Progress and innovation in the BMS industry are limited by the disconnect between the specifying engineers, mechanical contractors, BMS contractors and facility managers. Each individually providing value, but in isolation of understanding the priorities, requirements and constraints of the other stakeholders.
Our mission is to tie together the various stakeholders in the building automation industry to create a scalable change to enable consultants, engineers and owners to form a coordinated unified approach.
… a coordinated unified approach: this is the change we desperately need!
On almost every project I work on or peer review, the chiller bypass control is either wrong or ends up causing issues down the track, resulting in chillers tripping during low load conditions or energy wastage.
This is an advanced classroom training course developed for BMS engineers, mechanical engineers, consulting engineers and energy efficiency professionals specifically focusing on optimising control strategies for the purpose of reducing energy consumption and improving NABERS ratings.
Temperature sensors do not need to be calibrated annually, really, they should never be calibrated. If your annual BMS maintenance contract includes for calibrating space temperature sensors, then you would be better off using that time on tasks that add value and saves energy.
The significant pressure put on new construction contractors to build faster to meet near impossible deadlines is impacting on the performance, use ability and efficiency of Building Management Systems.
Just about every specification has a default clause to provide Peak Demand Management, but it rarely gets properly implemented. Possibly, because people don't fully understand the significant value it provides or because poor design ends up with it disabled.
The days of practical completion dates being pushed back to allow for Building Management Systems to be properly commissioned are over (read more here..). In this article I will describe an alternative delivery method that should allow installation to start earlier and create some breathing room between commissioning and practical completion.
I often review BMS functional descriptions that read: The AHU outside air damper is modulated between minimum damper position (set at commissioning) and 100% open, as the maximum return air CO2 increases from 600 to 800 ppm.
This control strategy is designed to maintain indoor air quality and not to improve energy efficiency. It does not meet the intent of demand control ventilation.
Many people believe that they have energy efficient control strategies, but what they don't realise, is that these control strategies were originally developed for comfort control and don't really save energy. Here is an example of an 'energy efficient' control strategy that only after you have adapted it does it become an optimised control strategy resulting in real energy savings.
50 years ago, building control systems consisted of relays, thermostats, time clocks and pneumatics. It made sense for mechanical engineers to scope and specify the control system as a subsection of the mechanical specification.
Pre-2000 BMS networks were mostly made up of proprietary RS485 communication networks, long daisy chained screened cable networks running through plant rooms, up risers and through floor ceilings picking up hundreds of BMS field controllers.
You would be surprised at how little Building Management Systems maintenance contracts have changed in the past ten years. Maintenance contracts are still primarily set up for Periodic Preventative Maintenance.
If we take a preventative maintenance contract and schedule in additional time for optimisation, tuning, mini projects, improved alarming, improved trending, recommissioning and updating out of date documentation, then the annual maintenance cost will increase, probably significantly, and to a point that the funding will not be available.
However, if we reshuffle the twelve month plan into a three year plan, but keep the same annual maintenance cost and hours, then we can shift energy efficiency tasks into the freed up days.
Control strategy optimisation is one of the most cost effective ways to reduce your building’s energy consumption. Other energy improvement initiatives that require the replacement of inefficient equipment, for example, chillers, lighting and Variable Speed Drives etc, can be expensive and disruptive.