Tricks Of The Trade: Remote Monitoring

By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the November 2010 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q Where can I find a list of remote monitoring and maintenance providers? I am interested in the remote monitoring of mechanical and other building systems.

Mark Meyers
Strategic Relationship Manager
LDS Church
Salt Lake City, UT

A One thing I have grown dependent on is the Sensaphone IMS4000. This remote monitor lets me track various functions. It has built-in sensors for temperature, sound, and power, and the base unit has eight ports for additional sensors such as motion, smoke, moisture, temperature, and humidity. A dry contact bridge is also available to allow notification of equipment alarms.

The device can ping up to 64 devices, which can notify me when any device with an IP address fails to respond. It alerts me of alarm conditions by phone and/or by e-mail, so I use it to monitor temperature levels in C-level suites; I know in advance when they start to fall outside the comfort range. This allows me to dispatch maintenance proactively to correct the problem before it is noticed.

If you looking into having a third party remote monitor your equipment, then I would suggest you read Tom Sumner’s TFM article, “The HVAC Factor: Remote Monitoring Services.” In the article, Sumner presents an overview of some of the minimum building automation system requirements necessary for remote monitoring.

Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s web site. To pose a question, visit this link.