We recently discovered the work of Jim Sinopoli, a consultant and analyst that runs Smart Buildings and follows building management systems very closely and is a good sage on where the industry needs to go.
Recently, he’s been writing about the need for building management systems to evolve and to be more open. Here’s how he summarizes the problem in an article titled The Future Building Management System (available for PDF download at his website):
As we transition to more complex, higher performing, energy efficient buildings it is apparent that traditional building management systems are not up to the task of monitoring and managing today’s building operations. What are the shortcomings of the legacy BMS? The list is quite long but the major items include limited integration capabilities, inadequate and elementary analytic tools, proprietary programming languages, a dearth of software applications and legacy user interfaces.
In a nutshell, Jim says to fix the problem means investing more in great analytics and control features and opening up systems to share data. At EnTouch, we agree with this assessment and think that we’re on the cutting edge of the change that Jim is calling for.
We’re finding that the ability of our EnTouch Energy Management System to provide customers with the analytics they need to control their energy usage is almost as much of a selling point as the money they can save using the system. And we’ve solved the IT problem by leveraging the scalable computing power available in the cloud.
Many of the recommendations that Jim is making for opening up systems, we’re also working on. Because the strength of the EnTouch EMS is cost-effective energy management and control for small facilities it makes sense to work with systems for larger buildings to share data and facilitate centralized control. To that end, we are working to add the ability to pull in data from other BAS’s in addition to our cloud computing solution that has built-in ability to communicate with similar systems.
There’s a dramatic change coming to the BMS if manufacturers want to keep pace with the technology going into buildings. It’s great to be doing our part to shape that exciting future.