, and that we have control over temperatures and operating schedules for each space independently and centrally, we can achieve significant monthly savings on our electricity bill.
The level of CO2 in workspaces directly affects the well-being of the people working in them. To give you an idea, the level of CO2 typically found outdoors ranges from 300 to 400 parts per million (ppm). In workspaces, a normal level can range from 600 to 1000 ppm. When CO2 levels exceed 800 ppm, people may experience discomfort, headaches, fatigue, and general apathy. These symptoms can be more severe in children, as they have a higher metabolic rate and breathe about 50% more air per unit of body weight compared to adults.
Following the COVID-19 crisis, many buildings started installing air quality control systems, revealing that most workplaces consistently exceeded 1000 ppm, with some even registering values above 2000 ppm.
Building automation systems allow us to constantly monitor these values and take action, such as adjusting the climate control, increasing air circulation, or automatically opening windows to maintain CO2 levels at a healthy range for the well-being and productivity of the workforce.
The audio system is one of the primary tools that an intelligent building uses to communicate with us. In addition to having an audio system for background music, any incident detected by our building will be notified through the audio system as configured.
This includes calling any of the entrances to indicate which one has been called, sending alerts for gate or window openings, flooding, fire, sensor triggers, and even being able to easily send messages from our mobile device to specific areas of the building, even if we’re not physically present in the building.
The audio system gives voice to the smart building, allowing it to interact with us and make our daily tasks easier.
Once we have integrated lighting into the centralized control system of the building, a wide range of management and energy-saving possibilities open up.
From turning off lights in unoccupied rooms to controlling the lighting in each area based on incoming natural light, creating lighting scenes to generate the desired illuminated image of the building’s exterior, and even making all lights flash in case of intrusion to draw attention from the outside.
Equipping a building with intelligence allows it to automatically protect itself from the sun.
Can you imagine having to manually move 200 blinds or shades in a building?
A smart building knows at what time of day each day of the year the sun shines on each of its facades, and it can automatically move motorized solar protection elements (blinds, shades, curtains, pergolas, etc.) as needed, ensuring maximum illumination in each room of the building without direct sunlight. This guarantees the highest possible energy savings, both in lighting and climate control.
We can also manually control these elements individually or collectively with absolute ease, according to the permissions granted by the client for the switches in each room or through the building’s control application.
The smart building automatically protects itself against adverse weather conditions, even anticipating when they are about to occur.
Gales, storms, drastic temperature drops or rises can cause serious damage to a conventional building, but the smart building will take the necessary precautions to prevent damage to its facilities. It will also notify us of any dangerous situations so that we are aware of them.
Everything is up and running, and everything is under control, but… do you want to know what happened at a certain moment in the building?
The building records everything that we want it to report to us automatically. We can access this information through the control application, receive periodic emails with the data we want to obtain, or store this data in a secure repository for access whenever we need it.
Everything is operational, and everything is always under control.
Automating building management is as simple as defining what we want to happen when activating one mode or another, and all the building’s functionalities will operate according to our programmed schedule.
In presence mode, the entire building will respond to the business’s needs during that time frame.
The absent mode will put all the systems we define into energy-saving mode, activate alarm and detection systems to alert us to any incidents or intrusions, and trigger alarm systems and mobile notifications as we specify.
On certain occasions, it may be necessary for certain areas of the building to provide some level of privacy at specific times..
Solutions like motorized blinds and curtains, or smart switchable glass, allow us to prevent visibility from the outside while allowing light to pass through, thus ensuring privacy.
In all buildings, we can find appliances that make life easier for the people who reside in them.
If these appliances are integrated into the smart building, it allows us to have control over their status and even define that they activate when we have excess photovoltaic energy or when energy is cheaper.
We can also easily obtain statistics on the use that staff gives to each of the appliances, allowing us to make decisions when it comes to optimizing workplaces and necessary resources.
Without a doubt, one of the greatest benefits of having a smart building is the ease with which we can manage the maintenance of each and every one of its facilities and continually work to make automation more efficient and cost-effective.
By monitoring the facilities, we will be informed at all times of any issues they may have, receiving automatic alerts to address them. We can also receive regular statistics on usage and consumption, allowing us to compare the performance of systems such as air conditioning, air renewal, photovoltaics, electrical consumption, etc. This will enable us to better manage the building’s energy consumption.
We can have statistical control of the building’s occupancy in its different zones, also easily adapting the operating hours of lighting, air conditioning, vehicle charging, or excess energy storage, analyzing the consumption of each of these installations and linking it to the production of free photovoltaic energy.
"Managing consumption, temperatures, and incidents in our data centers has always been a challenge for us. In 2015, we started automating them with the help of Areacad, ensuring peace of mind and no more overheating issues during peak workloads. When we built our new offices in 2019, we were clear that it was essential to automate not only our data centers but the entire building, and that's exactly what we did.
Four years later, we are convinced that it is not possible to manage a large building properly without complete automation. Knowing that everything operates as we want it to is a peace of mind we enjoy every day, saving on maintenance personnel, energy, security, and unexpected surprises."
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