BMS – Building Management System

Last updated October 17, 2023 at 10:34 AM

Discover the principle and operation of technical building management, also called GTB or BMS for English speakers.

Have you ever heard of GTB, technical building management? This is an area that has been foreign to me for a long time until now.

If you've never heard of it, you may have heard or read one of these terms: Smart home, Smart building, Home automation and Building automation.

Always not ? It's not serious!

In this post, we will only talk about the GTB, also called by English speakers BMS (Building Management System).

For the sake of simplicity we will only use the term BMS knowing that it is also BMS.

BMS – Building Management System

In this section we will define what BMS really is, the objectives of this type of system and how it works.

We will also talk about the GTC (Centralized Technical Management) which is a significant component of the Technical Building Management (GTB).

It seems that a picture is worth a thousand words.

I have retouched images for each important section to give you an overview of everything I explain in writing.

This should make it easier to understand!

Oh, I almost forgot, I took advantage of this post to post the images of some architectural wonders in the world.

BMS definition

BMS / BMS definition

Technical building management or BMS is a system for controlling and supervising all technical equipment in a building.

Typically this is a computer system that gives you full view and control over every group of equipment in a building that ensures the comfort of its occupants.

Equipment can be grouped into the following areas:

  • Heating: includes all the equipment needed to heat the building. Examples include the heat pump, temperature control system, radiators.
  • Electricity and lighting: group together all the equipment needed to provide lighting and supply electricity to the building. This equipment makes it possible to regulate the energy in one or more sections of the building. For example: we can decide to turn off the electricity in a section of the building and let the pilot light take over to save energy.
  • The air conditioning : brings together all the equipment needed to ensure the air conditioning of the building's rooms. Some buildings need a cold room for the needs of his trade. The regulation of these cold rooms can be done by a BMS system.
  • Ventilation : In a building, the occupants must breathe. The equipment which is responsible for ventilation is therefore important in the technical regulation of a building. Ventilation systems can help buildings “breathe”.
  • Security : includes all the equipment to ensure the safety of the building, the trade and especially the occupants of the building in the event of a disaster.

The types of building where BMS applies are buildings in the tertiary sector such as industrial buildings and residential buildings.

GTB is also known as building automation.

When the technical management of the building affects houses or personal residences, there we are talking about the automation.

The latter is a subject that will not be developed here.

Image of AGORA Garden in TAWAN
AGORA garden in TAWAN designed by the Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut. The green city is capable of absorbing up to 130 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Objective and operation of building BMS?

Purpose and operation of a BMS - BMS
Architecture (naive) of a BMS system

The technical building management aims to minimize the energy consumption of the building and to actively adapt to the comfort of its occupants.

Who says GTB, also says smart building. Logically theartificial intelligence assists in the regulation of the building and the application of certain operating policies.

Now, how does BMS building work?

To better understand how BMS works, you must first know its architecture.

We showed in the definition that GTB is a system which makes it possible to manage all the equipment in a building.

Saying like that is simple but in practice things are much more complex. Generally, here is an idea of ​​operation of a BMS system and its architecture. First there is

  • A set of equipment: lighting, ventilation, security, etc.
  • Sensors that emit information on the state and status of each piece of equipment.
  • Centralized technical management systems which receive the information emitted by the sensors it manages and distribute it to the building technical management system and/or to the supervisors (persons responsible for taking action on the equipment concerned).
  • Finally the GTB which receives information from the GTC and helps the supervisor in charge and the managers with the decision.

This is basically how building BMS works. I introduced the concept of the GTC into the operation.

In the rest of the post we will see it in detail.

BMS building – Centralized technical building management

We have seen that the technical building management is a system for managing each batch of building equipment that can be grouped by domain.

We have given the example of an equipment batch domain which ranges from the management of lighting and heating to security equipment and air conditioning.

Each batch requires special attention and sometimes specialized management. This is where the GTC building.

Centralized technical building management or building GTC is a system for controlling and supervising all the technical equipment of a part or a specialized area of ​​a building.

Difference between GTB and GTC!

The BMS plays the same role as the BMS but the difference with the latter is the field of application.

The BMS is a system that only manages a batch of equipment or a specific area of ​​building equipment.

For example, a GTC can deal with the management of electricity or energy. This part is also managed by electric companies or simply energy suppliers.

This allows access to information specific to our energy management of our home.

In the context of technical building management, the energy supplier can simply send the information to the BMS of the building owner or else, have its own BMS independent of the BMS system of the owner (the latter case seems more realistic to me).

A BMS system uses several BMS to manage a building.

GTB - BMS building - Technical building management - Building Management System