Can buildings really predict the future? With smart BMS systems, some think they can

Can buildings really predict the future? With smart BMS systems, some think they can

‘Imagine a building that tells you, before it happens, that the heating is about to fail,’ a smart BMS – writes the New Scientist.

‘Some companies are using machine learning. It’s called predictive maintenance.’

New Scientist explains that one firm recently analysed a year’s worth of data from the heating and ventilation units in a hospital; offering deep insights into the building’s functionality.

Such sensors are now commonly built into heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, most often as part of Building Management Systems (BMS).

The team had records to interpret such as temperature, humidity and electricity use, relating to appliances in operating theatres and first aid rooms as well as corridors.

Once the numbers are interrogated, the idea is simple; the data doesn’t change the immediate benefits of BMS; lower energy bills. But by running the numbers BMS provide, you can add serious value; predicting faults, or learning more about how buildings use energy in varying scenarios, like summer and winter.


The sense is that, as the cost of both sensors and BMS fall, machine learning approaches will become more and more common.
At the most basic end, BMS energy data can be laid out in user friendly formats so that staff can pinpoint areas that need maintenance.

This of course saves a lot of money and reduces energy waste, as well as ensuring that the building is performing optimally.

But at the top end, the sky is the limit. Buildings could even attain a degree of sentience, learning about their own energy use by throwing the numbers back at complex algorithms, that could automatically judge when to turn heating on, based on the cost of electricity and historical patterns.

It’s all part of the smart revolution changing industries across the planet. An estimated 70% of buildings don’t perform as they were intended. But giving them the knowledge computers need to solve this is among the top trending areas in buildings technology.


“Obviously there are huge advantages to BMS, purely from an energy efficiency and energy savings perspective,” comments Gareth Barber, Managing Director, BGES.

“But we hope to also keep our client base aware of the major trends that are driving intelligent buildings. BMS are among these.

“We remain on the cutting edge of BMS technology, checking for and learning about the new disruptive solutions that will make BMS not merely energy savings tools, but tools that truly bring buildings to life in new and interesting ways.

“If you’re keen to learn about how BMS can save you money, but also begin your transition to a more intelligent and futureproofed business and estate, just give us a call.”

BGES is a building controls specialist, with extensive experience as a Trend Controls, Niagra Systems, Tridium, Honeywell and Delta Controls systems integrator.