While COVID-19 remains the top priority for managers in many hospitals and healthcare facilities, pre-pandemic issues and challenges remain in place. As a result, managers must continue to stay on top of such issues as energy efficiency and facility comfort. To address these priorities, paying attention to developments in building automation systems (BAS) are likely to pay dividends.
The capabilities of BAS continue to evolve and expand, providing hospitals with additional tools to improve facilities management. Hallmarks include integration with other building systems, data collection and analysis, and the use of mobile devices, according to Healthcare Facility Management.
In recent years, expectations of BAS functionality and capability have shifted drastically. From simple HVAC controls and automation, BAS now offer extensive capabilities through integration with other systems within health care environments.
As the use of mobile devices increases, BAS providers have seen greater demand for mobile access to building automation technology that enables monitoring and maintenance.
Hospitals pose challenges to BAS providers. Outdated infrastructure is one issue. Many hospitals are old. Lack of a network infrastructure, sealed ductwork and a building envelope can make it difficult to implement efficient automation.
But in these challenges lie the opportunities for greater efficiency. Different wings might have different controls systems with no coordinated plan or standardization. Many hospitals have inefficient HVAC systems such as constant-volume-reheat and dual-duct systems with a mixture of BAS components and pneumatic controls.
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