What are Building Management Systems?

A building management system (BMS), otherwise known as a building automation system (BAS), is a computer-based control system installed in buildings that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems. A BMS consists of software and hardware; the software program, usually configured in a hierarchical manner, can be proprietary, using such protocols as C-Bus, Profibus, and so on. Vendors are also producing a BMS that integrates the use of Internet protocols and open standards such as DeviceNet, SOAP, XML, BACnet, LonWorks, Modbus or KNX.

What are they for?

Building management systems are most commonly implemented in large projects with extensive mechanical, HVAC, and electrical systems. Systems linked to a BMS typically represent 40% of a building’s energy usage; if the lighting is included, this number approaches to 70%. BMS systems are a critical component to managing energy demand. Improperly configured BMS systems are believed to account for 20% of building energy usage, or approximately 8% of total energy usage.

In addition to controlling the building’s internal environment, BMS systems are sometimes linked to access control (turnstiles and access doors controlling who is allowed access and egress to the building) or other security systems such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) and motion detectors. Fire alarm systems and elevators are also sometimes linked to a BMS for monitoring. In case a fire is detected then only the fire alarm panel could close dampers in the ventilation system to stop smoke spreading, shut down air handlers, start smoke evacuation fans, and send all the elevators to the ground floor and park them to prevent people from using them.

If you’re interesting in building management systems, please speak with our helpful team.

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