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Niagara for Educational Facilities
The centralized control that Niagara Framework brings to a mix of buildings under management is a boon to K-12 school districts, private academies, community colleges, and universities. Niagara can be deployed in all types of buildings – from historical to new, energy-intensive labs, kitchens and computer rooms. Niagara brings data interoperability to multiple buildings systems – HVAC, energy, lighting, access security, video cameras and other data-sources.
Niagara addresses the dilemma that so many school districts and higher-ed institutes that have worked with energy services companies (ESCOs) over decades find themselves facing: a legacy of air- and water-flow networks, sub-metering, sensors and control layers over existing equipment infrastructure – layers that don't talk to each other, that don't provide a solid foundation for moving forward into the future, but that are functioning and too valuable for rip-and-replace.
Here is where Tridium’s Niagara Framework can breakdown the data silos and provide a more open playing field for all the technology providers doing business with the school or university. Niagara software and hardware are sold and supported in many forms and by many manufacturers in a healthy, competitive ecosystem. By specifying Niagara, the project team ensures:
- All vendors will propose solutions that can seamlessly connect into and share data with the rest of the network
- A convenient, intuitive user experience for facility staff overseeing all properties via a common, modern HTML5 graphical user interface
- Accrual of data to prove achievement of higher performing buildings, minimal energy waste, and minimal equipment downtime that would otherwise compromise comfort
In addition to an open and competitive bid processes, schools gain economic efficiencies in other ways. With Niagara, systems integrators are empowered to get the best price/performance possible, per I/O point and per application. Not every elementary school or college campus annex building has a BMS. Rather, small buildings where big learning happens are typically served by small chiller plants with multi-zone air handling units. With the Niagara O/S now ported to edge devices like the Niagara Edge® 10, anyone designing HVAC for such buildings can precisely fit control points to the space as required, achieving the best price/performance for the job. Using an edge control strategy keeps first-costs lower in a new construction or retrofit situation and it invites opportunity for all sorts of new applications beyond HVAC or lighting control. When you bring more school buildings and more points of control into the Niagara network, it doesn’t bring a steep increase in complexity and need for extra staff and staff training. Rather, the school facilities team has a single-tool interface for all.