Protect Building Owners from
Hidden Fees After Installation
BAS Specification Checklist
The proliferation of microprocessor-based building systems in today’s increasingly complex buildings, coupled with the varying needs and operational priorities of facility managers, requires that the Building Automation System specified be carefully tailored to these needs at the right cost.
A vitally important element in achieving this is ensuring that customers receive the most accurate and complete BAS scope and pricing (i.e. – no change orders, no missing features). This will ensure their priorities and long-term goals are met. The success in achieving this must be driven by detailed, accurate, and complete BAS specifications and drawings, which will ensure delivery of the best system at the best cost.
Radius Systems is committed to lending our expertise and experience through BAS specification writing and system design, including sharing free online tools for preparing bid specifications of HVAC Control Systems.
Radius Systems can provide multiple tools for specifying engineers and building owners/facility managers that provide step-by-step guidance for precisely evaluating and specifying the BAS capabilities you wish to include in the BAS. This will ensure that you achieve a secure, reliable, and energy efficient Building Automation System. The benefits of utilizing these tools include:
- Eliminate surprise change orders and additional fees after installation by using our Building Automation System Evaluation Tool, which asks key questions up front on what is included in each Building Automation System. Evaluating these key updated BAS capabilities will ensure the specification is written to include exactly what the building needs now and in the future.
- Save time on Specifications by utilizing CtrlSpecBuilder.com, which generates specifications that should allow all major Direct Digital Control (DDC) manufacturers to bid a job. Need a walkthrough of this free online tool? Contact Us here.
- Save valuable resources for both the engineering firm and the customer by taking advantage of our BAS focused and knowledgeable Sales Engineering team. Not only can we assist in specification development and BAS design, but we also provide insights into the practical considerations of day-to-day performance and operation of a BAS, 3rd party integration, IT/Cybersecurity, alarm notification, and long-term maintenance costs, and more, which ensures the system is designed correctly from the start and provides the best long-term ROI.
BAS Specification Checklist
Protect Building Owners from Hidden Fees After Installation:
- Prioritize these BAS concerns: comfort, energy savings, occupant health?
These concerns affect HVAC design of the building and has a broad impact on the level of instrumentation that goes into the building along with the optimized control sequences to meet the needs of the customer.
- What level of engagement with the system does the customer want to achieve?
Protect the building owners from hidden costs by asking about the level of engagement and user security customization needed. Does the system need to allow operators to manage the campus/building(s) through the interface or will the system be used as an occasional monitoring tool? Do they want the facilities staff fully trained on the system (i.e. to be able to service and operate the system independently)? Do the operators need access to the operational or energy dashboards?
- How important is the User Interface?
Which features are important? Graphics? Trending? Alarming? Make sure those requirements are spelled out in detail in the specification so the customers get exactly what they want and are not surprised by hidden costs. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that key system capabilities are included – only to find out later that they are not. Delve into the key details of the operator interface to know exactly what you are getting.
- Direct Control versus Integration?
Integration to equipment such as rooftop units means the end customer is calling two different companies to solve control issues. It also precludes the overall enterprise BAS from modifying software in the 3rd party system. Is this acceptable to the end user?
- What are the facility’s specific energy benchmark (Energy Star) goals?
Are energy savings capabilities built-in to the proposed BAS? Or are energy-savings sequences/capabilities added cost? What experience does the vendor have in performing this type of work, what references can they provide?
- What level of enterprise systems integration do you wish to perform?
This requires the BAS have controllers and software with the flexibility to accommodate the integration of large quantity of points, be based on an open standard such as ASHRAE 135 BACnet, support multiple communication protocols, and have the system-wide capability to integrate 3rd party systems.
- Does the BAS need to be on the company network? Is there an opinion or preference for IP based controllers vs. non-IP based controllers?
IT/Cybersecurity knowledge is paramount in the BAS world of today. Does the BAS organization you are evaluating have the skills, experience, and expertise to support your needs and ensure a safe BAS environment? What cybersecurity features does the BAS hardware and software inherently include?
- Is the priority bleeding edge technology? Initial cost? System flexibility/performance? Is long-term cost more important than short-term/initial cost? How does the size of the client maintenance staff factor into this?
All of these factors drive decisions regarding the level of instrumentation, sophistication of the user interface, and overall design of the system.
- What vendor qualifications are most important?
Responsiveness? Service support after installation? Availability of training? Depth/expertise of the organization? Organization size? 24×7 service availability? Quality, reliability, and sophistication of the products used? Track record/references?
- Does the system need to be an overarching enterprise monitoring system for the facility and therefore integrate all the different microprocessor-based systems to be brought all into the BAS?