What is a Building Management System?

10 Jul 2017

What is a Building Management System?

At Varming Consulting Engineers, Ireland, we have long and proud history in delivering outstanding results for every one of our clients by delivering sound engineering advice, backed up by a tradition of excellence in design that stretches back to the late 1940s.

As part of our dedication to the adoption of green technologies and sustainable design, we try to educate on all matters relating to electrical & mechanical engineering and building design.

Today we look at building management systems. What are they and what do they do?

Usually abbreviated in common parlance to ‘BMS’, a building management system is a control system that a building uses to regulate all of the electrical and mechanical equipment systems. Facilities such as ventilation, security systems, lighting and power systems are controlled by computer by marrying up hardware and software programs to operate as a smooth, single entity.

Large Scale Operations

BMSs, also commonly referred to as Building Automation Systems (BAS), are most often seen in use in large scale projects that can include complicated HVAC, electrical and mechanical systems.

In full flight, a BMS will represent around 40% of a building’s total energy consumption and when all systems are completely integrated into a BMS, that figure can rise to as much as 70%. A properly configured BMS is vital tool for controlling and managing energy demands, but the effect of an improperly configured BMS reduces the percentage of the total usage to as low as 20%.

Other than environmental systems, a BMS can also be used in control of entry, security and CCTV systems. Also, motion detectors, fire alarms, lifts and disaster recovery systems can sometimes be included.


The automation of building control systems is a paradigm that isn’t going away. The more the construction industry moves into higher BIM maturity levels, this will become ever more commonplace, particularly in large buildings and complexes, being driven by industry requirements relating to total energy usage.

If you would like to find out more about BMS, BIM or all things sustainable design, you can visit our website www.varming.ie or give us a call on 01 4872300 to discuss your building needs.


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