Better communication for Swindon

A building management system (BMS) from Priva Building Intelligence has been linked into the IT network at the North Star College in Swindon for easier communications and monitoring of the building’s energy meters.
The town has consolidated its two major adult education centres onto one site, leading to the erection of additional teaching buildings at the North Star campus. The new teaching block, performing arts facility and workshops are internally heated and cooled employing standard variable temperature systems, air handling units and comfort cooling via a Mitsubishi variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system. Managing the HVAC services, as well as monitoring the electrical load, controlling the automated windows and enabling the lighting, is the Priva BMS installed by Bailey Energy & Controls.

A primary task of the Priva BMS is managing the main electricity and sub-meters. “Part L2 of the Building Regulations states that new buildings must be capable of monitoring 90% of the energy load,” explained Andy Vidler, Application Engineer for Bailey Energy & Controls. “As a result, over fifty meters, both main and sub-metering, have been installed. The meters have been supplied by Northern Design with ModBus communications, with which the Priva BMS if fully compatible.”

Bailey Energy & Controls recommended this solution as they estimated that by utilising ModBus, rather than hard-wiring each meter, they could make significant savings on the installation cost. Additionally, by recommending a Priva system, the company reduced the budgeted BMS cost by 5-6%.

“Specifying Priva Building Intelligence was not based purely on cost, but on the openness of the controllers,” stated Andy Vidler. “For example, due to its open protocol design, we had no hesitation in recommending that the BMS should sit on the building’s IT network; a solution welcomed by the college once network integrity had been demonstrated. Being a new build, it proved quicker and simpler to install a Priva network, providing immediate communications with the intelligent outstations as they came online, and then connect this network to the Ethernet.”

In addition, Bailey Energy & Controls were able to eliminate the need for the ‘black box’ technology that normally enables communication between a metering system and a BMS, because the Priva system allowed a direct connection.

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