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Shutdown Ready – Identify Your Best Building Connectivity-Level

January 04, 2021

scenes from commercial kitchen preparing food for take away and delivery

The recent commercial kitchens shutdowns and re-openings have required nimble and responsive facility management. When facing these challenges, wouldn’t it be nice to simply click one button to move your building to “shutdown mode”?

While undertaking the system shut down and subsequent re-opening process can prove fairly simple for a single commercial kitchen location, for example, multiply that process by hundreds, thousands — or even tens of thousands of locations — and things quickly get significantly more complicated.

Imagine being able to hit one “shutdown” button, to manage the process of preparing those dozens, hundreds or even thousands of facilities for a shutdown. A manager responsible for approximately 200 retail facilities, most of them including commercial kitchens, for example, recently became the envy of his fellow facility managers when he shared during a pandemic update that he was able to do just that: complete what was essentially a “one-button shutdown.”

The facility leader depends upon an enterprise-wide building management system, to manage the portfolio of the retailers’ approximately 200 buildings. Explore the following levels of building connectivity – from enterprise-wide remote capabilities to entry-level web enabled solutions - to learn about options for your connectivity in buildings that can simplify the shutdown process.

Best: enterprise wide management

The “one button” approach to facility management provides an ideal solution for management of multiple facilities. You can access an online, enterprise-wide view and control over all your buildings and systems from any PC, tablet, or web-connected device on your network or any vendor-secured network.

By integrating your other systems via BACnet (the ASHRAE® building automation and control networking Internet Protocol[1]), an enterprise-wide management system can give you the information you need. This system can help you make enterprise-wide decisions for optimized performance, while facilitating easy shutdown and re-start when needed.

In addition to facilitating easy shutdown and restart, an enterprise-wide management system gives you centralized management of scheduling and alarms, supports long-term data storage to document and monitor performance, facilitates tenant billing, work orders, and preventative maintenance, enables remote troubleshooting, and brings disparate systems together for upgrade flexibility. Best of all, you can access your facility from anywhere you have an internet connection. Check out the Trane enterprise management system Tracer® Ensemble®.

Intermediate: building-by-building shutdown simplified

Implementing connectivity within buildings can simplify the process of shutdown and eliminate expensive truck rolls when things need to happen quickly. Installing a building automation system provides remote access to your building although you must connect to each building separately to make adjustments. The web-enabled capabilities provide access to a building’s systems. from any PC, tablet, or web-connected device on your network or any vendor-secured network, resulting in more responsive building control.

Building automation also offers a range of functionality and control, including customizable alarm notifications, 365-day scheduling, area control, and optimal start and stop features.

Accessing building automation systems for each of your individual buildings can enable you to prepare for shutdown. Working with an energy service company like Trane can help simplify and speed up the process when you need to shutdown multiple buildings in a hurry. Check out Trane Building Automation Systems for more information.

When you’re ready to expand beyond your building automation system, you can add energy management solutions such as intelligent building services that provide real-time monitoring of all energy-related data gathered in your building, energy analytics and automated fault detection. These building energy management services (BEMS) make it easier to monitor data and gain insights into your building’s performance and usage to help drive efficiency improvements and reduce energy costs.

Entry-level: consider web-enabled thermostats

When budget is tight, yet you need to be able to remotely access multiple buildings, web-enabled thermostats can serve as a good starting point to accessing the benefits of connected buildings. These thermostats can be adjusted remotely, enabling you to adjust the temperature of each of your buildings prior to a shutdown or restart. The web-enabled thermostats can be accessed from virtually anywhere using a PC, tablet or smartphone, resulting in more responsive building control.      

Trane has found that roughly 30 percent of restaurants and retail buildings are managed using some type of remote capability. “We have seen that by switching from more manual “in-person and on-site” traditional thermostat to web-enabled thermostats , facility managers are saving up to 15 percent in operating costs,” said Greg Duchane, Trane Systems Engineer specializing in restaurant applications. The costs of service truck rolls and increased utility costs while waiting for adjustments can add up quickly. Learn more about the Trane PIVOT® web—enabled thermostat.

The need for potential shutdowns and adjustments remains on the horizon, especially in response to the current health crisis[2]. Now is the time to consider connectivity for your buildings to simply this process and save money in the long run.

 

 

All trademarks referenced are the trademarks of their respective owners.

 

[1] BACnet™, the ASHRAE Building Automation and Control Networking Protocol,

[2] Fox, Megan, Here's why a vaccine will not stop the Covid-19 pandemic right away, CNN, Sept. 15, 2020