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There are plenty of good reasons for smart building retrofits of an older building with a state-of-the-art building automation system (BAS). It increases the building’s value, helps you provide better services to occupants, and improves performance of all operating systems, resulting in significant energy and costs savings for energy hogs like lighting and HVAC. 

For building owners and property managers looking to reduce the energy footprint of older buildings while improving the lives of the people who live, work, and play there, installing a new BAS or upgrading an existing one is a smart choice. Upgrading an older buildings with PoE infrastructure does come with challenges but the payoff can be significant.  

ROI of Retrofitting Intelligent Buildings 

Concerns over cost vs return are valid but tend to be driven by a lack of knowledge on why a retrofit is necessary and how the project can be accomplished.

  • Map out why the retrofit is important and the goals you want to obtain by doing it. Identify specific areas where retrofitting allows you to do more with what you already have. 

  • Determine which key performance indicators are absolute necessities. Using data analytics to get a clear picture of what upgrades are needed makes it easier to enable efficiencies while keeping costs within budget. 

  • Look beyond energy efficiency. Focusing on other key benefits like happier occupants, higher rental rates, and workplace satisfaction is often needed to secure buy-in to a retrofit.  

Advanced BAS Options 

When you’re working from a blank canvas, aka new construction, it’s easier to analyze and decide which BAS should be used. Applying the same broad thinking to a retrofit can help assess the building’s existing systems and determine the best technological path to enable the smartest solutions.  

Most older buildings are limited by the design and technology available when built. In many of them, existing controls are designated to individual pieces of equipment that aren’t “seen” by a BAS. For instance, original pneumatic heating and cooling systems installed decades ago operate by moving pressurized or compressed airSmart Building Retrofits signals from a controller to a piece of equipment or device through plastic or copper tubes. Many of these systems are still used for zone control and rooftop units but their mode of operation stands in stark contrast to electronic controls. They also provide no diagnostic data. Without the data digital BAS systems provide, building owners and managers are left to deal with underperforming, energy-inefficient systems that require manual calibration and more frequent maintenance.  

As a building continues to age, its functionality will inevitably fail to meet a tenant’s modern needs and ASHRAE standards. Even in older buildings with some level of automation, there will likely be significant problems because an older BAS operates off dated protocols and unreliable data from outdated or calibrated sensors. 

Advancements in technology have resulted in more intelligent systems that perform complex analytics by integrating numerous automation systems, lighting controls, process control, security, hvac controls and other app-based smart devices. Selecting the right software platform for a BAS retrofit goes a long way in effectively modernizing an older building’s legacy systems. Working with a controls service company to design, execute, and service your building’s retrofit ensures you make all the right choices to bring your building up to speed. 

The Future of BAS 

Advancements in BAS and digital technologies have made it simpler and more cost-effective to convert older buildings into smart, energy-efficient, and enjoyable ones. Building owners and managers now have the ability to access data to forecast and operate their buildings, enhance coordination of complex systems, and improve fault detection.  

Your building’s retrofit can also produce continuous ROI benefits in the form of reduced waste and utility usage. Most importantly, a new or upgraded BAS will meet its core function: to keep building occupants comfortable, healthy, and safe. So, while the cost of installing or retrofitting a BAS in an older building is an important one to consider, the ROI will far outweigh the cost in the long run. 

To find out more about the LV Energy Systems PoE Solutions contact us now.

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