We’ve had Halloween, and it’s nearly Guy Fawkes night. That must mean that winter is on the way which is probably why we have received a number of calls from businesses who are experiencing problems with the transition from cooling to heating their buildings. This has prompted us to share five smart reasons to remember, remember to recommission your BMS systems this autumn. Intech Controls’ engineers are trained to adopt a holistic view of your building and occupancy requirements as follows …
Multi-tenanted buildings generally look after different businesses with individual requirements on each floor, sometimes with more than one business on one floor. Multiply these needs by 20 floors or more and there are many combinations and considerations to ensure that occupancy comfort is balanced with energy efficiency. For example, a business on one floor might only be in 2-3 days per week, and on another floor, seven days per week. An experienced BMS engineer will be skilled in optimising multiple control zones.
BMS controls are only as good as their operators and when the BMS controls are located on the front desk, the receptionist will often have access to them in terms of controlling lights, heating and cooling for the whole building. If one of the floors in a building is complaining, a front-of-house duty officer ore receptionist may feel under pressure to increase or decrease temperatures. Although users in these circumstances may have less permissions than a fully trained BMS engineer, considerable damage can still be caused to the welfare of building occupants, energy efficiency and in turn, your bottom line.
BMS should be a boardroom topic because in many instances, company policy is that the heating is electrically isolated between April and October. This means that when the heating control system is switched back on, the BMS controls send out lots of error messages causing heating to fail. The message here is don’t tamper with BMS controls! If they have commissioned correctly, the BMS will be set to control by occupancy, time, ambient conditions, or all three considerations. A company policy, decided by the board, of manually switching off the heating, defeats the whole purpose of smart buildings!
It is important to protect pipework and plant from freezing. When the ambient temperature fall below 2 degrees, the BMS will start to run Frost Protection routines. These are critical and protect the M&E Infrastructure and building fabric. Do the frost routines work in your building?! When was the last time they were checked?
“Some buildings, particularly older structures, can be affected by damp which often leads to a deterioration in the building fabric.” (Carbon Trust)
Demand led strategies
Intech Controls is encouraging building owners to move away from a timing strategy towards a demand-led strategy. Many BMS controls are set to cool or heat between two times, for example, between 7am to 7pm. However, bank holidays and weekends may be overlooked causing wasted energy when the building is empty. Instead Intech Controls recommends that that businesses adopt demand-led strategies to promote absence protection. This means that sensors will pick up zero occupancy and automatically adjust parameters as agreed in advance by the BMS engineer and building operator.
For further information, give Intech Controls team a call on 01403 288195 to arrange an information and keep occupants warm and cosy this winter.