Eco Innovation

A guide to Building Energy Management Systems

11th January 2023
Sheryl Miles

Businesses are experiencing significant operational disruptions and financial difficulties as energy prices continue to rise, and adopting new strategies is essential in keeping costs down.

Utilising Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), which are designed to monitor a building’s energy use, can be an efficient solution to reduce energy consumption, and, as more and more businesses begin to recognise the benefits these systems provide, demand is steadily increasing across the UK.

Here, David Barnes, managing director of adi Intelligent Buildings, a division of the multidisciplinary engineering firm adi Group, shares insight about these energy-saving systems and how to get the most out of them.

What makes BEMS necessary?

With buildings being responsible for a substantial portion of CO2 emissions, conducting operations in an eco-friendly way has become the main point of focus for businesses, and using energy efficiently should be a vital part of a their sustainability strategy if we are to meet our Net Zero by 2050 target.

Employing BEMS is an effective way for businesses to gain more control over their energy use, identify patterns in energy consumption and discover exactly how much energy their buildings are utilising for lighting, heating, and other resources.

As around 20% of a business’s annual energy expenditures are wasted through the use of equipment that’s energy inefficient, BEMS systems can help owners save costs all while having a positive impact on the environment.

The important difference between BMS and BEMS

While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, BEMS are more sophisticated systems, providing information that focuses specifically on energy use.

Complex buildings usually comprise multiple other facilities, each with their own individual needs, making the level of control Building Energy Management Systems are able to offer a necessary commodity for business owners.

This added functionality also makes BEMS a future-proof choice, particularly as we begin to move away from more traditional systems incapable of addressing consumers’ sustainability concerns.

How do BEMS systems work?

BEMS are computerised systems that monitor the energy performance of buildings through a single central platform, allowing building managers to control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as lighting and power systems.

These systems offer the possibility of controlling a range of connected energy sources remotely, also creating records of performance, thus giving facility owners the ability to collate data and create reports of their energy expenditure, which in turn enables them to program equipment to optimise energy usage.

Installation, maintenance and upgrading

Just like any other automated system, BEMS require regular maintenance. Proper installation and upkeep of your BEMS is instrumental in ensuring they are able to perform to their full potential, also improving their life expectancy.

By planning ahead, businesses can also ensure they are prepared for necessary upgrades when the time comes, as any changes in the way buildings are used can cause BEMS to become less effective.

It’s important to remember that not every BEMS system will be able to meet a building’s requirements, and that your business’s needs may shift as time goes on, so it is well worth considering all available options prior to the implementation of one of these systems.

Are BEMS the future?

Technology is now evolving at a staggering pace, and the architecture that supports our changing needs should move at the same speed, too. While BEMS provide a modern, future-oriented solution, organisations should strive to employ them in a proactive way, and not just in response to changes within the market.

As there seems to be no clear end in sight to the rise in energy costs, BEMS will become more and more vital to the running of businesses, and facility managers should focus their efforts on ensuring these systems are fit to support them through a future that will inevitably introduce new challenges.

adi Intelligent Buildings can work collaboratively with businesses to identify the right solutions, providing an end-to-end service designed to support them in achieving their objectives.

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