BSRIA BG83/2023 Guide to Controls

Building controls are an integral part of modern infrastructure, playing a pivotal role in managing and optimising the performance of building systems. The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) has developed an extensive guide to controls, providing valuable insights into this complex field. This blog post aims to distill some of the key points from this guide, offering a comprehensive overview of building controls.

Control Modes

The guide begins by explaining different control modes, including proportional plus integral (P + I) and proportional plus integral plus derivative (P + I + D). These modes are fundamental to understanding how controls respond to changes in a system’s environment, ensuring optimal performance and energy efficiency.

Proportional (P) control: This component adjusts the output of the process based on the current error between the setpoint and the process variable (PV). The larger the error, the larger the correction applied.

Integral (I) control: This component adjusts the output based on the accumulated error over time. It helps eliminate steady-state error and can improve the stability of the control system.

Derivative (D) control: This component adjusts the output based on the rate of change of the error. It helps to dampen oscillations and improve the stability of the control system but is often omitted because PI control is sufficient. The derivative term can amplify measurement noise (random fluctuations) and cause excessive output changes. Filters are important to get a better estimate of the process variable rate of change.

PID controllers are widely used in a variety of applications, including temperature control, flow control, and motor control, due to the PID ability to provide stable and accurate control with relatively simple implementation. Below is an example with the Arduino-based Temperature Control Lab.

Building Management Systems

The guide then delves into the realm of Building Management Systems (BMS), detailing the components of a BMS, networking protocols, and the human-machine interface. A BMS is a central system that controls and monitors a building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems. Understanding the architecture and key features of a BMS, including system hardware, inputs and outputs, and BMS controller types, is crucial for effective building management. Maximum demand load shedding and energy reduction applications are also dicussed with a focus on reducing energy consumption and improving overall efficiency.

The guide also touches on the emerging field of Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS), highlighting the role of smart technology. HEMS are systems that allow homeowners to monitor and reduce their energy consumption, contributing to energy efficiency and cost savings.

Introducing VEXO's Smart Building Management System

VEXO’s Smart Building Management System (S-BMS) integrates smart technology for maximum energy savings. This innovative solution not only adjusts the HVAC system based on the outdoor weather conditions but also takes into account the actual occupancy levels of the building via LoRaWAN room sensors. This real-time data allows S-BMS to make more informed decisions about energy consumption, further optimising the HVAC system’s performance and energy savings.

VEXO Smart Thermostatic Radiator Valve
VEXO Smart Room Sensor

BMS Specification and Comissioning

The guide also discusses the importance of a well-written BMS specification, emphasising that the success of the design and implementation of the BMS largely depends on the quality of the system specification. It provides guidance on creating performance and functional specifications, offering examples and detailing the information that should be included. Using controls effectively also plays a part in making buildings accessible and usable to people with disabilities. For example, front plates should contrast visually with their background in controls of non-dwelling buildings.

You can also find out valuable information on the commissioning of building controls including details about the information that should be supplied to the commissioning engineer. This includes a description of operation for all control system applications, a network schematic providing a record of the overall control system architecture, schematics of the systems to be controlled indicating the location of sensors and actuators, and more.

In conclusion, BSRIA’s Guide to Controls (BG83/2023) provides a comprehensive overview of building controls, offering valuable insights for anyone involved in building management or interested in the field. It covers a wide range of topics, from control modes to energy management, providing a solid foundation for understanding and implementing effective building controls.

Please note that this is a detailed summary of the guide, and there are many more details and topics covered in the full document. For a complete understanding, we highly recommend to read the full guide.

Click here for a copy of the full guide on BSRIA’s website.

Find out more about S-BMS, get in touch with our technical team.

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