11/2/2012 9:20 AM
The good folks at Dean Evans & Associates recently forwarded to me the article “Modern Efficiencies for Healthy Schools” by Adam VanOort. The article provides an overview of ways that K-12 schools, colleges, and universities are addressing energy efficiency of their campus buildings. The article is well-written, and largely focuses on the use of occupancy, temperature, and CO2 sensors in individual rooms to collect data and relay it back to the control system.
However, while sensors certainly have value in monitoring building performance, they are not be the best choice for actually controlling HVAC systems. Motion sensors work well for lighting because lights can be turned on and off quickly based on the sensor. But HVAC systems require more time to adjust. Therefore, using event automation software that controls HVAC based on event schedules is a better choice.
Event automation software is a fairly new concept. Though there were some custom solutions in place previously, the first commercially available event automation software, Events2HVAC, was released in November 2010. It is in use at 16 sites across the US to date, mostly colleges, universities and churches. It has some distinct advantages over using occupancy sensors in controlling HVAC systems:
Yes, sensors can help facility managers monitor their buildings and identify energy efficiency opportunities. But Events2HVAC automates energy efficiency, freeing the facility manager to do other tasks. Colleges and universities should invest in event automation software first to cut their energy and HVAC scheduling expenses significantly campus wide, and then consider which spaces need sensors for continuous monitoring, data collection, and analysis.
Founded in 1998, Streamside Solutions provides software products, solutions and services for the building automation industry.
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