Are Smart Building Management Systems Just for HVAC?

Building Management Systems

When people think about smart building management systems, there are probably a lot of things they consider. Is it like a bigger version of Google Home? Or is it just the old system that let building managers control the temperature? Well, before the onset of new technology, building management systems were essentially that. A way to control the HVAC system. So, while looking after the temperature, air quality and ventilation is important, there’s a lot more systems in a modern building.

There are plenty of other systems inside buildings though, such as security and access control, lighting and the list goes on. So, are smart building management systems just for HVAC, or do they do more?

Old systems versus new

We don’t even need to cast our minds back when looking at the old systems versus the new. That’s because so many building out there are still only equipped with legacy building management systems. In these older buildings, the key for that system is to control HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning). Now, some older building management systems do control other sub-systems, but their main purpose was to look after HVAC.

The issue now is that many buildings are upgrading their technology with the Internet of Things (IoT). Not only is the technology better, but it also allows for upgrades to subsystems such as security and access control. Now, the older management systems simply aren’t equipped to handle the new technology. That’s where the newer smart building IoT solutions come in. They can integrate control and reporting for legacy systems, as well as new IoT based controls.

Building management is just one system

When you consider upgrading old buildings, you almost need to look at the existing building management system as a system of its own. It may control HVAC and do a good job, so there’s perhaps no point getting rid of it. But maybe it can’t control lighting throughout the building. You might want to install new security monitoring systems and building access controls. If you’re using IoT for these newer systems, then the existing building management system is just another system.

In that instance, you might install a fully integrated smart building management system to oversee everything. Let’s take a look at what that means.

A full integrating system is needed

A system to rule all systems? Sounds a bit like a modern twist on a fantasy novel, but that’s essentially what smart building management systems are. IoT technology uses sensors to gather data and control systems in a building. But why scrap everything and start again when you don’t have to.

Using the example above, you’ve got a legacy system in place that handles HVAC and not much else. You want to install upgraded security, lighting, access control and a host of other useful systems. You can use a modern, smart building management software to integrate the old and new. It will pull data from your legacy system, and also link up to your new modern systems.

Integration is a great way to upgrade you building and keep costs down. It’s not always out with the old – it’s just in with the new.

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