How to choose between a BMS retrofit and full renovation?

May 26, 2020 | Building management system, Building automation, Retrofit

When updating a Building Management System, both BMS retrofit and full renovation can be good options. In this article we compare the key benefits of both approaches to you help you find the most suitable method for your project’s needs. Read on to find out more!

The two options: a BMS retrofit and full renovation

As stated in our previous blog post, there are two ways to update a functioning but perhaps outdated BMS in a building. First option is to renovate the controllers and their control panels entirely, including the field devices and even cabling. Quite often also the physical HVAC devices, such as air handling and heating units are changed while renovating.

A lighter option for a renovation is a BMS retrofit. Retrofitting a building management system is a process of replacing old controllers, I/O’s and room controllers with new ones without making any changes to field equipment and cabling, unless seen necessary.

Comparing the benefits of a BMS retrofit vs. renovation

A BMS retrofit suits any building site that needs modernizing for their BMS. Depending on your needs and resources, a renovation can, however, be a great option, too.

Here we’ve listed the main benefits of both approaches to help you find the most suitable one for your project.

Key benefits of a BMS retrofit

  • Retrofit doesn’t require a large project organization, contractors or subcontractors. 

    Field equipment and cabling can be re-used, which means that oftentimes there’s no need for other contactors at all. This makes it very cost-efficient way of working without heavy planning and meetings with contractors and subcontractors before and during the process. 90% of the time BMS retrofit is a one-man job.
  • Flexible and agile to start

    The beauty of a BMS retrofit is the fact that it is a very light and agile project to take on. As the building can be manually controlled during the work, the retrofit job can be done with almost zero downtime while the building is fully occupied. If machines need to be switched off, this can be done one at a time, so that the other machines continue to run on the old system until new system is installed.
  • With little or no interruptions to the automation system, BMS retrofit is a quick and easy solution.

    Here’s a brief case example: The BMS (400 Data Points) of a large supermarket recently broke down during the busy weekend shopping hours. The existing system was no longer available on the market, so Fidelix partner replaced the old system with a new one and finished the job during the next couple of days.

  • Non-stop availability and reliable deliveries 

    We can deliver everything you need for a BMS retrofit across the EU. Because we have everything on shelf for our own projects, we are able to deliver all control equipment and field equipment orders quickly.

Fidelix-bms-partsA little peek in the Fidelix stock. We stand ready to serve you with excellent on-shelf availability all year round. Image: Fidelix

  • Lower (maintenance) costs

    If the current automation system is outdated, the availability for service and spare parts can be scarce. By bringing your BMS up to date, the maintenance costs are most likely to decrease. Also, by updating the system you’re likely to do less maintenance work in the future.
  • Lower energy consumption

    With a BMS retrofit, new and modern control algorithms and features are brought into the system, replacing old control philosophies. After retrofitting the equipment and testing the system, new software features to reduce energy consumption can easily be introduced to HVAC-processes. These features include:
            • Free cooling energy: Night cooling and night ventilation, recovery of cooling energy.
            • Weather forecast usage: Adapt to the changes in weather quicker by forecasting and adjusting heating or cooling well in advance.
            • Optimizing outdoor temperature-based heating control with feedback from wireless sensors.
            • Peak shaving of heating and cooling.
  • Enabled secure remote access

    A BMS retrofit allows you to control your BMS remotely via a secured Internet connection.

Key benefits of a full BMS renovation

  • Renewed field devices

    All field devices are modernized during a renovation. New equipment will not only be properly adopted to modern standards and requirements, but often also increase the efficiency of the whole system. Replacing, for instance, an old fan motor with a new one will generate the same amount of air circulation at a fraction of the energy consumption.

    Concerning future-proofing the installation, this offers a great benefit that it will be easier to upgrade, change or adjust the system again in a few years’ time while the technologies and equipment will stay up to date.
  • Cost-efficiency with larger scale projects

    Renovation allows larger projects in a building, such as plumbing renovations to take place at the same time. This can be a cost-efficient option.
  • Easier to plan

    During the planning stage of a new installation the costs involved, and the time needed for installation can be calculated precisely. No unpleasant surprises such as having to wait for the replacement part for that pump that turns out to have been broken already for years will occur.

  • Longer lifecycle and guarantee periods for products

    Since all equipment is new, you can rest assured that nothing goes out of warranty any time soon and will be durable for years to come. 

How Fidelix can help me with my BMS retrofit?

Fidelix offers you advice and a site survey on how to carry out a retrofit project that is tailored to your site and its specific needs and qualities.

We also have a versatile range of I/O modules for harnessing the pre-existing cabling on site effectively. In addition, Fidelix has a good selection of room controllers and central control units.

Our local HMIs are modern, capacitive, and customizable to your building, maximizing the ease of use and user-friendliness. We also deal sensors and actuators (wired and wireless), so we are a one-stop-shop for retrofit equipment and partnerships!

Get started with BMS retrofit

Got interested? Whether you’re interested in a specific component in our product catalogue or need extensive building management systems, we got you covered. Let us know how we can help you succeed by getting in touch today:

 

Reinout Ederveen

Product Manager, Benelux
Reinout Ederveen

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