Not the Same Old Building Automation System: Solving the Sustainability Challenge Requires us to Rethink the Role of a Building Management System

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They may be tall and imposing, or short with good bones. Some are old and beautiful, proving impossible to forget, while others end up being quite forgettable.

However, when it comes to buildings, none of it means they are smart enough, sustainable enough, or healthy enough to meet the challenges (energy and health) the world is facing. And the Building Management System (BMS) is critical to addressing this challenge.

We find that many people and vendors think of the BMS in archaic terms – it is there to automate the HVAC system and possibly lighting. This myopic view needs to change as we believe the BMS system should be considered the central nervous system for the entire building: it needs to leverage new technology like IoT, AI, and cloud computing; integrate with more systems; and be designed for mobility.

Download White Paper 500:Three Essential Elements of Next Generation Building Management Systems (BMS)

If harnessed properly, new technologies can help building owners, facility managers, and system integrators get more out of their available resources and connected systems, eventually saving them time, effort, and money. And maybe the building will become more profitable with occupants who are happier and healthier – let’s dare to dream of smart buildings.

Defining the next generation BMS

We know there’s no shortage of BMS software or people and vendors using the term ‘next generation.’ Everywhere we looked and everyone we talked with had a different definition. It gives me flashbacks to when the IT industry was trying to define ‘cloud computing’ or ‘edge computing.’

We’ve now decided to wade into these definitional waters with buildings.

We have documented our definition of a next generation BMS and are making our argument about how the industry needs to evolve its view of a BMS. Our new White Paper 500: Three Essential Elements of Next Generation Building Management Systems (BMS), which gets into great detail on this subject, outlines how next generation BMS must be able to monitor and control all powered systems in a building to fully optimize energy use throughout the entire site while also complying with growing societal pressure and governmental climate regulations. Going beyond HVAC and lighting, it must deliver on tangibles like comfort, security, and connectivity for occupants.

With a broader scope than traditional BMS, next generation BMS must still perform all the fundamental tasks of building management, of course. But it must expand and be accessible from anywhere, span from device sensors to building controllers and the cloud with apps and services, and enable the application of analytics/AI and predictive maintenance.

As I said before, we need to think of the BMS as the central nervous system of the building. It is pulling data from equipment and the cloud. It is gathering information from other systems. It is analyzing real-time workflow patterns and helping ensure compliance with regulations and policies. And it shares the knowledge with stakeholders and even takes automated action, when empowered to do so.

Download our new White Paper Today

In the end, if our industry is going to help solve the energy dilemma, we need to be clear in our BMS approach and about what we need to accomplish. Please take a look at our white paper as I am quite enthusiastic about this topic, building automation, and smart buildings in general. I encourage you to download and read White Paper 500: Three Essential Elements of Next Generation Building Management Systems (BMS).

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