How to use BMS : A Guide to Reduce Costs and Achieve Green Goals
Building Management Systems (BMS) is emerging as a crucial factor in the construction sector, gaining particular significance with the imminent approach of the BACS (Building Automation & Control Systems) decree deadlines for France. As the deadline rapidly approaches, industry professionals are faced with the urgent need to implement effective BMS systems. The BACS Decree aims to equip tertiary buildings with automation and control systems by 2025.
In this context, our article explores the current relevance of BMS, highlighting its essential role in intelligent building management to meet BACS decree requirements and address growing challenges related to sustainability and energy efficiency while proposing an economically viable solution.
What is the BMS System?
Building Management Systems (BMS) represents an integrated and automated approach to facility management in a building, playing a key role in optimizing energy performance. Specifically, it is a control system connected to various sensors and actuators strategically distributed throughout the building. The control system collects data from sensors and uses this information to adjust the operation of building systems and equipment in real-time.
Its four main tasks encompass ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and water systems. By supervising these crucial aspects, BMS ensures effective coordination of equipment, allowing real-time adaptation to the specific needs of the building. For example, it automatically adjusts the temperature based on the time of day, regulates lighting according to natural brightness, and optimizes water consumption based on actual needs.
These features significantly contribute to energy savings, reducing operational costs while minimizing carbon footprint. BMS stands out as an essential solution for sustainable building management, offering economic and environmental benefits throughout its lifecycle.
Types of BMS
BMS comes in several types, each tailored to specific needs and the complexity of a building's installations. You can choose from the following types:
Decentralized systems that group equipment within specific zones, allowing targeted management of installations, such as independent control of air conditioning or lighting.
Centralized systems that offer a more comprehensive approach, controlling all equipment from a central point.
Hybrid systems that combine autonomous and centralized elements, providing great flexibility.
Each type of BMS has distinct advantages based on the specific requirements of the building, its size, and complexity.
Implementing a BMS: Where to Start?
The design of a BMS is guided by the expected system goals and should consider the type and size of the building, existing installations, the needs and preferences of occupants, and the budget allocated to the system. Here are some points to consider and advice to ensure the effectiveness of your BMS:
Clearly define the system's objectives
Before anything else, it is essential to clearly define the objectives of installing a BMS. The BMS must be designed to meet the specific needs of the building. Once established, these objectives will serve as a reference to evaluate the effectiveness of the BMS.
Choose suitable hardware and software
Thoughtful selection of BMS components will contribute to ensuring that the BMS is reliable, efficient, and easy to use. Be sure to verify that all components are compatible with each other.
Conduct tests before system activation
It is imperative to conduct a series of tests to verify that the BMS can monitor and control building systems as intended. Tests reveal any potential errors or anomalies in the system's operation. By identifying and correcting potential issues during the testing phase, long-term maintenance costs are minimized, contributing to the sustainability and continuous efficiency of the system. Additionally, this testing phase allows for adjustments and optimization of system parameters to ensure maximum performance (sensor calibration, alarm threshold verification, control strategy adjustment).
Train teams and provide user documentation
A well-trained team is essential to ensure optimal long-term operation. The documentation provided to stakeholders likely to intervene on the BMS should include at least user manuals and training materials. Also, familiarize the team with the user interface, emergency procedures, and routine maintenance.
Monitor and regularly maintain the BMS
To ensure continuous performance of your BMS, it is necessary to regularly monitor and maintain the system. This may involve checking the status of sensors, actuators, and other components, as well as performing any necessary repairs or upgrades.
Future Perspectives for BMS Systems
1. Increased connectivity of systems
Propelled by rapid advances in information technology, building management systems can now communicate with a wide range of devices and systems, such as occupancy sensors and smart thermostats. Whether managing a building portfolio or a single building, it will become increasingly easier for managers to acquire a significant amount of diverse data for analysis. These new solutions, often based on Cloud technologies, leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) for remote management, allowing control from anywhere via online applications.
2. Advanced data analysis
By incorporating predictive algorithms and machine learning models, BMS systems can analyze historical and real-time data to anticipate energy consumption patterns, demand fluctuations, and other critical parameters. This predictive capability provides building managers with proactive insights, enabling them to adjust parameters accordingly.
3. Better integration with other systems
In the pursuit of a holistic approach to building management, technological advances will improve the integration of BMS with other building management systems, such as security systems, emergency intervention systems, and maintenance management systems.
4. Improved user interfaces
Another trend to watch is the emergence of mobile and web applications designed to facilitate user interaction with BMS. These interfaces allow users to monitor and control building systems from anywhere and can provide real-time data and alerts. The goal is to make monitoring and adjusting complex management systems as intuitive as possible.
Beyond regulatory compliance, installing a well-designed BMS ensures energy and water savings in operational buildings, reducing operational costs. This results in fewer on-site visits for maintenance teams, increased responsiveness in case of detected drift, and improved comfort for occupants.
Innovations in IoT and advanced data analytics suggest a promising future for BMS systems to promote increasingly intelligent, efficient, and resilient buildings.