A Building Management System (BMS) is a central computerised system for managing and operating systems within a building. A BMS usually incorporates controls for air conditioning, for energy management, maintenance management, security, access and fire systems.

A BMS is an essential tool in tuning the operation of any building and, just like a well tuned car, a well tuned building not only runs more efficiently, it generally provides better performance. This ensures that operating costs are minimised and occupants are more comfortable.

To manage energy use, it can monitor various parameters in the building such as temperature, humidity, energy usage and occupancy patterns. By doing so, services such as air conditioning, ventilation and heating, lift services, hot water systems and lighting are able to be controlled in ways that minimise energy use while optimising comfort and functionality.

A. Monitoring
To minimise energy consumption, energy use should be monitored on a continual basis and a good BMS makes this task very simple. Using a BMS, the following can be monitored:
Equipment and plant faults
Energy consumption by different building operations
The effect on energy use of improving equipment operation. For example, energy savings from a lighting upgrade can be monitored with the BMS Electricity,
Gas and water use
Building temperatures and air quality
Operating times
Dirty filters
Occupancy patterns
Alarms to highlight out of normal system operation.

B. Controlling
The BMS is interfaced with building controls which can automatically:
Control chilled water temperature (in cooling coils for air conditioning) to reduce energy use Turn off loads like chilled water pumps when not required Control Variable Speed Drives to reduce chilled water pump energy or fan energy Turn off lights and lifts when not in use Receive data from the peripheral controls, such as occupancy sensors, and relay this information to the system control level Allow the use of economy cycles using outside air Some BMS offer standard software to carry out sophisticated energy management routines such as:
Optimum Start
Night Purge
Economy Cycle
Ventilation Control

C. Reporting
Reports can be generated using tables and graphs, showing trends that indicate whether the performance of the building is deviating from what is expected and which actions are required to correct the deviation. Data logging can define temperature and conditions where leasing disputes occur.

A BMS is an important part of a building. Use it to understand how your building operates and you will profit.

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