Property owners are naturally interested in reducing operational costs and maximizing the safety and comfort of tenants. By connecting facility systems (using IoT technology) and controlling them from one place, building management systems can make for a smart building and enable property owners to find hidden opportunities.

What are Building management systems (BMS)?

Building management systems (BMS), also known as Building automation systems (BAS), are systems that can be installed in commercial buildings to manage and monitor other subsystems. Subsystems can for example be the building’s electrical and mechanical equipment such as power, lighting, and ventilation. The major aim of the BMS is to streamline operation so it is easier to manage, monitor and improve.

How do Building management systems work?

Via a user interface of building management systems or BMS, the property owner can manage, monitor, automate, follow up, tweak and improve operations. Having a building connected and operated like this is what constitutes a smart building. To be effective, smart buildings require complex monitoring of the IoT networks that control the building system. A smart building can also be easily integrated with other buildings to become a part of the smart city.

The main components of a BMS

Building management systems are made up of three main components. They are listed below:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Networking components

The hardware used in a BMS are workstations, servers, sensors and cables to mention a few components. Software on the other hand would be programming and configuration tools, graphics and user interface. Last but not least, networking components are the subsystems controlled by the building management systems. 

Important properties of building management systems

Properties in this sense are all the subsystems in a building that building management systems can control. It is very common to run HVAC via the BMS, but other systems such as lighting, power systems, security devices etc can be connected. Basically, all things with an IoT sensor can be connected.

HVAC meaning

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. It is very common to run HVAC via the BMS. Below, we are taking a short look at each of the elements.

Heating

Traditional heating controllers are inefficient due to a lack of adaptability to dynamic conditions such as changing user preferences and outside temperature patterns. Having the heat be able to intelligently adapt to these dynamic conditions reduces costs and secures tenants’ comfort.

Ventilation

Some interesting ideas for smart ventilation are to make it responsive to one or more of the following: occupancy, outdoor thermal and air quality conditions, electricity grid needs, direct sensing of contaminants, and operation of other air moving and air cleaning systems.

Air conditioning

Air conditioning is very often misused in large buildings, and subject to significant energy waste. Being able to use this smart, can give major results in cost reduction and sustainability.

A standard for integration based on open source is needed 

In a building, there are often other systems that need to be integrated if the property owners are going to become data-driven. The BMS and its data isn’t always enough. There are often also other IoT systems and applications being implemented outside of the building management systems scope. Building information management (BIM) also place a critical role in describing the building from a digital perspective. The need to be able to create a digital twin of the building and effectively and flexibly develop applications based on all types of data is a must for the industry to develop and reach the expectations of tenants. 

Different open-source standards exist that will make it possible to achieve the above. The most comprehensive standard is RealEstateCore. 

RealEstateCore is a standardized way of naming and categorizing real estate data, making it possible to compare the information of different buildings with each other. It also enables standardized communication from different technical real estate and external IT systems. This creates opportunities for advanced data analysis, efficient application development, intelligent control, and the monitoring of buildings, as well as visualization of property data in e.g. 3D models.