BRE has published two Information Papers to help non-technical clients and building occupiers specify building controls to provide a comfortable climate for a building’s occupants with the lowest possible energy consumption.

Information Paper 1/14: Understanding the Choices for Building Controls has been produced by BRE, with the support of the Energy Services Technology Association (ESTA) and Siemens Building Technologies.

Many building controls specifications are currently focused on providing the minimum controls requirements rather than innovative, energy saving controls solutions. This is because cutting-edge controls technologies are perceived to be overly technical and complex to operate.

This 16-page document has been produced to overcome these issues by helping clients and building occupiers select the most appropriate controls strategy and technologies for a building in order to help reduce its carbon footprint and to provide a better environment for the occupants. The Paper provides simple explanations of the different control systems available, offers guidance as to where and why each system can, and should, be used along with advice on how to apply a technology to get an effective solution in practice.

Information Paper 2/14: Operating BEMS: A practical guide to building energy management systems has been produced by BRE, with the support of Schneider Electric and ESTA. The Paper has been produced to help the many building users who have a poor understanding of the operation of a building energy management system and so fail to realise potential energy savings. The situation is often compounded by a user’s failure to properly maintain the BEMS and to update it to reflect changes in building layout and variations in use.

The 12-page document provides users with practical instructions on how to effectively operate a BEMS to realise potential energy savings. It outlines the risks that should be considered, and provides an overview of strategic issues the will impact on the operation of the BEMS. As well as covering standard technologies, the paper also covers the latest building management software like Analytics and automatic HVAC optimisation.

Alan Aldridge, former Executive Director of ESTA said: “The control of energy in buildings is generally poor, despite the availability of a range of tried and tested systems incorporating both mature and innovative technologies. These papers will help clients and occupiers better understand controls solutions and help them select an appropriate controls strategy that will save energy”.

Copies of IP 1/14 Understanding the Choices for Building Controls and IP2/14 Operating BEMS: A practical guide to building energy management systems are available to order or download from