property manager benefiting from building automation



  • Building automation is the process of using smart technology to make a building easier to operate.
  • A building automation system works by taking advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT). This allows sensors attached to building infrastructure to gather information and make their own decisions.
  • The benefits of building automation include keeping your tenants safe, cutting costs, and saving time for staff members.
  • Among other systems, you can use automation to upgrade your building’s HVAC, lighting, and access control.


Owning or operating a successful building means staying on top of the trends and technological innovations that are changing the face of real estate. And one trend that properties across the nation are embracing is smart building automation. Building automation saves money for ownership and time for staff and increases tenant satisfaction. But what is it, and how does it work?

In this post, we explain what building automation is and its benefits. Then, we go over examples of automation in buildings that you can use on your property.

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What is building automation?

Building automation is the process of using technology to simplify day-to-day building operations.

There’s a lot of work that goes into running a building. It’s not just keeping tenants happy with excellent customer service. Behind the scenes, property managers are also in charge of crucial infrastructures like utilities, HVAC, heating, and lighting. Keeping tabs on all of these systems is enough to make anybody’s head spin.

But these days, advances in technology like sensors and the Internet of Things mean every part of a building’s infrastructure can be upgraded. As a result, buildings can exchange information and make intelligent decisions. So, the building itself can begin to take on some of the burdens of management and administration — and unlock tons of new benefits, as well.


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Building automation FAQs


Is building automation new?

While building automation sounds new, it’s actually centuries old. The automation part of the phrase doesn’t refer to the latest technological advances. Rather, automation refers to any form of technology that replaces a manual process. For example, the thermostat was patented in 1886 and is one of the first examples of automation in buildings.


How much does a building automation system cost?

Costs vary wildly depending on the type of building automation system that you install. Generally, the cost is between $2.50 and $7.00 per square foot. As a result, an automation system will cost more if you have a larger building.


What is the life expectancy of a building automation system?

The life expectancy for a good building automation system is expected to last 10 to 15 years. However, there’s no hard and fast rule as to how long a system will last.


What is the difference between BAS and BMS?

A BAS is a building automation system. A BMS is a building management system. The primary difference between the two is that a BMS is focused on monitoring and controlling a building’s operations. A BAS is more concerned with energy efficiency.


Learn how to automate your apartment building:


What are some examples of building automation systems?

Some building systems that could benefit from automation include:

  1. HVAC
  2. Lighting
  3. Access control



If a building’s ventilation system isn’t working properly, residents run the risk of developing mold-related health problems.

However, automation can step in and revolutionize your HVAC system. Ventilation-specific sensors can detect changes in humidity, temperature, airflow, and other variables. These sensors detect mold and notify you before it becomes a problem.


2. Lighting

Your building’s lights are one of the most efficient places to set up an automation system.

At first glance, you may not see lighting as an especially important aspect of building management. But when do you actually need your lights to be on? If you’re getting enough natural light, or if there aren’t any people in a certain area, you don’t need to waste electricity lighting those rooms.

This is where controlled automation comes in. With the help of sensors and light-detecting smart glass, you can light up rooms and floors only when in use — saving you money on your power bill.


3. Access control

Remember: Building automation doesn’t just affect pipes and other infrastructure that tenants never see. With the right technology, your tenants can experience the benefits of automation firsthand. For example, you can automate your building with intercoms and keypads that allow tenants to unlock doors with a tap of their smartphones.

In the days of analog access control, staff members had to spend hours printing out credentials and assigning them to residents. Then, they had to take them back at the end of a tenant’s stay.

But now, tenants can use their smartphones to instantly let themselves in. Further, they can create virtual keys for guests, creating a seamless access experience while staff directs their energies elsewhere.


What are the main benefits of building automation?

Building automation has benefits for staff and tenants alike.

A smart building management system benefits you by:


Opening gym door with a keypad.


Keeping your tenants safer

Your tenants depend on your building’s infrastructure to stay healthy and safe.

Here’s one example of building automation keeping tenants safe:

Instead of doing routine checks on your building’s plumbing system to ensure everything is in order, you can install smart sensors instead. These sensors will automatically detect any structural failures and send you an automatic notification, reducing the amount of time you spend on maintenance. And the best electronic control systems will even automatically shut down your plumbing system in the event of an imminent failure. As a result, you’ll create a safeguard that your residents will appreciate.


Lowering maintenance costs

Sensors that give you status updates on infrastructure save you money as well as time.

You might be able to count on staff members to do routine checks. However, you’re still taking them away from other duties for a task they’ll have to repeat over and over. So, maintenance is the perfect task to automate. Furthermore, by making your staff members more efficient, you make them more cost-effective.

A building management system can also help you improve your apartment’s energy efficiency. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a smart building that depends on automated technology can save as much as 30 – 50% on energy-related costs.


Saving time for staff

By automating your building, you can free staff members from routine, mundane tasks — whether those tasks are a part of managing tenant experiences or keeping building infrastructure updated.

When staff members have administrative and routine busywork taken off their plates, they can dedicate their time to delighting residents with personalized service. And residents who feel appreciated and have positive impressions of their building are more likely to renew their leases.


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Ferdison Cayetano

I’m a proptech enthusiast from New Jersey who’s looking forward to the innovations that will revolutionize real estate.

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