Building automation: What is it and what are its advantages?

Lectura 3 min
what-is-building-automation

Building automation is popularly known as an exciting concept that has shaken up the way we interact with the built environment. But, do you know what it is? Most people have given very little thought to building automation.

If you have any kind of business that could benefit from it, then this is a big mistake, as you’d be missing out on an opportunity to take advantage of new technologies to take comfort to a whole new level. So, let’s take a look at building automation and what it means, as well as its advantages.

What is building automation?

Building automation, refers to the integral automation of large-scale buildings, such as offices, hotels, shopping centres, hospitals, and other similar spaces.

This approach uses cutting-edge technology to control and manage a wide range of systems in a building, including HVAC, lighting, lifts, security, to name but a few. It turns these buildings into “smart” buildings, with centralised and efficient control over all operations and systems, resulting in a safer, more efficient and comfortable environment.

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Difference between home automation and building automation

Although these two terms are often used interchangeably, home automation and building automation are actually rather different. Firstly, while home automation refers to the automation of homes, building automation applies to large buildings for tertiary or industrial use, such as schools, health clinics and hotels.

Similarly, home automation is more affordable and uses smaller and more straightforward controllers, as it is designed for medium-sized homes. On the other hand, building automation has more complex and expensive systems, with huge automatons controlling machine rooms.

It’s worth highlighting that they can be used together, allowing efficient management of office and residential buildings in a single compatible system.

Building automation applications: what’s it used for?

Building automation is a versatile technology with no shortage of applications, making it a valuable tool for a wide range of buildings. Nevertheless, this concept can often seem rather ambiguous, so it’s also a good idea to look at some examples of building automation to get a clearer insight into how it could benefit you.

In this regard, it’s worth mentioning that it allows for the efficient control and management of the air conditioning, heating, lifts, lighting, watering systems and other communal services in large-scale buildings.

What’s more, building automation lets you keep track of and control the general operation of a building from a centralised device, resulting in optimal maintenance that’s much more straightforward compared to how it would be otherwise.

On the other hand, it also improves safety by detecting and responding to risk situations, such as gas leaks, fires or break-ins. You can also offer new services to customers, such as entertainment or advanced communications. It even has the capacity to improve the communications infrastructure within the building itself.

Broadly speaking, building automation is a pillar in smart building construction, which plays a key role in the creation of smart and sustainable cities. So, putting in place a building automation system can also be seen as a way to foster more sustainable and environmentally-friendly businesses.

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Advantages of building automation

Building automation has a wide range of incredible benefits. Below we look at the biggest advantages:

  • It fosters energy savings, which can account for more than 40% of a building’s energy costs. This is of particular relevance in hospitals, hotels, offices and shopping centres, to name but a few, where significant savings can be made, playing a big part in controlling energy consumption.
  • It ensures optimal maintenance of large buildings, reducing the risk of outages and breakdowns. Centralised control of systems allows effective monitoring and the ability to detect problems before they escalate to emergencies.
  • It lets you continuously monitor and detect gas leaks, fires or break-ins, ensuring a safer environment for building occupants.
  • Improves communication infrastructure.
  • Optimises the use of available resources. Greater efficiency can also lead to improved business or company economics.

It’s used as a tool to create more sustainable and environmentally-friendly buildings.

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