Comfort Controls installs flexible BEMS

Comfort Controls Ltd has extended the system they installed at Basildon University Hospital over fifteen years ago, which needed to be adapted to provide integrated building control following extensive renovation work.

The original BEMS system was installed for the primary purpose of automatically switching mechanical plant on and off within the hospital, as well as allowing faults to be monitored from a central location. Over the years Comfort Controls maintained the BEMS and access control system, keeping Basildon University Hospital up to date with the latest technology to meet their evolving requirements. This included upgrading to Schneider Electric Continuum and providing comprehensive training to allow staff to interrogate and modify the system for maximum efficiency.

More than £60 million has been invested in expanding and modernising Basildon University Hospital and, as a result, the BEMS has been extended to integrate all access control points, with a much stronger emphasis on energy saving and reducing the building’s carbon footprint. In addition, the system is now used by a wider range of personnel than ever before, including energy managers, facilities managers, security and plant engineers.

After investigating the best solutions that would meet the needs of the hospital, Comfort Controls integrated the latest generation Continuum BEMS from Schneider, which integrates multiple HVAC systems from different manufacturers as well as providing access control on over 150 doors around the hospital, ensuring they are all controlled using one easy to use platform.

The system also allows authorised hospital staff to monitor, manage and control the mechanical plant and access control across the hospital in real time – including the heating systems (boilers and pumpsets), the cooling systems (chillers and pumpsets) and the air plant (air handling units) – from a range of computer based workstations.

Continuum works with the latest open protocols to provide a highly flexible and scalable system, allowing it to readily cope with changes in the hospital’s usage and enabling an exceptionally wide range of programming.

At Basildon University Hospital, most hospital buildings have their own plantroom which houses the HVAC plant for that area. To service this layout, Comfort Controls has installed BEMS outstations and control panels in each location which are networked via the hospital’s IT infrastructure and local dedicated networks.

As well as modifying and extending the system to incorporate new buildings and refurbishments, Basildon Hospital also required Comfort Controls to provide regular ongoing maintenance of the entire BEMS and access control systems in order to ensure plant will continue to be controlled at optimum levels and that all components operate smoothly. Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) of the building control system recognises this requirement and offers tangible benefits to the hospital, including a reduction in emergency breakdowns, building services that are finely tuned to building operations, optimum energy efficiency and an aspect that is particularly important in the healthcare sector – the safety and comfort of the building users.

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