In fire safety, which is increasingly in the spotlight following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, it has been possible for some time to ensure every fire and smoke damper in a building is tested and serviced regularly without physically accessing the ventilation system.
Maintaining dampers can be disruptive if someone actually needs to get into the ductwork – sometimes parts of the building need to be closed while this work takes place, so this vital process is often delayed or cancelled.
Instead, a damper test can be automatically instigated by the BMS linking to the damper control system on a regular, pre-programmed basis without the need for ‘physical’ human intervention. With remote monitoring, each damper can be mapped and tracked. Reports from the damper system can be monitored by the building’s BMS, on mobile dashboards and send email notifications to the building manager wherever in the world they may be.
Control panels can be integrated into existing data networks and the client’s building management strategy, which is essential for easing maintenance and reducing its cost.
As well as making buildings safer, an initial investment in smart digital connectivity dramatically reduces lifetime ownership costs. This is no longer cutting edge, but it is certainly smart.