Ambiguity and Mystery in Building Automation

Syst_Int_Controls-3From the days of pneumatic tubing and controls to the finest digital building control system, there have been quite a few technology leaps; yet, the fact remains the same: the whole industry wants their buildings smarter and more automated. Removing the mysterious veil from automation has become a high priority in the cyber-driven, technology-centric marketplace, and the customer is increasingly wanting to integrate more parts, pieces and systems.


Building Automators are responding well, but we are also focusing on proactive, predictive solutions as opposed to response based days of yore. The course has been set for the future, and the destination is a smart building that will call for help, on its own, before the issues worsen. The technology in itself will teach building owners and operators how to save energy cost per square foot without compromising tenant comfort and amenities. What we once dreamed of is coming to fruition. It is extremely exciting to be in the customer-centric building automation business in 2016.


I recently attended a conference with my peers from Automation businesses across the country. Both the technology solutions and the innovative approaches to making smarter and more efficient buildings has created an industry buzz. The individual parts and pieces are getting more intelligent and the software being written is no longer just focused on controlling HVAC. The system integrates to lighting, security and just about anything else. The information gleaned is useful; providing valuable insight into building operation and letting the building operator know in real time both performance issues and actual dollar amounts based energy savings. This information can drive operational decisions.


At the end of the day, building automation teams are designing and installing solutions that are smarter, more efficient and practically self-diagnosing. Over time, this will offer greater tenant comfort and customization as well as allow property owners to truly understand and control their energy consumption as it is happening in real time.


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About Stephen Johnson


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Stephen Johnson is the Vice President of the Automation & Control Solutions group at McKenney’s. This premier team—made up of control engineers and service and project management professionals—designs and implements customized automation solutions for both new and existing buildings.

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