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Definition
Building Automation Systems (BAS) optimize the start-up and performance of HVAC equipment and alarm systems. BAS greatly increases the interaction of mechanical subsystems within a building, improve occupant comfort, lower energy use and allow off-site building control.
Description
Building Automation Systems (BAS) use computer-based monitoring to coordinate, organize and optimize building control sub-systems such as security, fire/life safety, elevators, etc. Common applications include

  • equipment scheduling (turning equipment off and on as required)
  • optimum start/stop (turning heating and cooling equipment on in advance to ensure the building is at the required temperature during occupancy)
  • operator adjustment (accessing operator set-points that tune system to changing conditions)
  • monitoring (logging of temperature, energy use, equipment start times, operator logon, etc)
  • alarm reporting (notifying the operator of failed equipment, out of limit temperature/pressure conditions or need for maintenance)

Benefits

  • improves and documents occupant comfort
  • reduces heating, ventilation, and cooling costs through improved sub-system management
  • reduces time required to monitor and manage building operation
  • allows support and diagnostics from remote location

Limitations

  • must be manually operated to improve occupant comfort, indoor air quality, building energy use and environmental impact
  • quantity and complexity of sub-systems must be great enough to warrant cost of system

Cost
Computerized DDC control has evolved rapidly in the last few years with costs dropping significantly. It is difficult to determine the “per point” cost of BAS because bundled points included with HVAC equipment are inherited when common network connections are made.

A range of $50 to $300 per point is common, depending on the mix of included points. This estimated range includes real or physical points only and does not include the large number of virtual points included in most systems. These estimates include remote communication to a networked personal computer and operating software.

The cost to manage and integrate, or have the future potential to integrate, is extremely low, or in most cases no cost.