The Benefits of an IBMS
Some of the major benefits of an IBMS include:
b One Management Platform: Large commercial or educational campuses have many buildings and some have a separate BMS for different groups of buildings. Multiple BMSs on these campuses results in inefficiency; facility engineers have to go to multiple locations to monitor and manage the building systems. One management platform with internet access allows the facility engineer to view any BMS data anywhere, via tablets or smartphones.
b Consolidated Data: A single platform with one consolidated database has a number of benefits: It provides central control of the data, greater access to information, the ability to improve decision making, and efficient and effective use of resources. It also facilities facility engineers to quickly identify potential analytic applications. Data is consolidated onto a single system to improve reporting, information management, and decision-making. Integrating and managing applications from a single workstation allows facility-wide insight and control for better performance.
b Improved Security: Overall, the security vulnerabilities of traditional BMS systems have not been adequately addressed. Security is likely to increase through consolidation on one platform because there are fewer endpoints for attack. Imagine someone remotely setting off the fire alarm, opening doors, turning off the HVAC controls, accessing a video surveillance camera or turning off all the lights in a building. All of these are possible life safety or major business disruption issues. The IBMS can provide improved security consistent with the best practices of IT management.
b Increased Operational Savings: The IBMS is more efficient and effective. The result is reduced operational costs, a tool to support facility staff, and streamlining the process to training facility operators.
b Analytic applications: Most BMS systems provide data on building equipment and it's up to an engineer to analyze and interpret the data. Regardless of how talented or knowledgeable the engineer may be it is better if a software application can support the engineer in the analysis. That is why one of the emerging software applications for large HVAC systems is fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) and predictive analytics. These tools generally support the optimization of the HVAC system and can result in significant energy and cost savings. Very few BMS systems have such sophisticated tools while most of the IBMS systems do.
b Energy efficient: Real-time view into facility operations and deep trend analysis provide data-driven insight to optimize your energy management strategies and minimize operational costs.
b Flexibility to grow and expand: The powerful combination of open systems protocols and a scalable platform means the IBMS can help support growth and expansion of the system in the future, from one building, to a campus or world-wide real estate assets.
b Data is consolidated onto a single system to improve reporting, information management, and decision-making. Integrating and managing the HVAC, energy, security, digital video and life safety applications from a single workstation allows facility-wide insight and control for better performance.
b Integration Capabilities: Buildings are more than just HVAC, fire and security systems. Most IBMS systems provide integration capabilities for many other systems. Some of these offerings will be for other building systems such as lighting, window shading, and power management. Others will be business systems such as accounting or human resources. Other information relevant to building management may be outside the organization, such as weather data. Overall, the building manager needs data from several sources in order to create information and this requires integration, not silos of data. Improved or advanced IBMS systems will need to have middleware software tools to be able to standarde data from a variety of sources and systems into an open database structure.
b Integration of systems not only involves obtaining data from multiple sources to create information, it also means deriving more functionality from the systems working together. That means a sequence of operations between two or more systems, where an event or condition of one system can trigger or initiate actions by other systems. BMS systems generally do integration between fire alarm, HVAC systems and access control, but, the opportunity for other similar coordination exists. Some integration such as aligning building occupancy with energy related systems can have significant payback opportunities.
Future building management systems will reinvent a lethargic industry. It's also likely to spawn new companies and manufacturers, provide more choices for users and the buyers of such products, and do so at lower costs.