Webinar on Building Optimisation: Tuning Your Building Systems

Building Management Systems (BMS) present both a challenge and opportunity for reducing energy use in council buildings. The opportunities are enormous and when approached the right way, the challenges can be overcome!

You are invited to a webinar on Building Optimisation at 11am (AEST) on Monday 25th July 2016.

Some smart operators in the local government sustainability world have identified solutions to significantly reduce energy consumption in some of their major buildings, often at no or very low capital costs.

If you want to get the inside information from these fine people then come along to our free Building Optimisation webinar to listen and talk to council staff members who have reduced energy costs by as much as 25% by reviewing and fine-tuning their BMSs.  We will be discussing types of BMS tips and tricks for maximising ongoing operational efficiency and comfort. Time to stop the pain and the energy gain.

Our champion panellists include:

  • Stuart Nesbitt, Moreland City Council - How to get the most out of your BMS, and BMSs for different building types.
  • Anne Fitzsimmons Bankstown City Council – Saving money and energy at a push of a button: Fine-tuning HVAC and lighting operations at Bankstown City Council’s library.
  • Lucy Carew-Reid, Ironbark Sustainability and Sally Welbourn, Bayside City Council – Finding the balance between comfort and efficiency: Results of a Building Optimisation Program at Bayside City Council’s Corporate Centre.

When: Monday 25 July 2016 11.00am to 12.00pm AEST
Where: Your desk
How: Register here 

What is a building management system? 

From our perspective it can range from something as simple as a timer that switches lights off at a certain time through to a highly sophisticated computer controlled system that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment (e.g. air conditioning and ventilation, lighting, power systems and fire systems) and has based sensor feedback and pre-programmed feedback. Sometimes they can even respond to data inputs such as external weather data.

BMS Opportunities Are Clear

BMSs can help councils reduce energy whilst improving building comfort by removing the potential for human error and controlling the heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting to more specifically respond to the building usage needs. Small changes can result in huge savings particularly when they are considered cumulatively over time.  

They also allow councils to speedily identify any equipment failure or unusual patterns of energy usage (e.g. equipment operating out of hours), and can be used to monitor the effectiveness of any energy efficiency efforts.

BMS Challenges

There can be:

  • A different range of legacy technology and systems leading to a lack of continuity and consistency within settings;
  • Lack of in-house knowledge on how to manage the systems;
  • Lack of knowledge on what is the right approach when adopting a new system;
  • Considered to be expensive to install;
  • Difficulty in getting reliable contractors to manage them;
  • Lack of BMS management procedure (e.g. for managing staff indoor comfort complaints) leading to ad hoc and inefficient alterations to equipment settings.

Choosing the Right BMS System

The key to successfully selecting and managing a fit for purpose BMS solution (sometimes a $100 timer can do the job) is to first identify what objectives council wants to achieve such as resource efficiency, comfort, safety and minimising the potential for human error. 

Then consider the following rules of thumb: 

  • Ensure the solution can be integrated with current and future building equipment and infrastructure (are you getting solar soon!?);
  • Consider the operational requirements, costs and savings up front as part of your planning;
  • Identify which buildings would benefit from BMSs and what type and size of system is appropriate for each;
  • Establish protocols for systematically managing and adjusting the system (rather than simply responding to ad hoc requests from staff). For example, establish a Thermal Comfort Policy that outlines council’s temperature and time setting protocols and complaints management;
  • Establish protocols for ongoing procurement of technology and operation and maintenance providers;
  • Make sure building users and operators are trained appropriately and ensure a manual is saved in a central and logical location;
  • Know when your existing BMS is out of its depth and its time to cut and run;
  • Establish a suitable protocol for cyclic reviews of BMS systems to ensure they are operating at their full potential.  

These are some of the key aspects to maximise the benefits of new or existing BMSs and ensure that council gets the right solution for the purpose.