Building Automation System
Valquest, Inc. has developed a proven, cost effective approach to the specification and implementation of Building Automation Systems (BAS). This approach has been used successfully on numerous projects and results in building automation systems that possess the best possible value.
Program Approach and Methodology
The first step involves the assembly of information about the existing energy usage patterns. Typically this is segregated into the following categories:
- Exterior Common Area Lighting
- Interior Common Area Lighting
- Common Area HVAC
- Central Plant
This information also includes an existing control methodology. Analysis of Step 1 information results in the definition of energy usage and cost by category together with an estimate of potential savings.
The second step entails a review of the results from Step 1 with the Property Owner / Management to define their expectations or desires as to return on investment and energy efficiency. Where Central Plans are involved, BAS system payback is usually related to energy reduction of central plan operation, with control of common area lighting and HVAC units being evaluated as marginal added cost.
When the project does not include a Central Plan, the cost of a BAS cannot usually be justified strictly on payback since common area energy charges are a pass-through to tenants. Typically, if the payback is less than two or three years, the BAS costs can be recovered through energy savings by some sort of shared savings or system lease arrangement.
For longer payback periods, the property Owner has to absorb at least some portion of the BAS cost on the basis that reduced common area costs will ultimately result in higher rents. In any event, the result of Step 2 is a clear understanding of what the BAS is to accomplish.
The third step is to prepare a bid package and/or request for proposal, which is submitted to creditable control system contractors or vendors.
The bid package is typically centered on a performance specification, which defines what the BAS is to accomplish together with basic acceptable control methodologies. This is fairly generic in nature so as to allow control system vendors as much freedom as possible in selecting "how-to-do-it"