How to make facility management in office buildings more effective

The HVAC system types used in office buildings are usually somewhat similar to those used in other applications. The cost model and ROI for office properties, though, is significantly shorter.

So, clients working on office building projects usually require sustainable system features to reduce overall energy consumption.

In office buildings both heating and cooling are required simultaneously, multiple times per year. Then, there might be cases when a specific side of the building perimeter might require cooling, while the rest of the perimeter spaces require heating, so designing HVAC systems for this application in an energy-efficient is definitely one of the challenges of this application. Making facility management more effective, then, is another challenge. Because being able to monitor and optimize HVAC systems’ operations is key when it comes to responding both to the comfort and efficiency demands of this building type.

Automated features, and proper remote system monitoring and control tools are great help facility managers can significantly benefit from. So, it is important for this application to design HVAC systems using equipment that offer such features and can perfectly communicate with monitoring systems.

Being able to monitor and control the HVAC system through a BMS (Building Management System), remotely, with appropriately controlled access, can be a huge benefit to owners or facility managers. This not only allows to optimize operations and increase efficiency over time, but also allows building managers to deal with tenants’ issues or complaints quickly and instruct the technical support personnel to resolve potential problems.

So, using monitoring and control systems is important, but is also important that the equipment chosen to design the HVAC system – whether they are chillers, heat pumps, AHUs or a mix of them – guarantees a perfect integration with the BMS.

The integration of all these components with a BMS is possible thanks to the use of standard communication protocols in the sector, i.e. BACNet (Building Automation and Control Network), which is probably the most used and Daikin products use natively, and the Modbus protocol.

As far as the optimal level of integration with the BMS of HVAC components such as chillers, heat pumps and AHUs, it really depends on facility management. The HVAC system, though, should always have some level of autonomy, especially when it comes to sequencing and staging. So, the BMS should be left with two main activities: reading the main operative information – status, temperature and energy consumption – and changing setpoints, which requires the BMS to be structured to respond to the different needs of the building.

And if there is no BMS to monitor and control the HVAC system, an alternative monitoring platform should be necessarily considered. In this case, Daikin remote monitoring platform DoS (Daikin on Site), would allow to gather information with a unique level of detail, allowing facility managers to take preventive actions and avoid extra costs associated with breakdowns and downtime.

Daikin on Site provides 24/7 real time data, all year round, tracking units and components behaviour, and monitoring their correct functionality. It also allows to create periodical reports for an in-depth analysis of the system performance, proving itself essential in chillers and air handling units’ plants management.

Also, Daikin on Site allows facilities to move away from on-site maintenance staff for day-to-day operational needs. And it can allow multi-site building operators to centralize facility monitoring and control, helping trouble-shooting technical issues from a distance.

As far as system controls for chillers, then, Daikin offers its factory-engineered system control technology iCM (Intelligent Chiller Manager), which is specifically designed to optimize the performance of groups of chillers. The iCM harmonizes the way every single chiller in a plant operates, making them work like a team, and allowing them to reach their goal with minimum effort, both in terms of energy consumption and mechanically. All this translates into chillers’ increased durability and efficiency, generating operating and maintenance cost savings and an immediate ROI. Daikin iCM can also be connected to Daikin monitoring platform Daikin on Site, for remote monitoring, and can be integrated to all BMS using BACnet and Modbus communication protocols, ensuring a perfect building management integration.

Daikin iCM is already integrated in the control logic of Daikin units, so doesn’t need further installations, does not imply any additional costs related to wiring, and software functionalities can even be activated remotely, even years after the commissioning.

Are you working on an office building project where system monitoring and control will have great relevance? Get in touch using the form below and get our experts’ support!