3/13/2012 7:53 AM
Striving for energy efficiency takes many different forms, from switching to compact fluorescent lights to installing a combined heat and power system. Facility managers have a lot of options for reducing energy use and expenses. But how many of them actually make their job easier?
One of the time-consuming and repetitive tasks facility managers perform is scheduling the building automation system that controls heating and cooling equipment (HVAC) and possibly lighting, security, and other systems. In a large facility, it takes tremendous effort to manually schedule HVAC systems down to the room level for every event or meeting. Therefore, many facility managers revert to scheduling entire buildings to be on during business hours.
This is an example of dumb scheduling, which means that there is no communication between the schedules set by event planners and the building automation system. This wastes energy because HVAC equipment is left running in rooms that are unoccupied.
Another example of dumb scheduling occurs when the facility manager receives a printed or electronic schedule from event planners, and then manually enters the schedules for the week into the building automation or HVAC system.
This example of dumb scheduling saves energy but requires a lot of time entering data that was already entered into event scheduling software by event planners. It can also cause human error, especially if the facility manager is interrupted repeatedly during the process, as is often the case.
Smart scheduling, on the other hand, pulls data directly from event scheduling software used by event planners, and automatically sends commands to building automation systems and HVAC equipment in each individual room. It saves energy by running equipment only in rooms that are in use; and it saves labor by eliminating redundant data entry. Smart scheduling can also reduce the total number of hours equipment is running, extending the useful life of the equipment.
Smart scheduling is the purpose of Events2HVAC event automation software. Events2HVAC can pull data from several different event providers, and send commands to many types of building automation and HVAC devices, including devices that are BACnet enabled.
Minnesota State University Moorhead has 17 buildings across campus using Events2HVAC for smart scheduling, and the plant manager says they are saving $20,000/month. They are also using the system to control security (electronic door locks) in several buildings.
Though churches and universities were the first to recognize the value of smart scheduling with Events2HVAC, government agencies, convention centers, and K-12 school districts are beginning to understand the benefits of smart scheduling. Review the potential savings per room, and contact us today for a quote for your facility.
Founded in 1998, Streamside Solutions provides software products, solutions and services for the building automation industry.
Phone: (888) 320-4277
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