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How Siemens technology saved a California county's residents more than $400,000 in tax dollars

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 12 Jul 2016

If the air conditioning in one of San Bernardino County's 34 government buildings malfunctions, facility maintenance staffreceive an alert on their iPads.Thanks to the information that the Siemens Building Automation System (BAS) provides, they often know exactly what's wrong before building occupants even realize the system is down.Using this data, they gather the right tools, make a beeline for the building, and resolve the issue with maximum efficiency.With buildings spread across the county's more than 20,000 square miles, the proactive mobile technology of the Siemens BAS has made a huge difference in San Bernardino County's building maintenance operationsto the tune of $405,800 in savings in the first three years alone."The idea was to develop a system that could unleash productivity, and this was a perfect example of everyone coming together to meet a shared vision,"says Akshay Grover, senioraccount executiveforthe Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry, Inc.in Los Angeles, who manages the San Bernardino County account.How can connectivity make such a difference' Consider the county's former operations: An air conditioning malfunction would likely remain undetected until building workers were already miserable and their productivity was dropping. Facility maintenance staffmight then have a 90-minute, one-way drive to evaluate the issue. Only then could they determine what tools and parts were necessary, acquire them, and set about resolving the issue.The Siemens BAS has created significant results forthe county$288,131 in energy and natural gas savings has been realized. The county has lowered payroll costs by $91,793. Driving nearly 40,000 fewer miles for service calls has reduced greenhouse gas emissions and generated $25,872 in fuel savings."There have been real dollar savings in doing this," says Joe Sutcliffe, Information Services Department division chief for San Bernardino County.Saving more than moneyThen there are the repairs that San Bernardino maintenance workers never have to make in the first place. The dramatic time savings allow employees to perform preventative maintenance, rather than simply putting out fires."If you take care of something and make sure it's well oiled and everything is going as it should," says Sutcliffe, "you don't necessarily have to worry about something breaking on you."Another benefit is that the Siemens BAS uses BACnet protocol to integrate seamlessly with third-party systems,such as the county's existing generators, uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems, water treatment controllers, and lighting control systems."The Siemens BAS acts as a focal pointand provides in-depth control and monitoring of different systems to the county through a click of a button," says Grover.That's crucial for a government entity that makes purchases through a competitive bidding process and can't always return to the same vendor for every item."If there's a piece of equipment that we need to buy, we can integrate that into the Siemens system," Sutcliffe adds.While the benefits of saving money, time, and resources for a for-profit entity are clear, Sutcliffe notes that the advantages for public organizations are particularly profound."We're saving the citizens' tax dollars," he says. "I'm not only an employee of the county, but I'm a citizen. I want my tax dollars spent wisely."For more informationabout Siemens and its BAS technology, click here.This post is sponsored by Siemens.Join the conversation about this story
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