Building automation is a phrase that, even for us professionals, has no complete consensus for its meaning. Because of that, we’ve put together this guide to help you get a better understanding of what building automation is. By the time you are done reading this article, you will understand what a building automation system is and how it works.
This article is brought to you by Colorado Controls. We are your local, fully-licensed Reliable Controls automation system installers. Contact us now to learn what we can do to help reduce your building’s energy use by giving you greater control over how it operates.
Building Automation 101
Definition: “Automation Controls” — A computerized, intelligent network of devices designed to monitor and control the lighting, mechanical, HVAC, and other aspects of a building or property.
This general definition doesn’t quite hit at the heart of the matter, though. The real definition of automation controls is: “whatever you want it to be.” While that may sound evasive, it’s actually the main value — they are systems that are uniquely customized to meet your and your property’s needs.
There are four main parts of an automation system:
- Server Layer
- Supervisor Layer
- Field Control Layer
- Input/Output Layer
The server layer, also called the “application layer”, is the part of the system that consolidates data from all the lower layers into the user interface.
The supervisory layer is the part of an automation control system that collects traffic from field controls and consolidates it all in one place.
The field control layer interprets the data coming from the inputs (switches, temperature sensors, and so on) and controls the outputs (relays, actuators, etc.). They essentially look at what is happening at inputs and control the outputs.
The input/output layer is the final layer, being where control devices and sensors exist. Depending on what is being measured and controlled, different types of inputs are utilized.
The Core Functionality of Building Automation Systems
Building automation is all about granting you great functionality regarding aspects such as: climate, lighting, alarm monitoring, etc. Besides the added convenience, one of the biggest values of getting a building automation system (BAS) is that it can help reduce building energy and maintenance costs.
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- Reduced operational and maintenance costs
- Improved up-time
- Improved security
- Better capacity management
- Optimal placement of workloads
- And more
If you are in or around Northern Colorado and would like to achieve your desired outcomes when it comes to constructing or installing a BAC, contact Colorado Controls today and request a free project quote.