Understanding Building Management Systems

For large buildings and industrial facilities, managing various devices located in different locations may prove difficult. This results in wastage and misuse of various facilities and, consequently, higher energy costs. Fortunately, an automated way of managing building facilities presents itself thanks to building system controls.

What is building system automation?

Building system automation is the interlinking or networking of various building facilities and managing them from a central control unit. This means that a networked interface is created that communicates with all the connected devices and manages their functioning. The common term for building automation is building system control. Professionals in building system controls can automate almost every type and size of building. New buildings can easily be automated in the construction and fitting stage. Older buildings can also be automated, and most people do this during renovations.

What is controlled?

Building automation mainly involves the control of a building's mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The HVAC system and its related machinery are all incorporated in the control system. The system can, therefore, raise temperatures in one room or lower them in another depending on usage and occupants' needs. Automation can also include the lighting system, elevators and escalators, fire alarm system, keypad access, power and water monitoring. Ideally, the aim of the system is to have all independent systems regulated and monitored from one central location.

Earlier systems were manufacturer specific. This meant you could only have specific devices specified by manufacturers on the system. Today's systems are versatile and can include devices from varying manufacturers.

What is the advantage of building automation?

There are many advantages of having your building automated. Building system controls can help save energy in the building. Unused facilities will be automatically shut down and turned on only when needed. This means no lights accidentally left on or running water taps that are not being used.

Building automation can also help in providing useful energy consumption data. With this data, you can make crucial decisions regarding various facilities for the purpose of saving energy costs. Automation is also important for maintenance and ensuring proper functioning of various facilities. Broken-down units will be identified immediately and fixed, saving the devices from further damage. In large installations, this is a crucial advantage because it is not always easy to know which devices are functioning efficiently quickly.

Who will run the system?

Once your building system controls have been installed, you have two options for how to run the system. Some companies offer maintenance and running of the systems by their provided professionals. This means you will have to get into a subscription-like arrangement with them. The other option is to have your installers train your in-house staff on how to use the system. The company then simply does routine servicing of the system.