Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) monitor and control services such as heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, ensuring the building operates at maximum levels of efficiency and removing wasted energy usage and associated costs. The optimal level of efficiency is achieved by continuously maintaining the correct balance between operating requirements, external and internal environmental conditions, and energy usage. BEMS are typically installed in large facilities that require massive electrical, mechanical and HVAC (heat ventilation and air-conditioning) systems. BEMS consists of software as well as hardware through which the appliances, equipment and devices in a building are integrated and interoperated. Next-generation BEMS provides a healthy and pleasant indoor climate along with effectively managing the energy consumption of a building. For these reasons, the global market for next-generation BEMS is experiencing steady growth across the globe – especially in developed countries.
The four sectors which most heavily consume energy are retail, commercial, healthcare and educational facilities. These facilities are both large in scale and made up of huge networks of buildings with different requirements, and so require large amounts of electricity to run, leading to a lot of money being spent on energy bills.
As well as constant monitoring, BEMS intelligently manage and control energy services in plants and buildings by maintaining a balance between conditions, energy use, and operating requirements. For example: by understanding how a data centre works, next-generation BEMS can make it possible to determine the best practices that will help minimize costs and the potential for downtime without compromising on the IT assets of an organization.
Along with the direct reduction in energy bills, BEMS can also help reduce taxes on carbon emissions, thereby further reducing costs.
When Broadgate Estates started working with Next Controls to implement a BEMS, they saw huge results. Read the full case study here for further details of how we reduced consumption by nearly 2GWh in 12 months, reduced operational costs by £70k per annum resulting in a 17-month payback.
Energy conservation is no longer a matter of choice – it is a conscious decision which needs to be made not only for the purpose of reducing energy costs but also for the benefit of the environment. By measuring, monitoring, and optimizing the energy requirements of a building, BEMS can control electricity requirements by approximately 80%.
When discussing office building automation, we tend to focus on reducing energy bills and helping the environment. Of course, these are both extremely important factors. However, an often overlooked factor is the positive effects building automation can have on employees and office productivity. As next-generation BEMS monitors and controls conditions like temperature, quality of air and lighting, the comfort level of employees are improved, thereby increasing productivity.
As the place employees spend most of their day, the physical environment of an office is important to develop a healthy working environment. Research has found that employees‘ satisfaction with their work environment is directly related to their job satisfaction and indirectly related to organizational commitment.
BEMS also provides a complete understanding of energy consumption by enabling preventive and predictive maintenance. This, in turn, reduces the unnecessary use of equipment and extends the life of maintenance systems.
Governments in various countries are introducing programs, initiatives, and energy certificates in order to reduce the consumption of energy. A prime example is the US government’s introduction of energy certificates for products that aid in the reduced consumption of power. There is also a growing trend of switching to energy management systems (EnMS) in order to comply with ISO 50001 or other standards that are used to measure the efficiency of a data centre by The Green Grid. Next-generation BEMS works in compliance with various standards of energy efficiency and several certifications given by respective governments.
Energy compliance is crucial for businesses, particularly in the healthcare sector. For example, Nuffield Health needed high levels of control over their energy management, and with Next Control’s help integrating and controlling a BEMS, they were able to guarantee compliance with MHRA, UKAS, HTA and FDA CFR 21 part 11. See the full case study here.