This is an excerpt from the minutes from our meeting in April 2017


BEMS Case Study


Stephen McKinnell, Energy Manager, SOAS


Looking at the Brunei Gallery, it was built in 1995, and combines a gallery, teaching space, open spaces, conference spaces – it’s very mixed use. It had boiler plant, two old chillers and various air handling units. Everything seemed to be obsolete the moment the building was opened! The building was G-rated on its DEC, even though it was the newest one on the SOAS estate.


We did an energy audit / survey of the controls, which included some adjustments there and then of various settings. That more or less paid for the audit / survey. We then had a series of works – replacement of valve to reduce simultaneous heating and cooling; installation of variable speed drives on fans; installation of PIRs for heating / cooling. For specialist need (eg, in the gallery space), we gave the curator a keyswitch so when the exhibitions were changing over, they could activate it and the setpoints would be relaxed to reduce energy. On hot water, we’ve put in a deadband to manage temperature of the water more effectively.


We’re still struggling to get the interface between the BMS and a new chiller.


Our DEC rating improved to a D; heating was reduced by 55%. Hopefully we can maintain it; we have an SLA with Trend to keep on top of this.


Another example is the Phillips Building: the heating system was a single pipe – we were able to zone it quite effectively around the building to take advantage of the glazing. When it’s a sunny day, we can shut down the heating on the south side of the building. This more or less halved heating consumption. We’re now looking at double glazing too.


An important issue is user interfaces – people twiddle old thermostats and think they’re doing something (they’re not) but they don’t complain! But we’re now trying to give people more genuine control of temperatures by a degree or two.