Building Management

Helping Facility Managers Decode The Language Of BEMS

In order to make informed decisions regarding smart building adoption, facility managers (fms) must become well versed in the language. Decoding the alphabet soup of acronyms isn’t exactly easy, but this cheat sheet of the most commonly used terms should help.

Building Automation Systems (BAS): energy management solutions in buildings that are based on data gathering devices like smart meters.

Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS): monitoring and control systems that tap energy-related data from a building’s infrastructure and analyze that data to assist in strategic decision making.

Building Management Systems (BMS): the data collected by these systems form the foundation of advanced BEMSs.

Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC): now referred to as the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, this is a mandatory requirement in the UK for large energy users in the public and private sector to document and cut their carbon emissions. Announced in 2007, the CRC has been driving up the demand for energy saving goods and services in the country.

Commercial & Industrial (C&I): two business sectors that have historically had the targeted attention of certain BEMS service providers.

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): this ratio indicates the rate of return over a specific time period. For instance, by 2020, the BEMS will grow at a CAGR of 15.3% from 2012-2020, according to the Navigant Research Leaderboard Report.

Demand Response (DR): the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission defines DR as modifications end users make to their energy consumption habits based on changes in the price of electricity; the goal is to encourage off peak usage.

Direct Digital Controls (DDCs): the brains behind most BASs, DDCs are the sensors within devices that generate energy related data in buildings.

Energy Service Company (ESCO): a business that provides a range of energy saving options for customers. Design strategies often include retrofits, conservation measures, outsourcing, power generation, and other approaches.

Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD): an application that identifies poorly performing equipment.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG): gases in the atmosphere that have been linked to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC): the technology associated with thermal comfort and healthy indoor air quality within buildings.

Information Technology (IT): the use of technology to relay data within the enterprise.

Operating Expenditure (OPEX): the ongoing cost of running a business or system.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM): a company that makes a component that is part of another company’s end product. An OEM can also be a reseller in some instances.

Research and Development (R&D): an organization generally associated with activities involved with innovation.

Return on Investment (ROI): the period of time it takes for an organization to realize a profit based on an investment in a particular technology.

Software as a Service (SaaS): an Internet software platform that is frequently cloud-based and updated automatically, so the user has little or no responsibility in terms of maintenance.

User Interface (UI): this term, which is often connected with aesthetics and usability, describes how easy it is for a user to grasp a technology to the point of being proficient.

This list of terms comes from the Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Building Energy Management Systems-Assessment of Strategy and Execution for 14 Building Energy Management System Vendors; to access the full report, click this link.


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