Melbourne Polytechnic Green Skills Centre

Building Controls and Management


A Building Management System (BMS) is a computer-based control system installed in buildings that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems.

The BMS is the “Brain” of the building and can be configured to control the buildings elements according to a set of predetermined profiles. For example, a simple BMS profile might control the air-conditioning to start up at 6am and to shut off at 6pm. This means that the air-conditioning system might be running flat out for 12 hours per day, everyday, all year. As you can imagine this is fairly inefficient and thus the profile might be improved to include things like occupancy, temperature control, weekends and holiday periods, zoning and out of hours operation, to reduce the length of operational time as much as possible.

Fortunately modern controls are so adaptable and controllable that they can be set to do almost anything that is required. Some BMS’s can be accessed remotely and this further increases their flexibility – just as can be found here.

The building management system (BMS) provides an opportunity for students and lecturers to study the amount of solar power and solar hot water produced (as seen on the interactive display in the foyer), and the reduction in greenhouse gases by the solar system. These interactive displays are like the screen on the computer, constantly updating the information that is coming out of the computer. Because of this, the whole school gets to share in the information provided by this building and all of its different systems. This will teach the future generations that it is not just systems with a building that reduce energy use, but it is also the management of those systems that is equally important.

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Last Modified: 27th November 2014