How Room Booking System Improves Energy Efficiency

At night, you will see high-rise buildings having their entire floors lit up but only a couple of people working. Meeting rooms and large auditoriums have their lighting and air-conditioners running even when no one is occupying the space. Hallways lit up with no human activity. While these lights make for a beautiful skyline, a huge amount of energy is being wasted.  And that’s why we could think on Room Booking System Improve Energy Efficiency

The world has become more conscious about the usage of electricity. Whether it is at home or office, we are encouraged to nurture an energy-efficient culture. The idea of reducing the cost of consumption of electricity has been at the top of every facility manager’s mind. In the earlier days, initiatives to reduce electricity consumption came from a standpoint of reducing operating costs. Awareness of the environment and the need to comply with policies are making buildings more energy efficient.

You can perform a major upgrade by overhauling the building management system.  Make air-cons, lighting, lifts and escalators more energy efficient. These involves high capital costs and the Return on Investment (ROI) is measured in years. Moreover, you could only upgrade large buildings. Most of the smaller buildings could not afford such a mammoth task.

While these upgrades impact the building as a whole, the occupants are hardly in control of the usage. Their interaction with these systems is limited at best and non-existent at worst. The only interaction of the occupant with the facility happens with the room booking system.  They use it daily for their work. We can save a lot of energy if we can control lighting, air-conditioning and other electronic item usages.

How to integrate the room booking system with the building management system to cut down on energy usage. A room booking system can provide an active interface between the occupants and the building.

Integration with Building Automation Systems

This is by far the most popular technique for ensuring that the user’s actions (Requesting a room for a conference call) can trigger the Building Automation System (BAS) to schedule the lighting, air-conditioning, and other electronic devices. When a user requests a room for a meeting, the booking system can communicate with the BAS system to create trigger events that can schedule the switching on and off of the electrical devices in that room. This is a quick way to implement as most BAS systems come with protocols and interfaces that allow communication with external environments.

You use a room 60% of the time every day. For the rest of the 40%, the room is vacant while the lighting and air-conditioning are still functioning. By integrating with BAS systems, there can be a potential saving of 40% of the electrical usage in the rooms.

Hot Desk Solutions

Reservation of individual desks can trigger the activation of phone lines, lighting, and air-conditioners only around the area instead of the entire zone. You can do this through a combination of software and hardware such as beacons to detect occupancy and make adjustments to the office environment accordingly.

Occupancy Detection

Occupancy detection allows the space to detect the occupancy of people and make adjustments to the electrical consumption accordingly. For example, someone books the room for an hour but fails to turn up. In such cases, devices that can detect occupancy can release the reservation, thus triggering the lighting and air-conditioning to shut down.

Intelligent Solutions

Building intelligence into booking systems can provide additional benefits in terms of meeting room planning and recommendation. You can allow a staff who has to attend a late-night conference to book a smaller room and not the conference room even if it is vacant.  Areas such as restrictions on usage after office hours to select rooms in a specific zone can reduce the need to trigger multiple zones. You can allow an employee access to certain rooms only if he/she wants to use the office on the weekend. The employee can then schedule meetings in any of those fixed sets of rooms. This will increase efficiency and also save money.

With the advent of artificial intelligence caused by the flood of data from devices and systems, building intelligence into such software tools as room booking systems can reap large benefits for the building owners.

Final Thoughts

Today, the advancement of technologies and software tools has given us the power to implement intelligent systems that can help bring down the cost of operating buildings. From complex BAS systems to simple room booking systems, when implemented can reap dividends in cost saving, environmental friendliness, and regulatory compliance. A simple room booking system can wield so much power to control the operations of the building and provide a better working environment to the occupants. The best part is that you can quickly implement such a system. You don’t need to overhaul your entire structure to install this affordable and scalable solution.

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