Building managements systems (BMS) and building automation systems (BAS) has revolutionised the ways that business owners and property developers manage their buildings. These systems have made the management of important internal equipment, such as lighting, air conditioning, and power efficiency, far simpler, allowing business owners to put their energy where it will serve their growth.
But what exactly is a building management system? And how does it differ from a building automation system? Find out!
Building Management Systems
Building management systems are ‘closed’ systems, which means they are not connected to the larger network. They are programmed to meet the requirements of a specific building on one piece of software that is installed on site. This includes things like lighting control, heating and cooling controls, security access points, fire alarms and more. These systems have good advantages over older building technologies because they offer greater efficiency in energy consumption as well as better asset management for buildings owners.
Building Management Systems work by programming an interface designed specifically for these systems to be installed on site. The interface is then programmed with the particular needs of the building – this might include anything from how high lights should be kept during certain times of day, to what temperature certain rooms should be set at. The interface is then connected to different building equipment – for example, it would connect with the lighting system of a building allowing it to dictate when lights are switched on and off.
Building Automation Systems
Unlike building management systems which are programmed with specific needs in mind, building automation systems are ‘open’ technologies that are designed to be developed over time as requirements change. They have an unrivalled ability to integrate with other networks and software. However, this flexibility comes at a cost – the development work that goes into creating such a customized BMS can be costly and time consuming.
This is because Building Automation Systems monitor and control far more than just the internal equipment of a building. BMS typically use UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems to keep the building running in the event of a power cut, whereas BAS can also use generators, energy storage and even fuel cells. This means that BAS are far more resilient in the event of an emergency and can help business owners to save money on their energy bills.
Building automation systems (BAS) have been around for much longer than building management systems (BMS). The first BAS were developed in the early 1980s as a way to manage large buildings like hospitals, universities and office blocks. However, it was not until the late 1990s that these systems began to be used in commercial buildings.
The reason for this is that early BAS were not as reliable as BMS and lacked the ability to integrate with other software and systems. This caused many developers to err on the side of caution, opting for systems that were proven and reliable over those that might prove complicated to manage in the future.
What is the Difference Between a BMS and a BAS?
The biggest difference between building management systems (BMS) and building automation systems (BAS) is what they are able to monitor and control – BAS can monitor everything that would exist within a commercial building, whereas BMS typically only gives control over internal equipment. As technology has developed though this gap has begun to narrow with some BMS able to communicate directly with other devices.
However, there are still advantages associated with both types of system. Building Management Systems are more cost effective because less needs to be installed on site compared with a BAS, which would need all kinds of sensors and transmitters. BAS systems are more expensive to install, but they also have the advantage of being able to read and control a wider range of equipment.
Another consideration is future-proofing – BMS is built for what exists now whereas BAS is designed to adapt and grow with requirements. This means that if an office or building has plans for expansion, then it is better off opting for a system that is adaptable so there’s no need to replace elements when new infrastructure arrives on site.
Building automation systems (BAS) and building management systems (BMS) both monitor and control all kinds of equipment in different types of building. The main difference between them comes down to how much they can do, with BAS typically having more capability at the cost of higher installation costs. They both act as an interface between building infrastructure and other systems, allowing them to communicate with each other.
Do You Need Building Management or Automation Systems?
Integrated Group of Companies, or IGOC, are industry-leaders in both Building Management Systems and Building Automation Systems. Regardless of which system you prefer for your business, they can provide comprehensive solutions.
IGOC is backed by an experienced team of commercial electricians that can help you ensure your electrical components are working as they should. Their expertise means that they can provide holistic BMS and BAS services that make running your business more efficient. Contact them today for spectacular service!