BMS - Building Management Systems
Building Management Systems (BMS) are at the heart of a building and are typically used to automate, manage and monitor a building’s lighting, ventilation and power systems. When found in larger projects a BMS may also control access to the building via gates and automatic doors, which use a pass card or another security measure. They can also be further integrated into the building’s security system such as closed circuit TV and motion detectors.
With the growing demand for new green energy compliancy, an efficiently operating BMS has become essential in optimizing a building’s energy usage in today’s energy starved world. A successful BMS will utilize resources in an intelligent manner that ensures a comfortable environment for both landlords and tenants.
There are a number of advantages and cost saving reasons to integrate a sophisticated BMS into a building. The BMS should be able to alert landlords to irregular energy usage patterns. It will be able to determine the difference between normal load increases, such as seasonal variations, and abnormalities that may require attention and subsequent remedy.
Installing a BMS is a fairly complicated affair and a number of measures need to be taken into account. The system is very susceptible to design inadequacies as any low quality component may cascade down the line to create an overall poorly functioning BMS. As an example, many modern building management systems rely on Wi-Fi signals to stay in communication with its various integrated components. If the building is incompatible, then low powered Wi-Fi signals will likely not reach the intended target causing the BMS to fail or operate erratically. Physical cabling in these situations would be an efficient but more costly solution.
To obtain the most energy efficient operation of a BMS, the level of control made available to occupants should be considered. Given that the average occupant will be more concerned over their comfort, this will likely influence how they operate equipment; often to the detriment of efficiency. As such it is generally best to have equipment automatically turn on or off whenever an occupant enters or leaves an area.
Installing a new BMS or upgrading an existing one can be problematic. Conditions need to be maintained, as residents, customers and personnel need to be kept comfortable with adequate lighting and temperature control. Choose a vendor who has the experience and knowhow to keep the building operating at optimum while the installation is taking place.
Another factor to take into account is to make sure there is a solid service level agreement (SLA) in place for the building management system. This will ensure that you receive adequate support in the event of problems or inadequacies with the BMS. Things like sustainability objectives, testing, inspecting, assessments, 24/7 callouts, remote access, firmware and software upgrades, and environmental support should all be included in the SLA at a minimum.