Building Automation systems are most commonly implemented in large projects with extensive mechanical, HVAC, and electrical systems. Systems linked to a BMS typically represent 40% of a building's energy usage; if lighting is included, this number approaches to 70%. BMS systems are a critical component to managing energy demand. Improperly configured BMS systems are believed to account for 20% of building energy usage, or approximately 8% of total energy usage in the United States.
In addition to controlling the building's internal environment, BMS systems are sometimes linked to access control (turnstiles and access doors controlling who is allowed access and egress to the building) or other security systems such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) and motion detectors. Fire alarm systems and elevators are also sometimes linked to a BMS, for monitoring. In case a fire is detected then only the fire alarm panel could shut off dampers in the ventilation system to stop smoke spreading and send all the elevators to the ground floor and park them to prevent people from using them.
Building management systems have also included disaster-response mechanisms (such as base isolation) to save structures from earthquakes. In more recent times, companies and governments have been working to find similar solutions for flood zones and coastal areas at-risk to rising sea-levels.