Building automation technology at Caverion
Juha-Matti Välimaa,

Choosing a partner to modernize building automation

1. Choose whether you want just a hardware vendor or a comprehensive partner

When choosing a building automation contractor, consider the entire life cycle of the building, and think about what kind of partnership will benefit you. In the traditional contract model, the contractor is the supplier of the equipment or system, who is responsible only for matters covered by the warranty after the handover of the contract. If there are later operational problems or renewal needs in the system, there will be additional costs.
In a lifecycle model, the supplier is responsible for the design and installation, operation and optimization, and maintenance of the system throughout its lifecycle. Depending on the agreement, the operation of the systems can be promised for decades to come.

During the life cycle of a property, changes in space, renovations, fluctuations in the number of users, or any number of unexpected twists and turns can occur. If you want to ensure that the building automation is appropriate for years to come, you should choose a partner who can execute the contract with a lifecycle model.

2. Choose a partner whose expertise is not limited to automation

Often, automation design is carried out at the stage when all other systems are already designed. In this model, there is a risk that ultimately no one will have an overall picture of the property’s systems, and automation control will remain fragmented.

Therefore, the automation contractor should be involved as early as possible. When automation and the building systems connected to it are designed side by side, the synergies between them can be exploited. This achieves both a functional and a cost advantage, as easy and suitable bus technologies reduce the working time required for installation.

It is most profitable to choose a partner who has extensive knowledge of all other technical systems in the property. The more technical aspects of a property are connected to the same control system, the wider the benefit spreads and the more comprehensively the property can be controlled.

3. Make sure your partner can handle continuous improvement

For building automation to work in the best possible way from year to year, the operation and conditions of the property must be constantly monitored. Data on the property must be collected as widely as possible, which can then be used to manage the property. Based on data, it is possible to anticipate operations and even prevent equipment failure, for example.

Optimal utilization of data requires both people and machines.

When all the data sources of a property are analyzed together, situations that cannot be detected by the human eye from a single system can be identified. Property adjustment values can be systematically maintained by comparing data with values from other similar properties.

Centralized remote management, on the other hand, enables the monitoring of property operations by professionals from the property’s control room. Experts can also develop the property's operations based on the continuously collected data. Alarms from the systems can also be checked from the property control room, thus avoiding many unnecessary alarm gigs.

In short, invest in a partner who can provide 24-hour surveillance and data-driven development of your property.

This blog was originally published in Finnish on 12.04.2021 by Juha-Matti Välimaa, Key Account Manager, Caverion.

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