Building Controls


Building controls are the lifeblood of modern energy management systems providing valuable data, alerts, and opportunities to automate management tasks.
Effective Building Control Strategy

Powerful results through building automation

Building controls, and the many benefits they enable through efficiency-minded automation can often reduce energy, operational and maintenance costs by 30% or more while also drastically improving occupant comfort and productivity levels.

These intelligent components connect your mechanical and electrical systems together — delivering valuable insights to a single, easy-to-use platform. Most importantly, they enable you to make smarter energy management decisions and reduce costs by 30% or more.

How does a building management system work?

Building controls collect real-time data from various building systems to regulate, monitor, improve and control your building system operations. They send alerts and identify opportunities to calibrate and automate management tasks.

A building management system (BMS) provides valuable insights on equipment performance. It helps your organization move to a proactive maintenance strategy. A BMS provides insights into opportunities for improving efficiency and performance. It provides the ability to diagnose problems and take corrective measures.

What is a building controls system?

Building control systems are smart, user-friendly and affordable. Sometimes called building automation systems, intelligent building controls do more than control lights and HVAC.

The sensors collect information on a myriad of equipment and environment factors including humidity, airflow, air quality, refrigeration temperatures, system run time, and variable frequency drives. The data goes to a computer, called a controller. The controller is connected to the building’s mechanical and electrical systems. The controller automatically analyzes the data.

Based on user-defined rules, the controller sends signals to the various systems and equipment. These signals help optimize energy usage and improve system performance. The rules-based outputs are called control sequences.

An example of a control sequence would be the settings for electrical and mechanical operation during unoccupied hours. The controller sends signals to the systems to turn off lights, set back temperature controls and, if applicable, turn off refrigerated case lights.

Using a secure internet connection, users access the system for visibility into how systems are performing and make programming changes. Frequently, the control system is integrated with a continuous monitoring service to assist in troubleshooting problems.

Benefits of a Building Controls System

Reduction in energy spend is the number one consideration when people think of building control systems.

  • Unoccupied temperature setback controls represent average savings in annual energy use of 9%.
  • Energy savings from lighting controls vary by building architecture and the type of controls utilized.
  • Occupancy based lighting controls average a 24% reduction in energy consumption.
  • Refrigeration controls energy savings average an additional 29 to 40% savings.

Reducing how much you spend on energy is great for your company, the environment, and is an integral part of corporate social responsibility.

Building Controls go beyond energy savings. They maintain occupant comfort levels. Leak detectors and air quality sensors ensure your building space remains safe and in compliance with regulations.

Building Control Systems provide key insights into employee behavior and equipment functionality. Occupant behavior is one of the most challenging aspects of achieving long term energy efficiency. Insights from your BMS help you to establish an occupant behavior baseline. With this information, you can launch a sustainability campaign to onboard users for your energy conservation goals.

With a building controls system in place, tasks for facility management and maintenance become easier with the interactive user interface. Insights gleaned from the data help save money through optimizing performance, extending the equipment lifetime and lowering maintenance costs. Real-time system monitoring alerts managers to any systems or equipment performance outside of normal parameters. With these notices and alarms, costly equipment failures are avoided.

Building Controls Equipment, Design & Program Development

Selecting the most appropriate, flexible and scalable building controls system is an important part of sustainable success. There are a lot of control systems available, and the right choice depends on your building, your type of business and operations. While most building control systems have similar capabilities, they are not equally applicable in various settings.

A system for a retail store with 10,000 square feet has different requirements than a system for a 50,000 square foot building. Likewise, a commercial buildings system differs from a retail chain of produce stores. Effective energy management hinges on selecting a controls platform that meets your organization’s need over time.

The R3 Retail Development team specializes in helping organizations develop an energy management program.  Strategic use of building controls and the application of energy efficiency strategies we meet your energy and budget goals. We are controls agnostic, meaning we can supply or help you procure the equipment that best meets your needs.

Also, see EMS Design to learn more about our in-house system design services. Our controls experts prepare an overall controls system design and construction documents including:

  • specification of the EMS Control Panel (ECP)
  • Refrigeration Alarm Panel (RAP)
  • input-output panels
  • Lighting Control Panel (LCP)
  • HVAC Controls

Our design services include the development of enterprise-wide prototypes. We recommend varying designs fine-tuned for sales volume, architecture, system age, and weather conditions. We coordinate with your Architect, MEP Engineers, and General Contractor to meet controls objectives.

If you would like to discuss a building controls system for your facilities, please give us a call or contact us. We work nationwide and welcome the opportunity to assist you in meeting your efficiency goals.

R3 Grade Building Controls and Automation

Intelligent building controls give more value than energy efficiency gains alone. Leverage the R3 Retail Development expertise to align the right technology and innovative solutions making your facility more productive, comfortable and sustainable today.