By Mark Freeman. Offer Manager – Digital Buildings at Schneider Electric

Efficiency comes in many forms. In the case of building owners, efficiency is often realised by a building management system (BMS).  With a BMS a myriad of efficiency options is available such as the intelligent control of HVAC systems and lighting.

The above efficiencies then lead to more sustainable buildings, systematically ticking the boxes that ultimately lead to smart, green buildings that contribute to countries’ net zero objectives.

However, to establish efficient buildings, many may owners first have to take one step.  For example, analysts estimate that in 2013 less than a third of all building had the requisite digital controls in place.

Granted, nine years is a long time ago, but it does place the spotlight on the realities of working with the parameters of older buildings. Many buildings today first need to embark on a journey that includes digitising their assets to truly benefit from the strides that have been made in efficiently running buildings.

Like our counterparts in North America and Europe a lot of our buildings are decades old. And whilst some of these buildings might already have some sort of BMS installed the chances are the systems are already quite dated and will need some upgrades.

More than meets the eye

With a new or upgraded BMS in place, the world is your oyster, so to speak and then the next step is moving towards sustainability.  The BMS and other systems such as PMS (Power Management Systems) will enable building owners to automate and control their building in a manner that is both efficient and sustainable.

The digitisation of your HVAC infrastructure for example will bring data from connected smart devices, with your BMS application helping you keep your buildings running smoothly, ensuring comfort for occupants, and having the tools for fast diagnoses and resolution of events.

With the newest BMS capabilities in place you can also operate a sustainable building. BMS realises sustainability by providing the ability to automate and monitor your building systems.  For example, it is critical that owners and managers have access to systems that offer daily reporting on energy usage and where there’s room for improvement.

This in turn can also go a long way in creating awareness amongst tenants and staff, establishing a culture that considers energy usage.  Employees can be made aware that certain areas of a building are consuming a lot of energy and encouraged to be mindful when switching on the HVAC or indefinitely leaving the lights on.

At Schneider Electric we continue to deliver solutions that optimise buildings; first establishing efficiency and then sustainability.

For example, our new SmartStruxure solution has been designed specifically with older buildings in mind.  It allows for the integration of legacy data alongside new data.  This will allow you to make the most of a current BMS system and its many already mentioned benefits.

A BMS upgrade strategy will undoubtedly future proof your facilities and fortunately with solutions such as SmartStruxure it is attainable. By using existing, installed assets, building owners can add more functionality without the resultant price tag.

Lastly, and importantly, by first establishing an efficiently run building will you be able to move towards your sustainability goals.  It is the very foundation on which sustainable practices and benefits are built.

You can find out more about Schneider Electric here.