Operational Telemetry–A Step Beyond Simple Building-Health Measurement

Traditional and analog monitoring systems have been the go-to solution for many facility managers for decades. These systems typically monitor each infrastructure system and provide a snapshot overview for facility managers to use. Since many of these systems work in isolation, facility teams could miss opportunities for improving a building’s health and longevity. For many facility managers, the solution for determining a building’s proper health is operational telemetry.

What Is Telemetry?

Operational telemetry is the process of collecting performance data from a component or system and relaying it to a remote location for comprehensive monitoring and analysis. While traditional monitoring systems can track specific metrics as defined by the developers, telemetry allows facility teams to track the overall health of each infrastructure system and its components. This data can be configured to include specific measurables such as voltage, run time, current, energy consumption, flow rates, temperature, and pressure. With telemetry, facility managers and teams can assemble a clearer picture of the building’s overall health and performance by aggregating larger data sets for the following systems.

  • HVAC Systems
  • LED Lighting Fixtures
  • IP Security Cameras
  • Access Control Systems
  • Water Meters 

Telemetry systems are typically more complex than their analog counterparts because the data must be encoded to create a truly digital network.

Operational Telemetry–A Step Beyond Simple Building-Health Measurement

How Does Telemetry Differ from Traditional Monitoring Applications? 

Pulling data from the full range of systems being used can expose issues that are not seen when using analog data collection. Utilizing a well-connected telemetry system can save time and money by providing a highly optimized approach for improving efficiency and building health. Operational telemetry can help eliminate some of the informational restraints and limits that occur within traditional monitoring models. A major challenge for facility teams is that most existing buildings don’t have the data cabling flexibility required to handle the additional sensors or the bandwidth for increased data collection.

Telemetry utilizes a network of transducers, transmitters, communication modules, instrumentation, displays, printers, and a wide range of sensors installed throughout the building to collect real-time data. Motion, temperature, and environmental sensors can detect changing occupancy levels or space use to reduce energy costs. Vibration, torque, and pressure sensors are typically used for monitoring mechanical equipment and other machinery. As the data is collected and analyzed, facility teams can adjust the individual infrastructure systems to maximize the overall building health more effectively.

Telemetry Benefits for Facility Management Teams

This constant data collection allows for immediate awareness of minute changes or anomalies within the building environment. Telemetry systems often incorporate advanced analytics, algorithms, and machine learning techniques to analyze large volumes of data and identify patterns, trends, and anomalies. By leveraging analytics, building managers can gain valuable insights into energy usage patterns, equipment performance, occupancy trends, and other vital metrics, facilitating data-driven decision-making and proactive management strategies including.

  • The discovery of outlying issues is not apparent through basic monitoring systems.
  • The optimization of systems results in less downtime and fewer emergency repairs.
  • Equipment costs are lower because facilities can purchase the parts and equipment needed when inventories are high, and prices are lower.
  • Eliminating the number of crisis scenarios and distributing maintenance tasks across the calendar to create daily, weekly, and monthly schedules reduced workers’ stress levels.

Telemetry integrates data from multiple systems to provide a truly comprehensive view of building operations and performance. As a result, facility teams can be more proactive and less reactive to changing conditions. Telemetry systems utilize communication technologies such as wireless networks, IoT (Internet of Things) protocols, and cloud-based platforms to transmit real-time data to centralized monitoring and control systems. This enables building managers to access critical information remotely and respond quickly to emerging issues or alarms.

As McKinsey1 notes, “The foundations of future growth are often laid as societies respond to the weaknesses crises expose. History shows that resilience depends on adaptability and decisiveness in times of disruption.” Compared to traditional monitoring systems, telemetry provides that adaptability for facility teams as more companies incorporate AI (Artificial Intelligence” and BMS (Building Management Systems into their business models. Adaptive cabling distribution systems can help minimize the number of potential crises by supporting proactive maintenance scheduling for infrastructure systems as business needs evolve.

By fully leveraging telemetry in the built environment, building managers can gain deeper insights into building performance while improving operational efficiency and enhancing occupant comfort and safety.  Telemetry collects real-time data from diverse sources, transmits it to centralized systems for analysis, and enables proactive control and optimization of building operations. By expanding the data set used by facility teams to determine a building’s health, telemetry provides a step beyond traditional  building monitoring and management systems.

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