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The Next Generation of
Building Management Systems

Smart buildings may have the largest impact on society since the Industrial Revolution, according to Navigant Research. Next-generation building management systems, and specifically energy management systems, will play a big role and rely on major developments in information technology.

What Is a Building Energy Management System?

Navigant classifies these solutions as follows:

  1. Visualization plus reporting (heat mapping, interactive dashboards, periodic summaries)
  2. Fault detection and diagnostics (real-time analysis and alerts, daily or weekly performance analysis, historical benchmarking)
  3. Predictive maintenance and continuous improvement (capital planning, monitoring-based commissioning)
  4. Optimization (automated management of building and energy systems)

If a user wants more than one of these solutions, integration of various functions becomes more complex.

Big Data Means Continuous Improvements

The main difference between conventional and emerging building energy management systems is continuous data analytics. To provide these analytics, equipment and sensors are connected with building energy management systems, which connect with building management systems. Data is then centrally collected from these sources and aggregated into “big data.” Analysis relies on people and technology taking appropriate action based on the information, such as optimizing control systems. Finally, results are communicated to various users, and projects are prioritized.

With an integrated big data approach, benefits are maximized, and improving building performance becomes a continuous cycle where progress is tracked and more opportunities are identified as time goes on. Big data also allows for a holistic view of the enterprise and creates real value, as long as all stakeholders and goals are identified.

Building Management and the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) will enable building energy management to be fully networked into a cloud-based environment using open integration. Data will be networked, instead of being housed in stand-alone devices, to allow users to better manage buildings and portfolios of buildings. Plus, mobile devices will provide different views of data throughout the building from any location.

In the cloud, information can be analyzed to optimize decisions regarding HVAC, lighting, and security operations. A comfortable, healthy, predictive environment is provided based on occupancy levels and occupants’ preferences.

The Future of Building Energy Management

Navigant Research predicts that global building energy management revenue (dominated by software and services) will reach nearly $11 billion by 2024, with the North American market representing about 27% of the total. Building energy management systems will include desktop power management, smart security, and a connection to the grid. Predictive analytics will become the norm.

Broader adoption of building energy management systems is expected, especially for buildings under 50,000 square feet, with the help of the IoT and software. Although the IoT can make these systems easier to use and more cost effective, open standards are required, and security of data must be addressed.

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