A Building Management System (BMS) or Building Automation and Control System (BACS) is a system that manages and monitors all building systems, including the electrical system, HVAC system, renewable energy production, and electricity and gas meters.
What is an integrated building management system (iBMS)?
More recently, integrated building management systems (iBMS) have emerged. Like a BMS, they centralise all building systems, but extend this integration to the entire building environment. Therefore, they also include access control, video surveillance and fire prevention systems, among others.
By centralising all the systems, both a BMS and an iBMS facilitate the management of the building and become a single point of control for the entire building. That is why most new buildings are already built with a building automation control system and, from 2025, will become mandatory throughout the European Union.
⚠️ Is it mandatory to have a BMS/ BACS in the UK?
By 2025, BACS systems will become mandatory throughout the European Union. In the UK it is currently no requirement, although the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government recommends them for buildings whose effective output is over 290 kW.
What are the benefits of using a BMS?
To begin with, the correct use of a BMS reduces energy consumption by 30%. However, reducing energy consumption and expenditure are not the only benefits of using a building management system. Building management technology also allows for the increase in occupant comfort, lower carbon footprint, and increased technical efficiency.
A building without a building management system uses 10-30% more energy than a similar building with a BMS.
Building management automation allows better control of room temperature and other air quality indicators in real time.
Centralising all information allows assets to be better managed and monitored, which reduces reactive maintenance.
Smart buildings are more sustainable and more efficient than conventional buildings. This reduces your company’s environmental impact.
How do building automation systems work?
Typically, integrated building management systems (iBMS) or building automation systems (BAS) break down into 5 components that interact with each other and form the “system”.
The first component is the information collection points. These can be sensors that measure the humidity, temperature, light, and occupancy of the room; fire or carbon monoxide detectors; or energy meters.
This information is transmitted to the “controllers” – the brains of the operation. Depending on the information they receive, they send commands to all the systems that are connected, such as the HVAC system, lamps, air purifiers, etc. Then the “output devices” carry out the commands.
Communication between all the components is done using a specific language (communication protocols), such as the BACnet protocol. Finally, there is a dashboard from which operators and managers can access information and make adjustments manually.
Examples of automated building management:
- HVAC. Thanks to IoT sensors, HVAC settings can be automatically adjusted to save energy and provide maximum comfort.
- Lighting. An automation system manages the building’s lighting based on occupancy and daily sunlight hours.
- Security. The automation system controls when the alarm is on or off, video surveillance cameras, and access control.
- Air purification. The system controls ventilation based on measurements, which is more efficient than human control.
How important are building management systems?
Automation of HVAC systems and building lighting can reduce building energy consumption by 5-30%, according to the “Building Management System Market Forecast to 2023“. In addition, building automation saves on preventive maintenance. So, while the average cost of a building management system is still high, the investment is recouped in just 3-8 years.
However, savings are not the only reason why a BMS, iBMS, or BAS is important for facility managers, owners, and users:
- A BMS allows facility managers to understand where and how they are wasting energy;
- A BMS helps extend the life of assets, which improves ROI for owners;
- For highly complex buildings, such as hospitals or refineries, a BMS promotes optimal working conditions and offers improved safety.
Want to integrate your maintenance management software with your building management? Schedule a demo with a consultant and understand how Infraspeak integrates with your BMS.