Building Automation and Controls (BAC)
Building Automation and Controls (BAC) are a combination of hardware and software that control a building’s power systems; lighting and illumination; electric power and control; security, observation and magnetic card access; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC); outdoor controls; lift, elevator and escalator controls; entertainment and BMS (Building Management Systems).
BAC systems provide efficient control of internal comfort conditions, individual room control, increased staff productivity, effective use of energy, improved building reliability and life, quick and effective responses to HVAC problems, and save time and money. The systems also provide information on problems in the building, allow for computerized maintenance scheduling, are easy and effective for employees to use, and easily detect problems.
Building management systems are most commonly implemented in large projects with extensive mechanical, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems. Systems linked to a BMS typically represent 40% of a building's energy usage; if lighting is included, this number approaches to 70%. BMS systems are a critical component of managing energy demand. Improperly configured BMS systems are believed to account for 20% of building energy usage, or approximately 8% of total energy usage in the United States.
In addition to controlling the building's internal environment, BMS systems are sometimes linked to access control (turnstiles and access doors controlling who is allowed access and egress to the building) or other security systems such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) and motion detectors. Fire alarm systems and elevators are also sometimes linked to a BMS, for monitoring. In case a fire is detected then only the fire alarm panel could shut off dampers in the ventilation system to stop smoke spreading and send all the elevators to the ground floor and park them to prevent people from using them.