There are many incentives and motivations driving the push toward sustainable buildings. Green building or LEED certification allows builders to take advantage of government incentives, better efficiency, and lower costs of energy. According to a USGBC report, the green building materials market is expected to reach $234 billion by 2019. According to the report, “Today, there are nearly 75,000 commercial projects participating in LEED across the globe, with 1.85 million square feet of building space becoming LEED-certified every day.”
Building automation can augment the performance of a building in many ways, particularly when automation systems are tied together into a cooperative ecosystem. Here are some of the ways that automation can directly impact building performance:
- Better indoor air quality and temperature control
- Improved physical security
- Lower maintenance and operating costs
- Energy efficiency improvements
- Increased environmental control and automated monitoring to better meet regulations in industries such as pharmaceutical and food and beverage manufacturing
Modern facilities often include large energy and carbon footprints if those expenditures are not offset through additional energy generation methods such as solar and wind power. When designing no, or small carbon footprint sustainable buildings, many of the necessary changes can be made through automation, or even software alone.
For example, it’s estimated that a 10-30% energy reduction can be accomplished solely by scheduling in a SCADA software, like InduSoft Web Studio. If the automated system is capable of using lights, air conditioning, or heat only in the part of the building or during the hours when it is in use, it’s possible to greatly reduce energy costs.
In addition, automation can allow facility managers to capture information on how and where energy is being used, which will allow for the development of solar, hydro, or wind systems to offset the energy needs of the building and meter out that power generation to sell back to the grid or use for the needs of the facility.
Better monitoring of the SCADA system can also allow maintenance personnel to respond to problems effectively when HVAC or electrical systems drop in efficiency. It may even be possible to help avoid power outages or machine failure before they ever occur.
Much of the gains in sustainable building automation can be achieved with a combination of existing equipment and a powerful SCADA software like InduSoft Web Studio. We’ve compiled some of the best examples of the kinds of results that can be achieved in building automation using InduSoft Web Studio below: