BMS enables smart operation and efficient maintenance of buildings

Building Management Systems
With the rapid growth in the real estate market and construction industries in the past few decades in India. The need for a BMS solution has become the topmost priority to provide a safe and secure environment to the hotels, commercial and residential buildings.

BMS system works on various aspects for the benefit of society such as environmental, economic, social, safety and security to prevent losses and preserving the values of the whole ecosystem.

Role of BMS Solution
The role of BMS becomes crucial to monitoring, control and optimize all aspects of energy use within a given environment, such as lighting, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, office equipment and many more.
For many companies managing energy costs has become the key to competitiveness and business survival, particularly within the current economic environment. Energy consumption can be one of the largest regular costs to deal with, depending upon a company’s activity. Managing a building’s energy use is therefore essential, rather than just desirable.

BMS – Core Functions
The core functions of a BMS system installed in buildings is to control and monitor utility equipment’s such as Lighting, HVAC, Ventilation systems, Fire Alarm Panels, Fire Hydrant Panels, Water Tank Monitoring, Elevator Operations, CCTV, Access Control, Vehicle Management, Perimeter Security, Generators, STP, WTP and many more of the sub-systems that are employed within a building. It provides the security to property, building occupants and assets.A BMS system includes Sensors, Pressure Switches, Flow Meters, Controllers, Relays, Communication Protocols, API’s, Interfaces to Modbus and User Interface that work together to deliver the end to end BMS solution.

BMS – The need for an hour
Implementation of a Building Management System enables the smart operation and efficient maintenance of the building. A building management system can add significantly operating costs savings while providing security to property, resources, assets and building occupants
a) Empowering the Safety and Security
With the use of different types of sensors as per the requirements, the BMS system can record and notify the alerts to central servers or cloud there by the concerned authority can be notified via emails or SMS. Similarly, the use of Access control systems to allow or restrict the building entrance.
b) Optimized Electrical Power Usage
With BMS systems the complete control and scheduling of the facility lighting for common areas, podiums, parking, facade lighting and landscaping can be effectively and efficiently automated.Also, BMS systems allow to automate and control of water pumps and water tank status. The BMS can be integrated with Generators, STP plants, Elevators, etc. to completely automate and efficiently manage the power usages. The BMS facilitates to track the overall consumption of electrical energy in real-time.
c) Ease in serving the of building occupants
BMS System with the usages of Smart Apps allows the building occupants to generate service requests for a variety of maintenance support activities. This service request gives notifications to the concerned facility managers so that the desired actions can be taken immediately. The smart App also includes functionality whereby which the building occupants can manage their assets, schedule the maintenance activity, notified the expiration of AMC and much more.
Types of BMS
1) Home Automation
Designed specifically for cottages, country houses, and individual apartments
2) Building Automation
Designed specifically for commercial real estate.

BMS Sub-Systems
The BMS Sub-systems are essential components integrated to act as an end to end solution fulfilling the entire need of Safety, Security, and Comfort
1) Safety Systems: Fire Alarm Systems, Fire Fighting System, Gas Detection Systems
2) Security Systems: Video Surveillance Systems, Access Control Systems, Intrusion Systems
3) Comfort Systems: HVAC control, UPS, Generators, Escalator, Elevators, Water Valves, Metering systems, Control Lights, Air Conditions, Automated Parking, Audio Video devices, and much more

The BMS subsystem ensures the following values additions
a) Effective use of energy and eliminate waste.
b) Automate the process and create a safe and secure environment
c) Increase the assets life
d) The Decrease in operating cost expenditures.
e) Individual tenant billing for services facilities time saving
f) Remote monitoring of the plants (such as AHU’s, fire pumps, plumbing pumps, electrical supply, STP,         WTP, etc.)
g) Use the latest technology to improve the overall sustainability of systems and equipment
h) Ensure real-time data logging, alerts, email and notifications

BMS: The Three Layer Integration
1. Sensing Layer (Field Level)
The sensing level includes sensors, actuating mechanisms, and various field-level devices. The sensing level acts as a transducer converting various physical quantities such as pressure, temperature, etc. into measurable electrical signals. These electrical signals are further processed as per the requirement and fed to the control layer
2. Control Layer (Automation Level)
The control layer includes protocol converters, plc, microcontrollers, gateways, various switching equipment, and access points. The automation layer performs the desired automation functions such as to read the inputs of the sensor, to communicate the sensor inputs with the compute layer, take the input from the compute layer and perform desired actions so that the desired results can be maintained.
3. Compute Layer (Management Level)
The compute layer includes various computational devices includes computers, embedded pc, edge devices, HMI, etc. The compute layer performs various computations with the help of algorithms and software programs. The compute layer acts as a visualization, debugging and reporting tool for the entire BMS applications. The compute layer also generates alerts and email a timely basis so that the concerned authority gets informed and the desired action can be taken on time to avoid losses and hazards.

 

BMS Implementation Challenges
As we understood that the BMS involves various subsystems and hence end to end integrating of these subsystems to achieve the common goal of actions is challenging. Following are some of the challenges while implementing the successful BMS system.

▪ Protocol Integration
Depending upon the requirement there are various protocols needed to be used at sensing level such as field bus, Modbus RTU / Ascii, ethernet, etc. Thus, certainly, it arises the need for protocol conversion so that the communication between various subsystems can be possible and the desired functionality can be achieved.
▪ Scaling
Scaling becomes another important challenge. The proposed BMS solution should be easy to scale so that it should cope up with the latest technology and the value addition can be easily achieved. The older BMS systems are so rigid that hardly any possibility of scaling and doing some value additions hence the scaling becomes an important factor to make the BMS solution successful
▪ Single Platform
If the BMS subsystems are running in silos, then it became very difficult to get the desired outcome and the purpose of implementing the BMS solution will not be fulfilled. With a single platform approach, every BMS subsystem can become under one umbrella which serves the purpose of implementing BMS successfully.
Nowadays most IoT companies have there owned IoT platforms hosted on the cloud, which includes various integrated applications such as parking systems, IP surveillance, predictive maintenance, asset management, energy management, security management, etc.
Thus, the data from various sensors and subsystems finally push to the cloud with the help of gateways devices (Mostly supporting standard IoT protocols such as MQTT, CoAP, HTTP, etc.). Once the data is successfully and securely posted to cloud, further processing of data is done with the help of IoT platforms or applications and the desired User Interface / Dashboard, Alerts, Notification and Analytics can be drawn as per the requirements.
24/7 Real-Time Monitoring
Today 24/7 real-time monitoring becomes essential, this helps to avoid damage and losses to the property, increase security, perform timely maintenance activity, increase the process performance, automate and stabilize the process, etc.

Traditional BMS Vs IoT BMS
The limitations of traditional BMS solutions are overcome by IoT BMS solutions. The IoT based BMS solutions are easy to develop, integrate, secure connectivity, the capacity to store huge data, facilitate with predictive and preventive maintenance and complex analytics support, easy to scale, 24/7 support and service and ownership to the end-users.The cloud-based IoT platform services facilitate various working models to the end customer such as subscription-based model and pay as you go, model, which reduces the overall implementation risk at one go. The ROI can be easily quantified, and further up-gradation and the scaling decision can be easily and confidentially taken.

Rahul B. Chandrayan
AMIE, MBA

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