Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 43 - Page 61

INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Green Technology Next generation building management systems Building owners, facility managers and system integrators face increasing pressure to save more energy, reduce costs and maintain availability all while enhancing occupant experience and wellbeing. Achieving these varying goals is best solved by a new type of building management systems available today. The building management system (BMS) or building automation system (BAS), is a critical tool for operating a building safely, efficiently and reliably. However, a hyper focus on energy efficiency and sustainability combined with fundamental changes in tenant needs and expectations are straining traditional BMS implementations pushing them to grow and evolve. At the same time, advancements in cloud computing, IoT, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are leading to new and broader capabilities. A typical traditional building has a BAS or BMS that is limited to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and perhaps lighting, access control and power monitoring. The facility manager and their operations team use it simply to monitor for problems and do basic controls. This traditional model is going away. Change is being driven by three fundamental factors: • Increasing demand for efficiency and sustainability • Changing tenant/occupant requirements and expectations • Emergence of newer IT, IoT and smart building technologies Efficiency and sustainability Without question, buildings have a significant impact on the global environment. According to APC by Sneider Electric, when indirect emissions from upstream power generation are considered, buildings were responsible for 28% of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2019. Environmental impact aside, building energy use has a significant impact on operations’ budgets. In fact, it is estimated that roughly one third of total non-fixed operating expenses go towards energy consumption. Traditional BMS systems are not well positioned to do this. Changing tenant/occupant needs Tenant expectations are changing and this is driving the BMS to do more. People that rent and work in buildings have a growing awareness of climate change and sustainability issues, and a desire to be energy efficient both for the good of the environment and for economic reasons. Efficient, reliable buildings that focus on tenant health, safety, well-being and productivity have a distinct competitive advantage for owners. At the same time, a new generation of workers, residents and hotel guests expect to be hyper-connected to the people and systems around them and influence their surroundings via digital tools. Meeting these needs requires smart building technology that can be managed and controlled by BMS. Traditional BMS systems are not well architected for this. Newer IoT and smart building technologies Building management systems have been evolving, in part, as its underlying technologies have improved over time. For example, older traditional systems provided very simple controls of HVAC equipment using pneumatic (compressed air), analogue and electro-mechanical type controls. Today, the growing use of standardised IP protocols between systems and devices simplify and enable BMSs to be more than just simple mechanical automation systems. The explosion in the IoT phenomena has meant that it is easier and less expensive for manufacturers and system integrators of buildings tech to add microprocessorbased controls, sensors and IP network connectivity to more of their devices and systems. These IT and IoT related technology evolutions have enabled the development of so-called smart building technology. An effective, next generation building management system is a platform for integrating building, business, device IoT data and segment-specific specialty systems such as air quality monitoring for hospitals or room booking systems for hotels. • INTELLIGENTCIO 61