January 2019

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Building Management Systems for Small and Medium-size Buildings 

Small and Medium size Buildings (SMB) are characterized by three important metrics: building size, business size, and energy consumption.

Jakub GorskiJakub Górski
Director of Product Management
Global Control 5 Sp. z. o.o.

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Small and Medium size Buildings (SMB) are characterized by three important metrics: building size, business size, and energy consumption. Floor space is always an important indicator for any automation solution as it defines used technology. Business size reflects the value of specific use of a building, and that is why it influences any automation infrastructure: we will have a different solution for a warehouse and a different solution for the data centre on the same floor space. Finally, the energy efficiency of equipment became an important factor due to a rising cost of energy but still is not the top priority for SMB customers as the usual focus is on growing business not cutting costs. Despite the lack of interest in energy demand, reaching energy efficiency standards may bring financial incentives from a government agency which could help the economy of a BMS investment.

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Building Management System Requirements

The SMB customer point of view seems to be one-dimensional: affordable price. However many business challenges that SMB face and a huge need from building users is to have a similar experience as they have in top office buildings bring the following requirements for a  suitable building solution: affordability, simplicity, and energy-savings wise.

Business Benefits from having suitable BMS

Besides  energy saving, SMB owners will be more interested in bringing new business rather than cutting costs which is a more nice-to-have option. It is important to identify additional benefits beyond energy efficiency:

A well-known standard for Business Improvement

One of the major benefits of a Building Management System (BMS) is the ability to provide a single tool for business and energy management. The right BMS platform will support the goals of the C-suite, operations staff and local workers. BMS offers customers unified platform either on the cloud or locally which brings data together (data aggregation) across information silos combining technology dates (e.g., temperature) with business ones (number of sells). Once the data is centralized, BMS builds great visualisation for the right communication and avoidance of failure and losses: dashboards, mobile accessibility, alerts and many more creator superb views of facility performance.

Technology fulfilling SMB needs

The key cost-affordability factor combining with taught SMB business challenges brings a hard-to-reach solution. Latest technology and dropping of processor costs will allow such companies as GC5 to design a new version of the controller – all-in-one solution. iSMA-B-MAC36NL is such a controller which is equipped not only with well known Niagara Framework but also has 36 I/O, HDMI and full integration of building protocols (BACnet IP, BACnet MS/TP, Modbus TCP, Modbus RTU, M-Bus, SNMP). All of this to bring the tool that will fulfill restricted SMB customers need – high price awareness. Thanks to use of a powerful dual-core process it will be possible to deliver need functionality of standard building combining this with HDMI graphic card which allows user to save money on PC, licenses, configuration and also engineers will save vast amount of time as it will be possible to configure only the controller without losing time to set-up HMI panel. With iSMA-B-MAC36NL and its HDMI functionality, all panels will work as a display. One configuration brings both control strategy and visualisation which will be displayed on an HDMI monitor.

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Niagara 4 – a perfect fit for SMB

[an error occurred while processing this directive]With over 725,000 instances worldwide, Niagara is the operating system of buildings. Niagara enables to connect and control devices while normalizing, visualizing and analysing data. Niagara 4 delivers a variety of notable improvements to help businesses take full advantage of the smart approach, including advanced visualization and new search, security, and navigation tools. Installed on iSMA-B-MAC36NL, Niagara 4 brings the functionality existing in skyscrapers to the world of Small and Medium-size Buildings. Additionally, the popularity of the Niagara environment comes with a great number of engineers that will be able to configure and deliver a turn-key solution for the best possible price as expert knowledge is easily available.


SMB owners now can deliver to their clients the high-end experience of the big building but for the price which they can afford. It is possible due to a unique combination of the latest hardware innovation installed in iSMA-B-MAC36NL and popular software for building Niagara 4. The  combination of two: great technology and an easy available software solution cover all SMB needs: affordability – needed features for price range existing in SMB world, simplicity – Niagara 4 well-known approach gives a simple solution for both engineers and business users and energy-savings wise – many control strategies might be implemented on iSMA-B-MAC36NL due to its computing power. Global Control 5 manufacturers will provide the iSMA-B-MAC36NL controller with a tested control strategy for energy efficiency as well. iSMA-B-MAC36NL is a great solution for many small and medium size buildings and their owners. Thanks to the Global Control 5 controller all SMB buildings can afford to have the standard functionality of BMS. iSMA-B-MAC36NL provides mini BMS for them!

About the Author

Jakub Górski, Director of Product Management - An expert in building automation and energy efficiency in buildings. He has cooperated with such companies as Siemens, and Schneider Electric.  Privately, Jakub is a literary lover and author of the book "Real journey".

GC5About the Company

Global Control 5, one of the Niagara Community members, is the Polish leader in hardware and software technology. Being a global company, we create and deliver intelligent building automation technology ranging from peripherals and sensors through edge devices to cloud services.

These comprehensive solutions for building automation are created under its own brand iSMA (Intelligent Solution Managing Automation). iSMA products allow integrators to create competitive control systems of all installations in the building. iSMA products are fully made in Poland and sold with global success. Global Control 5 works closely with international companies and successfully sells iSMA products in many countries around the world. The solutions proposed by the Global Control 5 Sp. z o. o. are prepared in accordance with the specific and unique needs of any client. iSMA products allow integrators to create competitive control systems of all installations in the building. The ability to integrate Niagara Framework® with the other systems allows building manager to obtain flexible selection of products.

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