Is BMS maintenance crucial? Why you need to update your system
A building management system is a component used within data centre facilities. It allows for critical infrastructure equipment to have its management centralised for secure and efficient operation.
This is especially important for large centres and enterprises as they can host millions of pounds worth of equipment in multi-tenant “colocation” centres which need to be maintained effectively.
Facilities such as this require fire suppression, climate control and backup power at every site with physical security. Each of these elements needs a building management system so they can be monitored and maintained. Each system is usually backed up with redundant servers which provide monitoring and alerts. These ensure all aspects of the system operate as they should.
But Is BMS maintenance crucial?
If you don’t look after them, you could be looking at major costs associated with emergency repairs. With an industry full of professionals - mitigation is very possible and should be approached before reaching a crisis.
The Maintenance Checklist
There are several parts of building management systems and controls system maintenance that are essential:
Maintenance of computer workstations may require checking the computer and monitoring operations are fully functional. Additionally, interface software may need to be set up if not done so already. Panel and control databases may also require a hard drive backup that service engineers will carry out on site. As part of the checklist, a review of the operation with maintenance personnel may be included.
These should have regular performance diagnostic checks in order for problems to be reported and resolved before they become critical issues. Network communications also need testing. This is because parts of maintenance panels may need to be upgraded for current firmware revisions.
What Are The Benefits - Is BMS Maintenance Crucial?
Some of the key benefits of regular servicing include:
Improved Internal Environment -
A building management system has the capability of controlling air quality, humidity, temperature and ventilation. This is often done via a link with the building’s HVAC system. Firstly, occupants can be protected from harmful pollutants, smoke and gases. When ventilation is controlled properly and maintained by professionals, you can mitigate any unwanted toxins from entering the building. It will also detect harmful environments and allow you to evacuate or isolate the area should you need to.
Furthermore, when the temperature and humidity sensors are serviced, they will be more capable of making small adjustments and keeping the environment at optimal conditions. This results in more efficient workers who have a comfortable area to work in.
Additionally, well-functioning pressure control-loop tuning and other HVAC elements will ensure costs are kept to a minimum. Not having to run them manually means even the smallest of changes can see a substantial improvement in your energy bills!
Automatic shutdowns -
Lighting, heating and air conditioning can be automatically switched off in unoccupied areas and during select times which can help cut costs even further. It will benefit your carbon footprint and leave you with the confidence that sections of your building you want to be inoperative do not remain running while you are away.
Similarly, regular checks made to a building management system allows for as little downtime as possible. Any repairs or preventative measures can be carried out without an effect on your other equipment. This will again, save you time and money and allow all of the essential components to stay up and running.
Reducing Footprint -
Offices account for 18% of the UK’s energy consumption. Keeping up with your BMS maintenance will help you reduce your business’ footprint by reducing energy consumption by up to 55%. In turn, you will help the UK in achieving its carbon goals and save your business money.
Also, a building management system works to reduce your overall energy needs. Staff will have the ability to monitor how much energy is being used on a daily basis. Engineers can ensure your control system is fully optimised - allowing you to record daily info and present it in a way that will encourage staff to make small changes.
This will also aid you in keeping updated on where savings can be made. As “smart buildings” continue to become increasingly popular, a BMS can help you get one step closer to becoming carbon neutral.
There is a range of upgrades available with BMS from small editions to major projects. These upgrades ensure that maintainability and optimum performance can be achieved to maximize the life of the control system. These can vary from installations of the latest BEMS technology to energy-saving enhancements. Don’t forget to talk to your engineer to find out more about how to properly optimise your BMS.
To ensure your building management system is maintained and continues functioning at the highest standard, it is imperative you keep an eye on each external element and run regular servicing. Other parts of the checklist include:
Operating sequences such as those needed for fans, dampers, heating and cooling systems often needed to be adjusted and tested. It is also important to review ventilation operating set points in accordance with the design criteria. This can help improve air quality and ensure the data is correct.
Any adjustments that need to be made will rely on the correct information being fed back. Changes to control loops and tuning parameters may also need to be made, but for a full and extensive service, you should ensure the engineers are experienced.
GeoThermal, Heating and DHW systems
Boilers, valves and pumps can be serviced by having their operating systems adjusted and tested. Seasonal temperature and ventilation set points can be reviewed against the design criteria as part of the service.
Any HVAC system should be checked to ensure it can comply with regulations and work cohesively with your building management system.
A service engineer may also make changes to control loops. This is to ensure the system is achieving stable, accurate control by adjusting tuning parameters. Additionally, outside air temperature interlocks are checked and operation and equipment are reviewed to keep any in-house repairs to a minimum.
Gas Detection Systems
The maintenance of gas detection systems may include a test and adjustment as well as a check on the operation of the control panel. This will work in cohesion with improving the internal environment. You can mitigate anything harmful before extreme action needs to be taken. Without careful servicing, you may miss alerts or find yourself without any detection at all.
Reports and Training
When you have a BMS installed, there may be training involved so that site personnel can be aware of the current operating conditions in place. Additionally, training may be provided with a building operator to review changes as well as answer any questions that relate to the operating systems. Finally, a written report should be provided as part of BMS maintenance to document each visit and look back on should any problems arise.
Planned Preventative Maintenance
PPM is a scheduled maintenance routine. It ensures that machinery, equipment and services are maintained at regular intervals.
This helps by:
Minimizing complete and partial failures and thus not interrupting business operations and downtime. This also helps to avoid costly failures and maintains productivity.
Ensuring the correct performance of equipment. This can save money for the customers long-term on the device as it keeps the system functioning to its best accuracy.
Frees up clients to focus on the tasks that matter. Furthermore, reducing the costs and risks of operating a reactive repair program.
This is why specialist service companies that have many years of experience dealing with system and equipment maintenance are essential. They take the pressure off of the customers, allowing them the time to focus on more important tasks. Potential problems can be spotted before they occur and malfunctioning or obsolete items can be dealt with quickly with minimal disruption.
Choosing The Right Provider
When choosing who to hire for BMS maintenance you should ensure that you choose a provider who works to the highest industry standards and is accredited with appropriate certificates. Your system will need to be tailored to fit your business needs, so you should seek out a specialist in order to help recommend a building management system as well as oversee its installation.
Every component needs to be fitted and serviced properly. When considering a BMS, it is of utmost importance that you consider that they comply with all the relevant standards for A1 environments. It may also benefit you to have a portal for users’ viewing. This way occupants can keep careful track of the environment and bring up any concerns they may have. There are plenty of options to consider and some components may not be suitable for everyone. That’s where our team can help!
Get in touch with the Javelin Controls team to transform your work environment with a high-quality building management system. We’ll be more than happy to discuss your control and HVAC system requirements and find a customised solution to suit your business needs.