What is a Building Management System?

Instructor: Marcia Wert

Marcia has taught Information technology and Mathematics with a master's degree in IT

Did you think that a custodian regulated the ventilation or the electrical system? Not anymore. Now, we have complicated systems to monitor all ventilation, power systems, lightning and security systems. Discover how Building Management Systems works for modern day buildings in this lesson.

What Are Building Management Systems?

Building Management Systems (BMS), also known as Building Automation Systems (BAS), are systems with sensors that track everyday readings of the maintenance systems. Our security and ventilation require that we have 24/7 regulation because of their complexity. It consists of sensors, a server and a database. The sensors track data then it is sent to the server. Alarms are triggered if pre-defined conditions are not met. When an alarm is triggered, the system reacts to reset to pre-designed circumstances The database tracks and stores the all data and where an alarm is triggered and the response. Let's drill down on what happens when a condition is not met.

What Are They Responsible For?

These systems have four tasks: sensors obtain and measure current conditions, readings are compared with pre-designed set readings, fluctuations are calculated between the readings and the desired values, and electrical or ventilation are re-adjusted to bring the readings within the pre-specified range.

These tasks are performed by sensors that first measure the current settings, after which transmitters convert the readings and send a signal to the transducers, which then convert the readings into an electrical value. Controllers process the input/output of the electrical value, which are sent to the final control elements that finally change the flow. For example, if air conditioning is set too low, then the final control elements will change the flow to reduce the temperature.

Types of Building Management Systems

There are two common types of automation in building management systems. One is called feedback control which is a continuous process like the air conditioning just mentioned. A sensor is utilized to measure the temperature. Based on the current readings adjustments to the air flow and the temperature within rooms are adjusted in the building after the transducers convert the readings. The controllers process the electrical value and finally the final control elements perform the corrections.

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