Debunking Common Misconceptions about Building Automation

As a business owner overseeing a building, you are likely entrenched in an ongoing search to streamline day-to-day operations and cut costs without sacrificing anything essential. As it happens, the growing array of the "Internet of Things" is a solution may have been staring you in the face.

Building automation can do everything from cutting your energy consumption to helping increase worker productivity. Even if you have already heard about "smart" buildings, much of what you've been told may be outdated or just flat-out wrong. Therefore, we have taken the liberty of tackling some of the most common misconceptions about building automation and setting the record straight:

Smart Buildings Are Too Expensive

Yes, it's true that initially implementing building automation technology will cost money. But not only are the costs often less than business owners expect, they typically begin to show a return on investment (ROI) within just a few months. Most smart buildings pay for themselves inside of two years through energy savings and increased operational efficiency. With sensors having dropped below $10-per-unit and items like intelligent lighting components having dropped nearly 60 percent in price in the last four years, building automation is a better option today than ever before.

Smart Buildings Are Only Good For Energy Conservation

Although this may be the most well-known of its benefits, building automation offers so much more. A smart-building management system can detect small changes in equipment and trigger adjustments or repairs to optimize performance. This continuous testing is significantly more efficient than manual testing, which, due to lack of resources, often occurs only once per year or less. Constant maintenance will extend the life of your equipment, thus reducing the cost of major repairs or replacements. Smart-building management systems can even prevent full-scale building system failures.

Smart Buildings Are Too Complex

Between talk of sensors and automation, it is easy to understand why some business owners would assume a smart building was something out of a Sci-Fi movie. In reality, however, it should actually make operating a building easier. Typically, the only truly complicated thing about building automation is the initial installation—and that will be handled by experts. Once the technology is in, it can perform all kinds of time and money-saving tasks, like alerting you to equipment issues and regulating heat or air conditioning using software designed to constantly monitor temperature.

Only New Buildings Can Be Smart

Many older and several famous buildings have been taking advantage of smart technology for years. The Empire State Building, for instance, underwent a series of changes starting in 2009 that have resulted in major energy savings. These changes have saved millions of dollars already, and once fully implemented, the technology is expected to save $4.4 million per year. The fact is, older buildings are often less efficient than newer ones and can actually benefit more from smart technology.

As you can see, making automation work for your business doesn't mean implementing technology too costly or complex to be beneficial. Now that you know what's real and what's not, take another at the building automation—you may find it can do wonders for your business.