Also known as a building management system, building control systems are essential to automate processes and maintain buildings across various industries. While these systems aren’t visible to most, they are essential for properties to function effectively.
With that said, this blog will detail what a building control system is and how it works. Additionally, you’ll learn what advantages building control systems provide and how to choose the right system for your property.
This post covers:
- What are building control systems?
- How do building control systems work?
- What are the advantages of using a BMS?
- How to choose a building control system
What are building control systems?
Building control systems are a network of electronic and mechanical devices designed to manage and automate a building. These systems are also referred to as a building management systems (BMS) or building automation systems (BAS).
Specialized building automation system software is used to centrally manage all of the automation tools and processes. Overall, the purpose of the building control system is to automate and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. In other words, the system manages many functions of the building, such as HVAC, lighting, security, and more.
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What is the difference between BAS and BMS?
There is no difference between the terms ‘building automation system’ (BAS) and ‘building management system’ (BMS). Both are used interchangeably for the same system.
In general, BMS and BAS are building control systems.
What are the main components of the BMS?
For a building management system to work, it must have the following components:
- Hardware: Hardware ranges from HVAC and plumbing to security devices and lighting. The hardware components are what the system monitors and maintains.
- Sensors: Sensors collect data from the hardware, like temperature, humidity, motion, CO2 levels, etc.
- Software: The software brings everything together. It collects, stores, and interprets the data.
- User interface: Lastly, after the software has collected and interpreted the data, it must display it in a readable format through a user interface. From the UI, building management can read the data, program hardware, and oversee all operations.
How do building control systems work?
Building control systems work by using electronic and mechanical hardware as well as sensors to collect data and automate tasks to ultimately streamline building operations. That way, building systems can all be operated from a single software interface.
The Internet of Things (IoT) allows the building control system’s sensors and hardware to communicate with each other. This means the sensors connect to the internet to share information with other IoT devices.
After the sensor reads data from the hardware, it sends it to the software over the internet. Then, the software stores and interprets the data so it can be properly displayed to a user. Reading raw data is not an efficient or effective experience, so a user-friendly interface is required. Finally, the UI cleanly displays the data collected from the building management system for personnel to review.
What are the advantages of using a BMS?
Building management systems are implemented across all types of industries because they provide a vast range of benefits.
The advantages of a building control system include:
- Increased safety and security: Security systems can be connected to a building control system, furthering the overall safety and security of the property. Surveillance, suspicious activity alerts, audit logs, and building access control systems can all be accessed from one central location, which provides better control over the property.
- Lower energy costs: HVAC, lighting, and electrical systems operate more efficiently when automated. Since all the hardware “speaks” with each other, they can provide the latest information on building conditions. In turn, these systems run optimally to reduce energy usage and save you money.
- Greater comfort: Temperature, lighting, and other comfort settings are optimized through a building management system.
- Fewer maintenance costs: With all the hardware closely monitored by sensors, building staff can quickly address systems requiring maintenance. Sensors provide alerts on simple wear and tear alongside when repairs are needed. That way, the hardware receives attention before it creates bigger, more costly issues.
- Higher productivity: Lastly, employees are more productive when comfortable. Not to mention, fewer repairs and problems mean employees can continue their work without delays.
How to choose a building control system
Finding the right building control system for your property will be difficult if you aren’t sure where to start. To get the most out of your BMS, it’s essential you select the right option.
When choosing a building control system, follow these steps:
- Understand building needs: Not every building has the same needs as the next. An industrial building may require a much more complex building control system than an apartment building. So, be sure to understand what aspects of your building you’d like to control from a central hub. Then, you can start understanding what the best building automation system is for you.
- Learn what’s available: After identifying your needs, learn what types of building control systems are available. The best method is to contact an expert. Research local building control system installers near you. They’ll be great resources for learning more about these systems and what’s available for your building. Plus, you can get a jumpstart on finding a suitable installer for the project.
- Choose features: Next, choose the features you want in your building control system. Like properties, building management systems are not created equally. Learn from your installer what features are available to fit your building’s specific needs. Does it have a mobile interface? Is customized reporting available? What automated building control systems does it have? These are the types of features you may want to consider before making a decision.
- Find an installer: Finally, find an installer for your building control system. Be sure to always select a local installer and seek multiple estimates before moving forward. As a result, you’ll find the price that fits your budget while also finding a suitable installer.
- A building control system is a network of electronic and mechanical hardware designed to be controlled and automated from centralized software.
- Building control systems are also known as building management systems (BMS) and building automation systems (BAS). All of these terms are used interchangeably.
- A BMS works by using sensors and hardware to collect data and communicate with software, which then displays the information to a user.
- The benefits of a building control system include better safety and security, lower energy costs, comfortable building occupants, less maintenance, and a more productive workforce.
- To choose the right building management system, you must understand your building’s needs, learn what systems are available, choose the features you need, and then find an installer.