Seven must-haves for a better building management system
A building management system, otherwise known as a building automation system, is a computer-based control system that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems.
Commercial properties and large campuses cannot operate without such as system. However, as properties get older, building management systems become a challenge. For one thing, organizations are trying to minimize costs. In light of the fight against climate change, it is estimated that more than 30 per cent of energy is wasted in buildings and causes 40 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions.
In addition, according to a report by the Swedish-based Memoori, an independent analyst company focused on the smart building industry, office space vacancies are expected to rise to a maximum of 20 per cent by 2022.
Facilities management now means keeping energy and operating costs low, supporting sustainability goals, ensuring a healthy indoor environment, improving the occupant experience, and optimizing the use of space.
Thus, facilities management is more than responsibility for a building’s infrastructure. Faced with this reality, a question arises: Is it an urgent need to prepare building management systems for the future? The answer is yes.
According to Schneider Electric, an authorized subject matter expert, a modern building management platform will have seven important attributes that will help successful operations.
These attributes include:
Open and scalable. This means a platform with such characteristics will connect to existing servers and controllers, preserving investment and making it cost effective. IP (Internet protocols) and wireless connectivity can make it easy to add more sensors, meters or controllers as needed. An updated building management should also allow for seamless integration with other systems, such as power and energy management, giving a single pane of glass of visibility in all operations-related conditions.
Cybersecure. As operational technology (OT) and IT systems continue to converge, protecting building management from cyberattacks is critical. Building management systems must be secure by design, which means that development and operation follow strict cybersecurity standards and best practices.
Flexible. Building management must also be flexible enough to accommodate the new and changing needs of tenants, many of whom are planning a hybrid workplace. Beyond supporting office space reconfiguration, building management must also automatically adjust HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) parameters in response to occupancy, people flow, and air quality readings to optimize efficiency and occupant well-being.
Intelligent. The latest building management technology will provide more robust data and analytics with KPI (Key Performance Indicators) dashboards, trends and reports, helping you decide the best opportunities to reduce energy and inefficiency. The most innovative building management software features state-of-the-art data analysis and modeling that will also flag potential problems, automatically prioritizing alarms to help your staff isolate risks and respond faster.
Accessible for mobile devices. Building management must provide facility teams with remote and mobile access to data and control. This can improve staff efficiency and support times when building access is limited (such as a pandemic).
Hosted in the cloud. Parts of the building management and energy management functionality can now be hosted in the cloud, avoiding the cost of maintaining on-site IT hardware and software. Cloud-based building management can simplify scalability across your entire building portfolio and open the door to advisory services to help grow your facility’s equipment.
Attractive. A modern building management system will offer applications and services that provide a more engaging experience for occupants. Mobile devices can be used for access control, room comfort control, orientation, room reservation, maintenance ticket registration, and more.