When and why should building automation be modernized?

Building automation is the central nervous system of a modern property. When the automation system works properly and is integrated with other building technology, it gives a broad picture of the operation of the property and enables its information-based management. If this is not yet the case in your property, this blog has tips on when and why your automation system should be upgraded.

Why is building automation worth renewing?

A property is a combined ecosystem of technical systems and its users, where all activities have an impact on the conditions of the property, energy consumption, and operations. Therefore, automation should control building technology based on the real-time conditions of the property rather than relying on default-based assumptions.

In order to use information to manage a property through automation, it is essential to collect as much data as possible about the operation and condition of the property. Based on the data sets collected, the functions of the property can then be managed as a whole. The data can also be used to identify and predict activities that a person cannot see or detect with the naked eye by examining the operation of an individual system.

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. If the systems are managed in a fragmented way, it is difficult to obtain uniform data on the operation of the property, and its development potential may go unnoticed.

The most important results of modern automation are consistently pleasant conditions and a property that meets the needs of the user. Comfortable conditions and responsibly managed energy-efficient real estate are not mutually exclusive; with knowledge-based management, both are achievable.

When is a good time to modernize automation?

The need for automation renewal and upgrades should be reviewed regularly, but no later than during the modernization, remodelling, or repair phase of the property.

Technology is also developing rapidly in the field of building automation. Even if the old system has not reached its technical end of life, it may still make sense to renew or upgrade. The investment can pay itself off quickly when it is used to make the property's operations more comfortable, effective, and energy efficient.

In many cases, the technical equipment level of a property is at a commendable level, but partly due to missing links, the technology is not fully utilized. In this situation, the full benefits of the automation system are not obtained.

It is also worth considering the entire automation system when remodelling or repurposing the property. Even a new building automation system may require changes if the new use of the space does not correspond to what it was originally planned for.

Does your current automation meet the requirements for intelligence and energy efficiency?

If your building automation systems are already old, they are unlikely to meet the technical requirements of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, and reconditioning is therefore timely. You can check the exact requirements of the directive from the EU directive

One way to ensure the current state of a property's automation system is SRI mapping, or intelligence readiness mapping. The SRI survey is used to examine the current condition of the property and to determine the needs for the future. For example, the survey examines what is needed for the property to be ready for energy-efficient use, maintenance, and to be able to meet the changing needs of the electric grid in the future.

Evaluate building automation renewal when:

  • The property is otherwise being reconditioned or its premises are being renovated
  • The current system does not allow for comprehensive control of all building technology
  • The system does not collect enough data on building technology
  • The system does not meet the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
  • The automation system is more than 10 years old

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