A building management system (BMS) is an advanced, computer-based system that controls and monitors a building’s mechanical and electrical equipment. Whether Balslev’s assignment concerns new construction, an extension or a retrofit, we deliver the optimum solution throughout the entire contract phase, including consulting, design, specification and commissioning.
In the consulting phase of a new construction or conversion project we start by developing a BMS strategy, which is typically based on the use of open systems. This will ensure that the client does not depend on one specific supplier for later repair, service, extension or modernisation.
For expansions, retrofit or linking of existing BMS, we develop a BMS strategy which will ensure that existing and new systems are able to communicate via a standard user interface and with an open communication protocol. In doing so, future replacements with open systems are possible, as in the case of new systems.
We also investigate the possibility and need for integration between building management systems and intelligent building automation systems, and suggest the optimum solution with regards to communication between these two types of intelligent systems, which today are on the verge of merging into one common solution.
As our approach to BMS strategy is based on open systems, we recommend systems with standard components and equipment, and which can be installed and commissioned by any contractor with the required, documented skills and experience.
Soft PLCs (PC-based programmable logical controllers) can be used as sub-panels. They operate with open and accessible communication protocols, programmes and programming software.
The sub-panels typically communicate with each other plus with input and output modules for the registration of measured values, conditions, alarms, energy consumption etc., and for the control of fans, pumps, valves, dampers etc. via standard TCP-IP protocols. For this, the network can be set up either as a separate one or as part of the company’s existing network. This also helps ensure that the owner is not dependent on one single supplier if/when the system’s functionality needs to be modified, extended or upgraded.
When an existing BMS is to be extended, or if several different types/brands of BMS are to be integrated into one common system, we recommend to replace either the entire or parts of the existing building management systems with new, open systems – depending on the existing systems’ age and functionality, plus how well they operate and meet the requirements of today and tomorrow with regards to energy, management and control.
If the existing system is still up-to-date, technically and functionally, a new, open systems will typically be integrated with the existing system via a SCADA system for supervisory control and data acquisition.
A SCADA system enables the operational staff to manage the different BMSs from one graphical user interface and serves as a supervisory system and interface, that ensures optimum communication between the different types of BMS. This is facilitated by OPC servers i.e. software delivered by the BMS suppliers. “OPC” means “OLE for Process Control”, and OLE is an abbreviation for “Object Linking and Embedding”, which in general terms indicates that different types of software are able to exchange data. The expression OLE comes from the PC environment, where word processing programmes, spreadsheets, data bases etc. are able to exchange the same data.
An integration between a building management system and a building automation system can typically be implemented according to the above principles.
When it comes to BMS, we provide the entire range of services – from consulting to commissioning, including: