When a new building or major renovation is being planned, facilities incorporates a building automation system to remotely monitor building equipment and systems.  Existing facilities can be retrofitted with updated automation controls and new facilities are designed with these controls included.

These automation systems allow Facilities to operate city buildings more efficiently and with lower operating costs.  Like other building systems, the components require occasional preventative maintenance and software and hardware updates.  An effective building automation system saves the City $0.20 to $0.40/square foot/year, while costing $3-$4/square foot to install, well worth the upfront and ongoing maintenance costs considering the City owns and operates facilities for 30-50+years.

The City of Madison has about 50 buildings connected together on a Direct Digital Control (DDC) building automation system network.  This enables staff to manage these facilities from a centralized location including: changing setpoints remotely when responding to occupant comfort issues, monitoring building performance through data trending logs, and receiving alarms from malfunctioning equipment. Smaller facilities like park shelters and pavilions are not equipped with automation systems.