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Intelligent Building Control Technology and Demand Response

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

With increasing pressure to do more with less - building owners and facility managers are looking for turnkey building control solutions that will manage a building’s energy load and maximize energy savings. Building automation systems (BAS) are being implemented to allow users to integrate a wide choice of building systems including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and chilled water and hot water all under one umbrella.  Integrated systems allow building owners to better manage energy use based on both building occupancy and climatic conditions ideally integrated into one software platform.

New technology is allowing for more sophisticated systems that “address” individual luminaires allowing for more granular control. This means instead of having a large number of fixtures on one control switch, each individual fixture can be managed from a central location.  In newer parking garage control applications wireless technology is linking together CO2 sensors and reducing fans use by 90% offering enormous energy savings.  These are just some examples of how advanced technology is driving huge energy savings.

When BAS’ are in place, building owners have the opportunity to participate in programs like Demand Response 3, Ontario’s Demand Response program for Businesses.  Demand Response programs pay building owners to reduce electricity use during periods of peak electricity demand. Generally, times of peak demand occur during hot summer days when air conditioning load is at its highest. Building Automation Systems can be programmed to receive Demand response signals, and automatically respond with pre-programmed lighting & HVAC control strategies, which have limited impact on building occupants, yet help optimize the grid, increase reliability and efficiency and generate revenue for building owners.

While original equipment manufacturers will continue to improve the performance of individual building systems, the biggest leap forward in efficiency will come from enabling all building systems to work in harmony. Improvements in wireless communication, common operating systems, and, of course, BAS technology will enable unprecedented inter-operability of key systems and allow facility teams to adopt more sophisticated building control strategies.

To learn more about PowerStream’s Demand Response 3 program or their incentives for the implementation of energy efficient technologies such as Building Automation Systems, please call 1.877.963.6900 or visit their website (

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