David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science
The Need for Profit
We live in a world where profit overshadows all. Indigo Chapters wants to sell more books, Amazon wants to increase the number of products they offer, and Google wants to multiply the reach of its advertising business. All, for the elusive dollar! It makes sense then that the idea of profit would extend to virtually every business there is, and it does. In fact, even in businesses like real estate, property managers and building owners are looking for ways to increase profits. They also need to consider environmental impact. To get a handle on this, they've turned to an increasingly popular technology known as a building management system.
What is a Building Management System?
A building management system is an umbrella system that monitors and controls the numerous other systems in a building, for example:
- Power - monitors usage and flow to the various areas within a building.
- Climate Control - monitors air flow and temperature within a building.
- Building Entry/Exit - monitors activity at all entrances and things like intrusion detection, alarms, and logging within a building.
- Water (pumps) - monitors and controls pump activity for water distribution within a building.
- Elevators - monitors car occupancy and movement, and controls their operation within a building.
- Lights - monitors power consumption and conservation, along with control of the many lights within a building.
What is a Building Management System Architecture?
A building management system architecture is the high-level organizational description of the elements that make up a building management system. As you might imagine, these elements vary greatly from building to building, depending on the business objectives of the property managers or building owners. Some of the elements include:
- Server(s) - the central processing and storage capabilities of the system. Think of them like the servers in your company's computer room.
- Workstations - the monitoring and control points for key personnel, such as the building administrators. Think of them like the personal computers you have on your desk at work.
- Sensors - remote devices spread throughout the building that capture relevant data from the various systems in the building. Think of a sensor like the speedometer on your car. They provide continuous feedback on operations.
You should note that these elements are similar to what you would find in any company's network, and in fact use the same technology. The only real difference is the sensors, which are specific to this type of application. From a visual perspective, the architecture might look like this:
What are the Trends in Building Management Systems?
The trends in building management systems are pretty much what you would expect:
- An increased use of standard network technology. This gives building designers access to tried and tested technology that is readily available. It also means that systems can be shared between building management and informational infrastructure.
- An increased use of sensors and more options for those sensors. Sensors save person power, which translates into reduced costs. Also, manufacturers are broadening their sensor offerings, giving building designers more options.
- An increased use of automation. Automatically powering off lights or turning the heat down at night can lower energy costs and reduce the wear and tear on key elements.
- An increased focus on efficiency and energy conservation. The bottom line here is saving money. Energy costs money, so any opportunity to save or do more with less, is a good thing.
- An environmental focus on things like emissions and waste disposal. In recent years, this has become more prevalent as the long-term effects of past decisions are becoming known. Governments are stepping in with legislation to ensure environmental protection as well.
To recap, a building management system is an umbrella system that monitors and controls power, climate, building entry/exit, water, elevators, and lights within a building. A building management system architecture is the description of the elements that make up the system. These elements include servers, workstations, and sensors. Trends in building management systems include use of standard network technology, increased use of sensors, increased use of automation, a focus on efficiency and conservation, and a focus on protecting the environment.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack