Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are critical for teams to track the performance of their commercial building’s operational systems. Gathering and understanding data around areas such as energy efficiency, maintenance, air quality, and security are essential for implementing building operation improvement strategies.
Clint Bradford writes about problems encountered and solutions delivered during our smart building project process.
Building management system vs. building automation system—is there a difference?
Even seasoned facilities managers may be surprised to find that building management system (BMS) and building automation system (BAS) are largely used interchangeably. Both terms refer to computer-based control platforms installed within commercial buildings that control and monitor mechanical and electrical equipment, such as HVAC, electric power systems, lighting, ventilation, and other core functions.
As smart building technologies continue to advance, the role and very definition of building management systems (BMS) is changing. Today, a BMS is not just about proprietary protocols and the ability to get alerts about every setpoint change or damper fluctuation. Modern building management systems, also referred to as building automation systems (BAS), or even integrated automation systems (IAS), the focus for owners and facilities managers is on making better and faster operational decisions, increasing automation, streamlining systems, and optimizing overall performance.
Traditional building management system (BMS) design results in the capture of a huge amount of data from a complex network of equipment and sensors—data you have to make sense of. This data contains invaluable information about your building, but the sheer volume can make it difficult to filter through and determine what matters, what doesn’t, and how disparate elements of the system relate to the whole. As a result, your goals—energy efficiency, increased occupant comfort, improved operations—often remain out of reach. But the right building management system design can change that and allow you to optimize performance.
Buildings are no longer simple brick-and-mortar structures for living and working. Modern buildings are designed to improve comfort for occupants while optimizing energy spend. As the concept of smart buildings gains acceptance across the globe, there is an increasing need for building automation systems (BAS) designed to meet the complex needs of intelligent buildings.
Over the years, commercial building management has grown in complexity with the installation of increasingly sophisticated equipment. This is particularly true as more building owners turn to interconnected networks of smart devices to reduce carbon emissions and energy use while improving occupant comfort. But the mere installation of this equipment can not guarantee energy savings or enhanced operational performance.
We’ve had some candid and illuminating conversations recently with property owners who have one, a few or many small office buildings and shopping centers.