building management system

Contributor(s): Sharon Zaharoff

A building management system (BMS) is a control system that can be used to monitor and manage the mechanical, electrical and electromechanical services in a facility. Such services can include power, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, physical access control, pumping stations, elevators and lights.

A very basic BMS consists of software, a server with a database and smart sensors connected to an Internet-capable network. Smart sensors around the building gather data and send it to the BMS, where it is stored in a database. If a sensor reports data that falls outside pre-defined conditions, the BMS will trigger an alarm. In a data center, for example, the BMS might trigger an alarm when the temperature in a server rack exceeds acceptable limits.

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Depending on the system, BMS software can be installed as a standalone application or it can be integrated with other monitoring programs. More advanced BMSes can monitor and manage a wide range of building services across multiple platforms and protocols, providing facility administrators with a single, shared view of the facility's operations.  

See also: data center infrastructure management, dashboard

This was last updated in March 2014

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Monitoring and regulatory systems are vital elements of any data facility - across residential, commercial, or industrial settings. It promotes the concept of centralized management of important infrastructure equipment while simultaneously warranting the secure and efficient flow of operations. It can be said that all facilities require proper climate control, fire suppression, backup power, and even security at multiple parts of the building. This is where the role of an innovation-driven BMS system comes into play. Each of these unique elements in a facility can be overlooked and monitored through a Building Management System. A BMS is backed up by servers and offers monitoring and alerts to ensure all elements of the facility are operating correctly.