Colombia. Having smart buildings is an imperative need in modern society. Control all types of subsystems in a building, increase security and save energy, are missions that companies and service administrators have. Schneider Electric, leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has the solution of Building Management Systems and Energy (BEMS), by its acronym in English, formerly known as (BMS) that contribute to improving the operation of this type of infrastructure.

By implementing the BEMS, the operation of each of the subsystems that are part of a building such as air conditioning, heating, ventilation or lighting, among others, is optimized. This is how the savings that can be obtained depend on the composition of each project, but at a general level, it is possible to achieve energy savings ranging from 30% to 70%.

The investment to implement a BEMS is very low, compared to the total cost of a construction, (office buildings, business centers, hotels, hospitals, shopping centers, warehouses or airports, etc.), since the average is less than 1%, which allows investment returns to be obtained after the first year and a half.

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"It is noteworthy that the Buildings and Energy Management Systems allow the monitoring and control of all the subsystems that make up a building: access control, CCTV (Closed Circuit Television Cameras), intrusion detection, detection and extinction of fires, air conditioning, heating, ventilation, lighting, electrical system and elevator management, in an integrated manner, where these subsystems exchange information with each other for automatic decision making, freeing the operator of the system from having to supervise or execute actions' Minors' and that allows it to focus on more critical processes that require special attention, increasing its productivity and making each of the processes involved in the daily operation more efficient ", stressed César Mauricio Montañés, Product Manager for Building Solutions of Schneider Electric.

Colombia moves towards efficiency

The expert highlighted that in Colombia the personnel in charge of the management and administration of buildings is aware of the issue, if it is compared with other Latin American countries. "We are at a point where a BEMS has ceased to be an option within the budgets of buildings to become a necessity. We see this reflected in the large number of shopping centers, offices, hotels, hospitals, airports and business centers, with this solution implemented, "he said.

He added that it is not common to find a new project in Colombia that does not have a BEMS planned in its design.

Colombia is having great potential in the development and installation of the systems, because they are a tool for the people in charge of building management. This allows them to see through a graphical interface on a 2D or 3D plane each of the areas or floors, easily identifying temperature conditions, lighting, alerts or alarms of a smoke sensor that was activated or a presence sensor that detected an intruder in a restricted area, showing the operator automatically the nearest camera.

It also provides the option to report to the operator real-time faults of luminaires and their exact location, reducing response times and improving maintenance schedules according to the number of hours it has been on versus its useful life.

Another benefit is the storage of data and the generation of reports automatically and pre-programmed on energy consumption by subsystem or area, making comparisons on consumption with the month or previous year, schedules of entry and exit of employees and validated and rejected access in restricted areas.

To conclude César Mauricio Montañés stressed that the installation and programming times are directly related to the size of each project, the progress of civil works, etc., but from the moment you start with the installation of equipment (hardware) until the configuration and programming of the system (software) is finished, the process can take between two and six months approximately.

Since the start-up of the BEMS, that is, when the installation, configuration and programming stage has been completed, energy savings begin to be obtained, which are optimized more and more within the next stage called " tuning of the system ", where adjustments are made in the programming until reaching the optimum point where the maximum possible savings are stabilized.

It should be noted that the Schneider Electric Building and Energy Management Systems were cataloged for two consecutive years (2015-2016) by Navigant Research, expert in high-profile research reports of the industries, such as the number one of the world, thanks to the strong leadership in the integration of the platforms that allow the proper management of buildings.

Santiago Jaramillo
Author: Santiago Jaramillo
Editor

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