The school heating, ventilation and domestic hot water plant was controlled by an out of date closed protocol building management system.
The existing building management system could only be supported by the original manufacturer and as a result any spares or repairs and on-going service and maintenance were very expensive. The Academy Trust responsible for running the school decided to investigate the possibility of upgrading or replacing the building management system and a consulting engineer was engaged.
We along with two other building control engineering companies were asked to carry out a full survey of the existing school mechanical and electrical services and to develop a proposal to upgrade the system complete with fixed costs to upgrade the system.
During the survey it became obvious that the existing electrical installation and control panels associated with the existing BMS system were in very good condition and did not need to be replaced.
Our proposal to the client suggested that replacing the existing building management system with a future proof, open protocol, web enabled system would offer the best way forward. We also recommended that the existing control panels and electrical installation be retained with only modifications / additions required to improve the controllability of the campus.
As the works would be carried out during term time we needed to demonstrate how the work could be carried out during school hours without adversely affecting the operation of the school.
After a short tender period we were awarded the contract to carry out the work and promptly started the offsite works.
A full technical submission was prepared for approval, the submission included a proposed description of operation, updated control panel drawings and suggested design for the BMS user interface. We also prepared plantroom specific risk assessments and method statements along with a proposed programme of works to ensure there were no clashes with planned school activities.
The works were completed, demonstrated to the consulting engineer and the user trained as required within the specification, on time and on budget.
The installation of the new system has saved the Academy Trust money by way of reduced energy consumption and also lower on-going maintenance costs with no loss of support.
Although the system is open protocol and in theory could be supported by others, we are proud to have continued the on-going relationship with the end user providing after sales service and support. We are currently investigating the possibility of expanding the current lighting control strategy by integrating the lighting control system into the site building management system to save the client additional money.