UK weather is anything but
boring – in early March we had the ‘Beast from the East’, yet since then we
have experienced the most prolonged heatwave since 1976. Such dramatic
fluctuations mean that a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) must be optimised to keep it agile, flexible and
responsive. Although the perceived enormity of such a task often overwhelms
people, breaking down the entire service regime into bite-sized chucks can make
the task less onerous. Let’s look at some key activities for each season.
• During the coldest part of
the year, the ability of a BEMS to achieve the best possible comfort conditions
will be tested. Ask occupants whether they are happy with their environmental
conditions to identify any immediate areas of concern.
• Check alarms are correctly
configured to warn of any unnecessary plant overrides and implement an optimum
start/stop (OSS) strategy. This offers an efficient and automatic way of
maintaining space temperatures, while controlling the amount of energy used to
• With the end of March
heralding British Summer Time (BST), make sure that a BEMS has been adjusted to
account for the clocks going forward.
• Carry out a control check
report (CCR). It can be produced by a BEMS to maintain parameters across a single
site or estate in a graphical and easy to read format, and helps quickly
identify where there is an error in occupation times and setpoints.
• Maintain a building’s comfort
conditions during the forthcoming summer months, while minimising energy use,
by implementing a fresh air cooling strategy that is controlled by a BEMS.
• Check water systems and
implement measures to avoid outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. Attaching a
sensor to a water system and linking it to a BEMS means temperature can be
monitored and preventative action taken when necessary.
• Configure a BEMS to
transmit alarms when conditions fall outside of any predetermined critical
• In late summer, determine
whether climate monitoring and alarming strategies can be met by an existing
BEMS and, if not, investigate whether some simple upgrades or reprogramming is
required to ensure good comfort conditions.
Read: Back to school – a BEMS checklist for the new term
• Construct an energy
management plan that features a prioritised summary of activities for the
short, medium and long-terms.
• DCP 228 has affected how electricity charges are
calculated. Consider carrying out a
BEMS audit, which will not only optimise and reset time clocks and setpoints,
but also drill down to the finer details and provide guidance about implementing
an appropriate technologies like variable speed drives (VSDs).
Remember, a BEMS should
always be considered a work in progress and maintaining and optimising it on a
regular basis will help maximise any energy reduction opportunities. Just as
importantly, such action will also create an improved working environment that
has the health, happiness and wellbeing of occupants at its core.
would like more advice on how to manage your BEMS, contact your regional Trend
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