Building management systems

Smart devices are individual devices or sets of devices that enable building owners to manage individual equipment, processes in buildings and energy consumption more easily and simply.

Smart devices are separately installable devices that enable the remote monitoring of sensor data and control of specific devices, for instance:

  • bulbs,
  • heating,
  • blinds and window sensors,
  • security systems – cameras, smart door locks, detectors,
  • smart outlets,
  • other electrical equipment.

Smart devices most frequently operate as individual and non-interconnected systems in the room, thus each smart device only carries out its specific functions. Furthermore, devices from different manufacturers mostly need their own mobile app that enables the management of the respective device remotely. Voice-controlled smart devices are also becoming popular. The use of the app enables you to see the current conditions at your home in one place, and make adjustments to your daily regime, for instance, set the indoor temperature to drop to 17 ℃ between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Advantages and benefits of smart devices:

  • easy installation of devices and control capabilities;
  • low costs;
  • efficiency of resources;
  • comfort;
  • safety;
  • regulated microclimate, which favourably affects your health.

Unlike building management systems, smart devices do not provide uniform management control and such extensive functionality, but their costs are lower and installation – easier. Smart devices are convenient to install in an already-built and furnished dwelling, as they mostly receive wireless signals (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.) and do not require wiring.

Smart devices can be installed by the user themselves because there is no need for specific tools and expertise.

  • A smart outlet lets you turn the device connected to it on and off by using a mobile app, devise its operation timetable, and monitor electricity consumption.
  • A smart bulb system provides for the comfortable monitoring of lighting to create a mood that suits your needs. With a mobile app, you can remotely switch bulbs on and off, as well as change the colour of the light and intensity.
  • An air quality sensor performs measurements of air humidity, CO2 and temperature.
  • A switch enables the remote control of electrical appliances. Any electrical appliance that does not have a socket but is directly wired to electricity can be connected to a smart switch and controlled via a home app.

When using smart technologies, please follow these recommendations:

Room temperature

  • The preferable room temperature in housing is between +20 °C and +22 °C during the day, while at night it is 3 to 4 degrees lower.
  • An even lower temperature is recommended in the bedroom – a healthy night’s sleep is best at +18 °C.
  • When you reduce the temperature by 1 °C, heating costs decrease by an average of 5 %.

Electrical appliances in standby mode

  • When travelling away from your home, it is recommended to completely switch off the electrical appliances in standby mode and disconnect them from the socket.
  • Every electrical appliance left on standby still consumes a small amount of electricity. For instance, the decoder is one of the biggest consumers of power in standby mode. Also, pay attention to the TV – a red indicator light means that the appliance is not switched off completely.

Myth: smart house systems are not safe – they can be easily hacked.

Anything can be hacked! The question is – how easily? No one is fully protected – neither the user of older technologies nor smart solutions. Risks may be considerably reduced by using licensed software and purchasing proprietary, certified building management systems from official representatives of manufacturers, as well as through the use of the services of certified companies to install equipment. Smart devices have one master user; therefore, other users cannot gain access to the system without the permission of the master user.

Myth: Using a lot of electronics will inevitably lead to higher energy bills.

On the contrary – smart home technologies optimise the use of electricity in a room. For instance, in a room with no people, the lights will automatically go off and all equipment will enter sleep mode. You can also adjust the lighting in a manner where it does not shine at full power during daylight hours. This optimisation not only applies to light but also heating.

What can be expected in the future? In the future, smart devices are expected to adapt to the user without direct intervention. They will be able to optimise light and temperature by studying our habits. As more sensors emerge and machine learning algorithms become more sophisticated, we can expect a similar performance from smart devices soon.

Building management systems

Building management or smart house systems are a uniform and automated technology that enable the easier and simpler management of processes and energy consumption in the building by the owners.

A single app or software can monitor and control the building because all the functions installed are interrelated. It is best to install this system during the construction process of the building; however, it can also be installed in an already commissioned building.

Building management system provides:

  • control of safety systems,
  • lighting control,
  • heating control,
  • energy consumption monitoring,
  • building automation management and access control,
  • blind control,
  • ventilation and air conditioning control.

Building management systems not only reduce the amount of different wiring in the building but also the number of control switches and equipment.

Building management systems are complex and specific; therefore, they are installed by knowledgeable and certified specialists.

Benefits of installing a building management system:

  • the involvement of human resources in the performance of building management functions is reduced;
  • financial resources are saved;
  • the energy performance of the building increases;
  • the equipment is operated correctly;
  • simplified data access and analysis is ensured.

Myth: building management systems are intended for lazy people.

Most often, the building management system includes and automates up to a dozen different interrelated functions. For instance, when the room is ventilated, the smart building management system automatically reduces the heating temperature, while when the windows are closed, the rooms warm up again to the desired and pre-set air temperature. All functions of this system work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When the building management system has been adapted to people’s needs, it works automatically and helps to reduce the energy consumption of your housing.

Myth: building management systems will become outdated as quickly as other smart devices.

The technology used in consumer goods rapidly grows obsolete to promote the circulation of smartphones, tablets and other smart devices. Moreover, individual functions rather than major technologies are the ones that mainly become outdated and are replaced by other – innovative – functions. It is different with building management systems – the electrical appliances built into the building are stable and intended for a long period of service.

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