Serving the St. Louis Region, Mid-Missouri and Metro East

Serving the St. Louis Region, Mid-Missouri and Metro East

Blog – Building Automation

building automation

What began as a simple thermostat triggering a light for coal to be added to a boiler has evolved over the past 135 years to comprehensive electrical systems that can control multi-stage building systems via cloud-based software from nearly any computer connected to the internet. As the technologies have expanded, the associated systems have grown to incorporate a tight-knit and highly organized process. In recent years, a building’s HVAC, lighting, and security systems can all be connected through one system, providing easy and efficient systems management for today’s plant managers. 

A recent St. Louis Construction News and Review piece took an expansive look at occupant safety design and construction. The article, which also covered a wide variety of security and automation applications, took special consideration in regards to information provided by Integrated Facility Services’ Mid-Missouri Controls Manager, Chris Ruth. Ruth believes that building automation systems have only scratched the surface of their potential in the realm of full automation and system integration. As the technologies evolve, Ruth says we are “looking at entire campuses running at their highest efficiency potentials while providing the highest level of security for occupants”. While many security systems are currently available for buildings, very few integrate into seamless applications for plant managers. 

Imagine, using one tablet to check on mechanical system health, set zoned requirements for energy management, monitor systems remotely, turn lights on and off for whole buildings with one click, and enhance entry and security measures. Sounds like something for the Elon Musk’s of the world, right? This level of system management isn’t just for the technologically inclined though. It’s making its way to schools, office buildings, and research facilities to provide energy savings and layered protection for all occupants. Some of the biggest advances in the security portion of building automation is high level scalability for today’s expanding world and . Some of these include:

Enhanced Access Controls

Control who enters the building, where they exit, and areas they are allowed access. Newer automation systems can improve this by providing on-site enrollment and flexible options for visitors.  These improved access controls can also provide full spectrum reporting and tracking.

Video Management

The use of video in security has vastly improved over the years and feeding it into the automation system provides additional layers of on-demand remote access to the security system to help mitigate loss and protect occupants. 

Advanced Intrusion Detection

By integrating the complex algorithms necessary for automation systems to operate effectively, security portions of the system are able to provide faster alarm response and provide superior alarm management. 

Employee Specific Access and Comfort Settings

What would an enhanced automation system with security protocols be without being able to be customized to specific employee’s needs? As the systems have grown together, the systemic ability to produce security and comfort has exponentially improved. Lighting, heating, and cooling can all be customized based on access controls. 

Interested in learning more about integrating building automation and security controls into your building? Contact IFS for more information or to schedule a complimentary system audit today.