The onset and trajectory of COVID-19 has forced us to reconsider indoor air quality (IAQ) strategies that have, until recently, been regarded as standard practice for the smart building industry. Enhanced indoor air quality is top of mind for facility managers and building owners in continuing to plan for the return of occupants, and many are making proactive upgrades and adjustments to their building automation systems (BAS) to continuously support a healthy environment.
You may be wondering what a BAS is and why you need to pay close attention to the systems strategic capabilities. In fact, you may be curious how a BAS can impact your facility during and after a pandemic. Below are some useful considerations to think about when analyzing ways to optimize your facility for the future.
What is a Building Automation System (BAS)?
A BAS is a system that works by automating many of the moving parts required to keep a building operational. For example, the BAS works to control and operate various crucial building systems like lighting, energy management, and importantly, the HVAC system used to cool, heat, and filter air throughout your building. In addition, the BAS also works as the enabling technology for smart building services.
Usually a BAS works within a system of four layers: server/application, supervisory, field controller, and the input/output layer. While each layer serves a specific function, they all work in tandem to support overall functionality and allow for the end user to manage the building easily and efficiently. This results in an increase in uptime, energy savings, and staff efficiency.
Why Your BAS Strategy Matters Now
Typically, we see recommendations to use indoor air over outside air, resulting in the advantage of energy savings. Now, the focus has shifted to utilizing maximum amounts of outside air to maintain a certain quality and cleanliness of the air filtering throughout buildings. Although an increase in outside air means healthier building function, it also introduces more humidity into the interior environment--a recipe for discomfort and opportunity for harmful airborne pathogens to thrive. Making changes to your air handling units (AHUs) now will bolster the life span of your equipment and allows for streamlining of potential challenges moving forward.
Implementing “Epidemic Mode” into Your BAS
Introducing “epidemic mode” to your BAS works to continuously flush outside air that can cause harmful humidity levels. That is where an industry leading service team like TDIndustries can help. By implementing a series of “epidemic modes” into your BAS, you can rest assured you are meeting the needs of all occupants, while mitigating the risk of airborne infections. By following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) retrofitting “epidemic mode” to enhance IAQ monitoring into your BAS works to:
The TDIndustries Advantage
TD has many advantages when it comes to controls strategies and working within a life-cycle framework. With less focus on energy cost and more focus on IAQ, TD has the capacity to meet a variety of needs and the ability to tailor offerings to your facility’s specialized demands.
In the past, adding dehumidifying sequences to a controls system required a redesign of the AHU itself. Now, working within a planned migration approach, these systems can be much more easily upgraded through software updates and revisions. Also, simply adding humidity and CO2 sensors to an AHU helps to understand the impact of outside air humidity and allows for close monitoring of IAQ.
For more information on ways TD can help ready your building for an increase in occupancy, download our checklist below.
Building a foundation of trust is at the heart of TD’s company culture. By providing competent, safety-driven solutions and rapid response times, TD alleviates the pains your facility is experiencing so you can focus on what matters most. Submit a service call form or give us a call at 1-800-864-7717 to learn how TD can take care of your critical infrastructure so you can focus on your core business. Our emergency service contact center is available 24/7/365 to handle your needs in real time.