Why Smart Building Automation is a Boon to the Healthcare Sector
Healthcare facilities operate in complex environments. They need to balance temperature and humidity to ensure patient comfort. Hospital lighting is also being controlled and monitored for patient and staff safety. In addition: these healthcare facilities run a 24/7 operation and require a seamless operation and centralised controls.
Managing healthcare facilities today is even more challenging because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Smart, centralised control systems for these facilities help mitigate the challenges brought by today’s circumstances.
Before we discuss the advantages of smart building automation for healthcare facilities, let’s define what a building automation is and how it works.
Building Automation/Management Systems
- Building Automation Systems – most commonly referred to as Building Management Systems (BMS) is a centralised system that controls and automates a building or facility’s essential services such as lighting, water, HVAC, security systems etc.
- A BMS centralises the operation of these feature for seamless control and automation.
- These types of systems are either bundled with newly-built buildings or retrofitted in older facilities.
- Building management systems have evolved over the decades. Due to climate change and the risk it brings; modern BMS is being increasingly relied on for efficient energy management and monitoring or GHG emissions within hospitals.
- Aside from helping hospitals save energy and reduce their carbon emissions, BMS can control the spread of healthcare-associated infections or HCAI. Given the threat of future pandemics, infection control measures were also included in new BMS.
Importance of BMS in Healthcare setting
- Without a BMS, a hospital cannot function effectively. The quality of patient care and resource efficiency would be significantly reduced.
- There is mounting pressure on healthcare facility executives to save money, provide quality patient comfort as well as achieve decarbonisation goals. If a BMS is configured properly and optimised with enhanced building analytics software, it can relieve the pressure on these executives, as it can help monitor energy usage, ensure all patients and staff are comfortable, and gather real-time carbon emission data.
- Having a flexible and scalable system that’s fine tuned to the operational needs of the facility can help hospitals meet government regulatory requirements and save money on energy bills and maintenance costs.
Reduced Energy Cost and Increased Efficiency
Energy bills incur the biggest expense in healthcare facility operations. In fact, the Australian healthcare system contributes to 7% of global GHG emissions. Adopting energy conservation measures (ECMs) is the key to reducing energy costs and increasing resource efficiency and the role in which a BMS plays should not be underestimated.
A finely tuned BMS has various energy conservation solutions for healthcare facilities. Building Management Systems integrated with smart building technologies can conserve energy consumption and extend the usable life cycle of certain equipment.
From Building Management to Smart Building Automation
While all major healthcare facilities have a Building Management System or Building Automation System, they may
- be outdated and lacking critical features for modern IoT connectivity
- not be optimised for energy efficiency and occupancy comfort
- lack a user friendly access
- have limited to no visibility of critical energy consumption and GHG data
Given the push towards decarbonisation and resource efficiency, it’s important to review the efficacy of your facility’s systems including BMS to ensure (it’s)
- Future proofed and scalable with new technologies
- Optimised to run the hospital in the most sustainable way possible while balancing the needs and comfort of patient and staff
- A secure user-friendly platform to access controls and monitor key sustainability performance indicators (SPI)
- Utilising machine learning (ML) to provide data driven insights to ‘predict’ near future maintenance requirements
Some of the benefits of leveraging new technologies and enabling Smart Building solutions across your healthcare facilities include:
- Improved occupancy comfort
- Improved energy management
- Lower maintenance costs
- Lower energy costs
- Better visibility of building performance / sustainability performance indicators
- Speeds up the process of energy audits or sustainability rating assessments in future
- Extends the useable life of critical equipment as a result of data-driven insights and predictive maintenance scheduling
- Seamless integration and control of a wide range of devices and equipment
- Asset tracking in real time
3E Group specialises in designing and implementing these types of smart building solutions in various types of facilities including hospitals. The 3E Group Smart Buildings team can conduct an independent assessment and partner with your on-site resources (or subcontractors) to design and deploy cost-effective smart building solutions including:
- cloud-based data insights platform securely integrated with the BMS
- custom reporting and recommendations by qualified engineers
- identification and implementation of energy conservation opportunities leveraging new technologies including retrofit upgrades and new installations
- Streamlined maintenance and 24/7 technical support
For more information or to discuss your requirements, connect with the Smart Building experts today.