The building management system (BMS) is a centralized control system that is responsible for automatically regulating and controlling non-GMP facility subsystems, including the maintenance of predefined parameters (or set points) and the control of their functionality. The BMS’ primary objective is to ensure the facility’s operation is safe, while also monitoring and optimizing the use and efficiency of its supervised subsystems to facilitate more efficient operation. The following are some of the major subsystems that the BMS controls:
1.HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) System. The BMS is connected to the duct temperature, pressure, and humidity, as well as the exhaust temperature, and an alarm is generated if their values exceed defined limits.
2.Fume collection systems, laminar flow units, dust collection systems, central vacuum systems, and heat blowers. The BMS continuously monitors the performance of these systems, enabling early detection of units in need of maintenance. Sudden failure would trigger alarms, at which point appropriate action could be taken to protect the product.
3.System of Technical Steam. If, for example, the pressure or temperature in the piping system falls below the regulatory standards for clean steam, the BMS shall generate an alarm indicating a threat to product quality.
4.Central Heating and Hot Water System. Temperature and pump control monitoring via the BMS ensures the proper operation of the facility’s hot water distribution system.
5.Refrigerated Water System. The facility chillers’ control could be supervised by the BMS to ensure proper system behavior in terms of water/coolant temperature control or pump control to ensure proper distribution within the distribution loop.
6.System of Sprinklers (for fire safety).
7.Electrical Surveillance System. The BMS may keep track of the amount of electrical power consumed and the status of the main electrical switches.
The number of subsystems that are connected to the BMS and the degree of control are determined by the investment decision. However, the two primary subsystems covered by a BMS are (1) HVAC control and (2) electrical system monitoring.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Building Management System
If you’re debating whether to invest in a building management system or are looking for an alternative solution for your building, here are some points to consider.
Among the benefits of a BMS are the following:
- It safeguards your most expensive equipment by enabling you to monitor and ensure its proper operation.
- It simplifies facility management by allowing you to easily access and control any aspect of your building’s operations.
- It enables more cost-effective operation of your building through automated scheduling and occupancy controls.
The disadvantages of a BMS include the following:
- Building management systems are costly, sometimes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars up front and then incurring high recurring fees to maintain them.
- The data limitations will prevent you from achieving maximum energy savings and operational efficiency.
- It may be missing some of the more compact equipment that also offers cost savings opportunities.
- BMSs are disjointed, siloed systems that do not communicate with one another.