Are you thinking about installing an intelligent building management system (BMS) for your business? Find out how building automation systems work and the benefits of BMS.
How Building Automation Systems Work
A building management system (BMS) is a computer-based control system that controls and automates many aspects of a building, from fire and smoke detection to lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning to video surveillance and security. Everything is interconnected with a building management system with a goal toward streamlining and improving your business’ efficiency. A modern, effective BMS can improve productivity, save you money on operating costs, and ensure comfort and safety for the people working in your building.
More specifically, a BMS can help you:
- Manage illumination (lighting) – Monitor electricity consumption and control lighting within your building
- Cut energy costs – Manage electricity usage to different areas of your building
- Maintain a comfortable atmosphere – Monitor climate, air flow and temperature
- Keep your building secure – Monitor building security at entrances and exits, including CCTV video surveillance, intrusion detection, motion sensors, turnstile control, access doors and alarms
- Protect employees in an emergency – BMS systems offer fire and smoke detection
- Save on water costs – Monitor and control pump activity for water distribution in your building
- Manage elevators – Control and monitor elevators, including occupancy, movement and security
Building Management System Architecture
How does a building automation system work? A BMS typically consists of the following:
Sensors are devices that collect data throughout your building. This data may include information about temperatures, humidity or even room occupancy.
Think of the controllers as the building automation system’s brain. Based on data gathered from the system’s sensors, the controller decides on the best course of action to keep the building operating in alignment with the preferences decided by you when the BMS was set up.
Once the controllers collect the data and decide on adjustments that need to be made, the commands are carried out by the output devices. This may include relays and actuators.
The user interface is how you will interact with the building automation system by monitoring the data reported and accessing the BMS to change settings if desired. This is usually accessible remotely via a mobile device such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Benefits of BMS
#1 Benefit of BMS: Energy savings
A well-designed building management system architecture can result in energy savings of up to 30%, as well as lower maintenance requirements. How? A BMS allows you to control and monitor all the electricity used to heat, cool and light your building and run its equipment. With this real-time information, you have the opportunity to respond quickly to changes in energy demand and reports on energy use over time.
In addition, a BMS can:
- Improve air quality and employee comfort – Building management systems can monitor and control air quality and protect occupants against harmful pollutants, gases and smoke.
- Adjust humidity and ventilation – BMS can decrease the costs of your air conditioning and heating by making them more efficient. A BMS makes it easy to schedule your building’s air conditioning to work at a different temperature on specific days and at specific times.
- Adapt lighting – Automatically shut down lighting, air conditioning or heating in unoccupied areas and during scheduled times of the day or night. Adjust blinds and shutters to manage sunlight with the touch of a button.
- Ensure proactive maintenance – A BMS can help you identify when a repair or maintenance is necessary, or predict equipment failure before a crisis occurs.
#2 Benefit of BMS: Enhanced building security and safety
An integrated building security system will ensure building occupants remain safe and your structure, resources and assets are well-protected. A BMS system can offer:
- Traffic control – Building and elevator access control can help steer transient traffic and personnel through your building, open up evacuation routes during emergencies, and deny access to restricted areas
- Fire and smoke detection – A BMS provides an early warning system for fire and smoke and can even be set up to provide employees with a clear path to exit the building in an emergency.
- Reduce the risk of criminal activity – Closed circuit television (CCTV) video surveillance can improve security, allowing your managers to monitor and control security issues in real-time. This superior intrusion control can help guard against break-ins.
- Safeguard against hacking – BMS can provide extra security for IT data centres to protect against hackers.
#3 Benefit of BMS: Convenience and flexibility
A building management system connects all the networks in your building into one automated system. This allows managers to monitor and analyse data, and access and control any area of your structure or property from one centralised location or off-site via cloud technology. Ultimately, this centralised, user-friendly system makes managing your building easier. Best of all, it can be customised and adapt to your needs as they evolve.
#4 Benefit of BMS: Reduced operating costs
All of the benefits mean that BMS can increase your business’ operational efficiency. By creating a well-optimised environment, you can increase staff productivity and reduce the costs of running and maintaining your building.
- Real-time alerts – Automatic alerts give you the time needed to take swift action and solve problems.
- Improved decision-making – Arm your managers with the right information.
- Automated efficiency – Equipment switches off when not needed.
How to find the right BMS
Your BMS will be tailored to meet your building’s unique needs. We recommend seeking out an energy management specialist to recommend a business management system and oversee its installation.
Interested in installing a building management system in Brisbane? Peak Voltage offers a scalable range of BMS solutions — from individual subsystems to fully integrated intelligent buildings — that reduce risk while delivering energy efficiency. Give us a call on (07) 3272 7325 or contact us through our website.