Building management systems (BMS) are crucial components of any building or facility. Unlike separately controlled systems, it provides centralized control, interactivity, and assessment. It enables facility managers to oversee the use and control of critical infrastructure equipment. Most importantly, it ensures secure and efficient building and facility operations.
Importance of Using a BMS
A BMS is an overarching computer-based control system. It is installed in buildings to monitor, regulate, and control the functionality of its electrical and mechanical equipment, and other major non-good manufacturing practice (GMP) facility subsystems. Examples of major subsystems controlled by a BMS include an electrical monitoring system, sprinkler system, chilled water system, central heating and hot water system, technical steam system, and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system.
A BMS uses and maintains predefined set points and parameters to control the functionality of equipment and subsystems. Mainly, this is to achieve several goals. It aims to ensure safe facility operation, optimize the use of supervised subsystems, allow efficient facility operation, and conform with building sustainability.
When to Use or Upgrade a BMS
For buildings or facilities with a BMS, an upgrade or replacement is needed if the system is more than a decade old. On one hand, if a BMS has issues with component conditions, compatibility, reliability, reporting, and monitoring, it should be replaced.
On one hand, a new BMS is needed in any major building or industrial facility fit-out or upgrade. It should be closely monitored and updated at least once per year. It’s important to note, however, that a new BMS may perform badly at first due to adjustments it requires.
In getting a new BMS, facility managers should require contractors to run regular diagnostics and perform energy assessments.
To choose the right BMS, it is important to know the different types available on the market.
Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
A CMMS is the most commonly used BMS in buildings and facilities today for maintenance. It is used to create service requests, schedule preventive maintenance tasks, and track orders. On the management side, it is used to organize documentation, and manage asset costs and information. For example, it can be used by a maintenance manager to request a work order for a monocouche render system on a specific building. The request is submitted, approved, assigned, monitored, executed, and finalized.
If your company is looking for a software solution to improve the building, equipment, and asset management, a CMMS is a great option for you. With it, you can improve efficiency, save time, and lower costs. Most CMMS today are cloud-based, which doesn’t require costly year-round manual updates.
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) System
An EAM system offers more compared to a CMMS. Aside from managing maintenance, an EAM system includes the management of the scope of assets across a company’s business functions, buildings, locations, and departments. This means that it can also manage inventory, procurement, and even human resources.
Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS)
An IWMS is like an EAM, but it focuses on a company’s workplace resources. Like any other BMS, it schedules maintenance and minimizes energy use. However, it also tracks capital projects and the usefulness of a company’s assets and resources. For example, it can be used to manage a company’s infrastructure assets and real estate portfolio.
You’ll need an IWMS if you need software that can share information with other stakeholders in your firm. It can benefit you if you need a database for the project, asset and maintenance, space, lease, and real estate management.
Computer-aided Facility Management (CAFM) System
A CAFM system is similar to a CMMS with its focus on maintenance activities. The only difference is that it prioritizes customer-centered services. It is best used for optimizing facilities services, asset management, room reservations, and space management. Many CAFM systems today, in fact, incorporate corporate real estate processes and facility management together.
CAFM systems also feature computer-aided design. Because of this, a CAFM system can benefit your company if you’re aiming to refine long-term planning for facilities, space, and maintenance to ensure all of this is aligned with your business needs.
Building Infrastructure Platform
Aside from maintenance functions, a building infrastructure platform performs and manages departmental processes. This includes preventive maintenance management, documentation management, work order management, location-based asset mapping, and data analytics and reporting. In other words, this option focuses on the use of collected data to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s building processes.
Prepare Your Facilities for the Future
Using a BMS can prepare your buildings and facilities for the future ahead. In the following years, more building requirements will be implemented to adhere to environmental sustainability. In fact, Schneider Electric has emphasized that a BMS is an effective strategy to future-proof any facility.
Hopefully, what you’ve learned in this guide can help you decide what BMS to install for your business today.