Cover Image for BMS: The Future of Building Technology

BMS: The Future of Building Technology

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5 minutes
Bryan Jenks
Bryan Jenks

We’ve spent a lot of time discussing how to leverage Building Monitoring Systems and IoT in both the MDU and Hospitality spaces. We were able to conclude that physical buildings, whether they were built over 100 years ago or constructed yesterday, need an extra layer of intelligence. They’re beasts. Behemoths. Without the powers provided by BMS, operations are unwieldy, and somewhere down the line we’ve come to accept this as “business as usual”. 

In the next five years we’re sure to see a glut of success stories and narrowly avoided catastrophes written up in case studies on websites very much like our own. However, we’re also in the midst of driving early adoption in an industry that is just now coming around to properly outfitting portfolios with new, state-of-the-art technologies. So today we’ll do our best to illustrate a very real kind of scenario, one that’s probably happened to a building in your portfolio or a building you know, and distinguish how having an intelligent BMS system in place affects the outcome. 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place 


It’s a sweltering summer day, the kind that gets as hot as it does when you’re around those special concrete apartment buildings that seem to enhance the heat, and it’s humid. The weatherman has warned the faint of heart to stay inside and blast the AC. You, in this situation the property manager, are at the helm of this building’s community and keeping its residents happy. 

However, a main circuit tasked with providing the power for the building’s main AC unit, key for keeping residents cool, just blew out. Ouch! It takes about half an hour until anyone notices, but once the lack of cold air blowing through unit vents becomes evident, well, that’s when your office floods with complaints. So now not only are the building cooling functions shot, but you also must swiftly and efficiently deal with a very real PR crisis at hand.

Temperatures are rising—literally and figuratively, stress levels going through the roof—what is there to do? You call your building’s preferred electrical company, but it’s short notice and they’re booked through the next few days. A different, competent vendor available at a moment’s notice? Good luck. It takes an uncomfortably long amount of time to find such a professional while you temporarily leave your leasing agents tasked with quelling the angry mob. Oh, and leasing vacant units? Fat chance. Closing on any apartments today with AC failure throughout the entire building on the hottest day of the year is simply not going to happen. 

A single event like that can derail an entire day, a few days, and in some rare cases even longer. Yet, we operate as though this should be expected, like it’s just the cost of doing business. And while that might be true to some extent, everyone invariably suffers as a result. Residents who may be up there in age, or are especially sensitive to the effects of high temperatures, will be affected most. This one incident can seriously challenge their wellbeing, far beyond merely interrupting their everyday routines. As for the building staff? They go home for the day exhausted, stressed, and somewhat defeated. Then there’s you, the property manager, who has to bite the bullet, take the bulk of the blame, and resolve the issue ASAP. 

The System Makes the Players

Now in an alternate scenario we visit you, the property manager, on the same day, at the same time, however this time you implemented a smart Building Management System months prior. Electrical current meters attached to the main breaker feeding the HVAC system would immediately notify there was a disturbance in the electrical system. It would signal that an abundance of draw was occurring, and suggest a proactive maintenance emergency to head off the impending doom. The result? No crisis. Residents are still happy and cool as they bask in the glory of uninterrupted air conditioning. Leasing agents, not distracted by the complaints and unrest of residents, are having a stellar day of sales as the heat wave brings in a whole crowd of prospective residents whose building DIDN’T have a BMS system. 

While that is one crisis averted, we’ve talked about a whole host of building malfunctions that are quite frankly no longer “a part of doing business”. Massive leaks, wasted utilities, humidity and mold issues, etc. The list goes on, unfortunately for property managers, especially in buildings without BMS technology.  


Building Technology 2.0

Scenarios like the one laid out above happen repeatedly in multifamily communities and hotel facilities around the world. Anywhere people live, especially in concentrated numbers, disasters are bound to happen. Sure, our building technology may seem advanced compared to the “technology” in buildings from 100 years ago, but why are those buildings still settling for the status quo? Episense is deployable from the antiquated to the mid century modern, the 90’s fancy to the state-of-the-art. It’s well beyond time to break the status quo, and we’ve built the technology to do it.

Building Intelligence through technology is the next evolutionary step in building construction, management, and ownership. Implementations can ensure your residents' experience, your staff’s sanity, and your asset’s overall valuation. So, will your building be highlighted as part of the next great success story? Or will it be known across town as “that place that broke the AC during the hottest part of the summer”?!? If you’re interested in being that next great success story, we can help. So don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. 


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