How Security Systems Can Fuel Smart Building Savings

How Security Systems Can Fuel Smart Building Savings, Streamline Functionality Security Sales & Integration (09/08/17) Focke, Rick

Building automation, security, and access control systems are increasingly coming together, providing both building managers and security integrators opportunities to work together on cost-, time-, and problem-saving solutions. Whether integrators have just begun adding building automation to their services or are fully embracing the convergence of security and building automation systems, the myriad data these systems put forth make it possible to create both a safe building and a smarter one. For example, by knowing the occupancy of a particular building or sector within a building, captured through entry and/or exit readers, it becomes possible to implement everything from proper heating and cooling to lighting and fresh air ventilation controls based on the number and location of individuals. With heating and cooling systems, the best savings will come in the least-used areas. Meanwhile, access control systems can be programmed to control lighting circuits based on occupancy. Once a card is presented to the reader, the system can be programmed to then begin switching on the appropriate lights based on where that individual's office or assigned workspace is located. Unlike motion sensors, there is no minimum "on" times with a programmed system. Once the building occupant logs out, the lights go off.

Another component of the energy-saving capabilities tied to access control is ventilation. The amount of fresh air in a building is governed largely by building codes. But it is usually expressed in the amount of fresh air per minute per person. Consequently, if the number of workers in an area can be measured via the access control system, then the amount of fresh air can be adjusted, saving the expense of conditioning that outside air. Deploying access control data can also serve as a planning tool for future building projects. Having the details on occupancy -- i.e., who is onsite, what hours is the building most used, etc. -- can become a critical tool for bottom-line decisions about property expenses. Such data information can also be used in day-to-day planning, such as knowing how many people are likely to be at work so security details, parking attendants and other building support staff can be scheduled accordingly.

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