How Smart is your Building?

Vicky Vaughan

How smart is your building?

You will have read about smart buildings, but do you know where your building sits on the scale of smart buildings? BOSS CONTROLS has seven smart building criteria for judging building intelligence, listed below. Your answers will determine your building’s IQ and if your estate is an asset or liability. You will see that smart buildings make smart businesses.

1. When were your BMS controls previously optimised by a fully trained BMS controls engineer?

Fully optimised Building Management Systems (BMS) can control as much as 84% of your building’s energy consumption (Source: Trend). The key phrase is ‘fully optimised’. Most occupancy complaints, plant breakdowns and BMS control errors are caused by untrained engineers or system gaps. For example, one Facilities Manager leaves your business, and a new employee coming in, changes the settings, making assumptions that may not be correct.

Scheduling in PPM visits by fully trained BMS controls engineers ensures your BMS controls are routinely maintained and optimised to align with your space and occupancy trends. The added benefit is that fully trained BMS controls engineers will be able to recommend upgrades that will reduce your energy consumption, keeping your Energy Manager and Finance Director happy.  If you have received a PPM in the last 12 months, then this definitely scores a point towards your Building’s IQ.

2. Has your building got common sense?

There are many types of sensors that increase the IQ of your building, and they are affordable and scalable. Sensors can gather a plethora of data, leading to valuable insights, assisting your business decision-making. These include temperature, humidity, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) sensors, occupancy sensors, open door sensors, open window sensors, and water. Many sensors are operated via wireless technology with a 15-year battery life, making them easy to install. When sensors are connected to fully optimised BMS / BEMS controls, they act as your Sherlock Holmes to gathering clues and insights, which further enhances your Building IQ.

3. How much of your building energy consumption is being controlled vs wasted?

If you answered YES to the previous two questions, then you should know where all your building energy is being used. Fully optimised Building Management Systems (BMS) can control as much as 84% of your building’s energy consumption (source: Trend). So what is happening to the 16% that can’t be controlled?

eEnergy (2022) states that 30% of commercial energy is still being wasted (source Energy Live News). What could your business do with the money saved by reducing energy wastage? If your sensors are correctly connected to your fully optimised BMS / BEMS controls (as in point 2), they will signal critical alarms, enabling you to get to the bottom of suspected energy wastage. This prevents your business from heating empty rooms unnecessarily. It doesn’t matter how new or old your building is, energy wastage can be reduced. If you are currently managing energy wastage, add another point to your Smart Building IQ.

4. Is your building smart enough to protect your HVAC plant?

Really smart BMS prolongs the life expectancy of your HVAC equipment because it monitors and maintains BMS parameters and settings which allow pumps to rest when possible. Smart buildings are adaptable, so when your current BMS / BEMS controls equipment requires upgrading, future-proofed systems will avoid unnecessary waste to landfill.

5. Can your building reduce downtime and ensure business continuity?

For many businesses, ‘system downtime’ is not acceptable, e.g. Data Centres, Hospitals, and Factories. Therefore, systems need to be robust and reliable and able to adapt or expand with business needs. BMS critical alarms detect serious problems that require attention before you experience downtime. Another point added to your Smart Building IQ.

6. Can your building improves well-being and boost mental health?

In a report published by Savills and The British Council for Offices, 48% of respondents stated that they believe the office positively impacts their mental health, with temperature being the most important factor in their well-being. Not being able to control elements in your place of work, including temperature, is a major contributor to stress levels. Fully optimised BMS / BEMS controls allow for remote controls within the workplace to enable your employees to feel comfortable.  Read more about this here. Your Smart Building should form an essential part of your CSR and ESG strategies.

7. Does your building enable your business to achieve carbon reporting targets?

Our BMS controls engineers provide businesses with reports and demonstrate visually how energy usage and carbon emissions are being reduced, helping to meet legislative and corporate social responsibility demands.

So how did your building score on the Boss Smart Building IQ?

Congratulations if your building score 7/7! If it didn’t then please consider contacting us to raise your Smart Building IQ. BOSS CONTROLS is a fully integrated BEMS / BMS controls’ solution, and we can meet the most complex requirements of heritage and modern buildings. Please call us on 01403 886508 or use the contact form below to chat about how the above benefits can work for your business.

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Get in touch with your BEMS partner, BOSS CONTROLS

If you have any questions about BEMS/BMS or energy management, Please don’t hesitate to send us a message


Phone 01403 886508

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