BAS and Why You Should Have It

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BAS in short stands for Building Automated Systems. It makes smart buildings smarter by integrating multiple devices to be controlled by a common interface that can log and excel what the building needs to be the most efficient system to help the owners and operators.

If done correctly the BAS will work in the most efficient way producing less cost on building costs and maintainance. The operators responsible could have remote operation or remote alerts to decrease down time of the building and thus improve building efficiently.

There are many types of BAS environments out in the world today calming to be the best. Many such systems are too costly with way too much overhead to ever get back an ROI. The trick is to choose correctly of have a trusted consultant match your building with the correct system. The main goal is to have the most efficient system that does the best job and having your ROI come back to you in the fastest way. Like the saying goes: “Having your Cake and Eating it to”.

There are lots of factors when updating an existing BAS or adding a BAS. The trick is making everything talk to each other. Great examples could be the chiller system (cooling plant) able to tell if the building is occupied. Or why light the building on all floors if the 3rd floor is only in use. Is the heating system needed in all areas of the building or can we minimize the heat load to who is there? Setbacks, setups, load shifting, load sequencing, load balancing, BACnet, web integration, short stroke timeout, delays, logging data, charting data are all many factors making a BAS what in needs to be today. The Graphics Package also needs to be top of the line in response time as well as reporting time. Truth be told it doesn’t need to show the exact hardware installed but a true graphical system of the whole system connected to that device with sequence of operations to be used at that time to reduce the learning curve and not having to find a system manual in a time of emergency. The BAS is there to help / aid you and not hinder you!

A common mistake found by designers are the cooling plants. They start off as a working design to test and commission the chillers. They fill up the screens with data then need only to only delete them after they are done. Then they add the extra info the customer wants to an all ready very busy screen. When done the graphics are too slow or not showing the correct system, they will show the chiller and reference connected systems but not the whole cooling system. A good consultant will not only work with the engineers but also with the designers and after the commissioning is done and the correct programming is completed then the correct system graphics are installed with sequence of operations linkable to be brought up if needed. It will include the full cooling plant including pumps, flow directions, automatic and manual cutoffs, valves, temperatures and schedules and many more. The trick is to include how the system looks and works with being useable but not to much overbearing. Seeing the big picture not just a corner of it can keep problems in hardware with down time at a limited amount and thus saving the owners money.

Everyone always asks why have a likable sequence of operations and not the full text on the screen at all times??? The answer is it take up valuable real-estate and is not needed by the main operator who already knows how the system should work, it is only needed when a temporary operator is using the system in covering vacations. It is very handy to have in PDF format to be able to print out and follow with system graphics. It should always be updated with the current sequence of operations and any changes to the system or it becomes very useless very fast.

You could have the heating systems, cooling systems, VAV systems, lighting systems, security systems, door systems, fire systems and video systems all integrated. They could be controlled individually or grouped by systems and controlled by the main BAS. They all could be monitored and trended for data retrieval at a later time. Power monitoring with load shedding can be introduced for cost savings. Heat loads and cold loads can be ruled out through the building and controlled with no overshooting. Systems could be scheduled and / or algorithms could be used to control devices based on sequences of operations with set points.

Types of useful additions to plants could be an eviction plan due to an emergency alarm. Shutdown of HVAC as well as lighting systems to light the way out. Heat treating modes for plants could also be used with BAS, no lighting needed but monitoring of systems with no people involved in such conditions can be very useful.

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