12 Tips for Better Remote Building Management

  • Expert Tips

With the rise of remote building & automation controls, facility managers continue to have an important seat at the boardroom table when it comes to business strategy. Their knowledge is essential for key discussions around efficiency, operating costs, risks, occupant health, & employee well-being.

However, as boardrooms have become virtual rooms, on-site facility teams are often having to manage operations remotely. This raises the question, where is technology & associated operations of HVAC systems falling short in the built environment? Commercial buildings often miss the mark when it comes to having the right controls & energy monitoring solutions in place.

The right solutions are designed to be flexible and collaborative, allowing facility managers the freedom to track building operations & efficiency remotely & across multiple locations. A simple upgrade can save hours of work and onsite visits. It can also equip facility managers with the data they need to keep their “seat” on the next video call with the organization’s leadership team.

The good news is that cost-effective and easy-install energy monitoring solutions do exist.

Here are 12 Tips for Better Remote Building Management:

  1. Expand the number of discrete sensors that track basic data points such as occupancy. These can be programmed to trigger simple on/off commands for commercial HVAC systems.
  2. Consider a BMS upgrade that allows for remote control, and allows your HVAC contractor to monitor across multiple facilities in real-time.
  3. Expand and categorize the number of data points that are recorded by the BMS and integrate with a third-party solution provider.
  4. Detect the lack of load remotely, but use strategies normally associated with trouble shooting.
  5. Implement remote site walkthroughs. Hire an HVAC technician, or nominate a member from your onsite team to conduct video-recorded walkthroughs to share with your engineering or facilities team. Meet with IT personnel to ensure videos are easy to share and everyone is on the same page.
  6. Consider a cloud hosting solution for your building management data with automatic back up’s, monitoring, and remote diagnostics.
  7. Conduct a sequence audit that identifies opportunities for more dynamic shifts.
  8. Identify the complex trends for temperature controls, rather than setting a pre-fixed time to maximize efficiency.
  9. Reconsider your control sequences, and outline new sequences and resets that can be adapted to building load. This lessens the need for onsite visits.
  10. Optimize controls during periods when occupancy is low to drive down operations costs.
  11. Invest now, while the cost of many technological solutions is down.
  12. Invest in moderate cost upgrades now, such as Direct Digital Control (DDC) to enable more adaptive sequences for ever-changing building environments.

There is no doubt it is a team effort to examine building priorities and rethink a remote approach to building management. It takes direct collaboration between facility managers, building owners, and HVAC service providers to implement and improve building controls & energy monitoring systems.

When done right, control solutions allow building managers to break the “good news” at the next boardroom meeting: News that the costs lost elsewhere during a time of uncertainty were recouped because of an effective building management system.

Learn More about Building Automation Systems & Controls Solutions from Enervise.