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Phone apps will help buildings services go mobile, suppliers claim

Facilities managers will increasingly monitor their buildings’ systems via a ‘smart phone’ rather than a traditional PC, saving time and money, technology suppliers have claimed.

With iPhones, Blackberries and other multi-media phones offering a growing number of customers cheap and fast Internet access, technology companies have begun to develop smart phone programs, or ‘apps’, for the building services industry.

Lancashire-based systems integrator Tyrrell Systems has developed an app that allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to manage and monitor control systems in buildings. Tyrrell is also developing a version for the iPad, BlackBerry and Android devices.

“Our app created quite a stir at a recent trade expo we attended in the US,” said the company’s managing director Ged Tyrrell. “Building services firms will quickly see the cost and performance benefits of using the smart platforms provided by multinational communications firms - it has to be the way forward.”

Apps have also been released for heating, refrigeration and air conditioning engineers. The American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has developed an iPhone app for calculating ventilation rates.

The Tyrell app allows Facilities managers to control their building systems from anywhere in the world; adjust systems; receive alarms and monitor energy performance, the company said.