The Ultimate Guide to Building Automation Systems

Building automatic system (BAS) is an intelligent system of both software and hardware, joining heating, venting, and air conditioning system (HVAC), security, lighting, and other units to transmit on a single source. This enables the automatic system to deliver significant data on the operational performance of a building and improve the comfort and safety of the occupant.

Commonly, different types of automation units are installed in a newly constructed building or as an aspect of a retrofitting procedure of an old facility. Extending the life cycle of the utilities, improving residents’ productivity and comfort, reducing maintenance costs, and reducing energy consumption are the main objectives of building automation systems.

Building Automation Systems Functions

BAS-controlling buildings are sometimes known as smart or intelligent buildings. This is because it is more user-friendly, less expensive to operate, and offers a greener option. A centralized control unit handles most of the processes. Highly advanced units are controlled remotely on distinct mobile devices through particular platforms or apps which leads to the “smart buildings” terminology. The functions of a Building Automation System include:

1. Energy Management: BAS can monitor energy usage and help optimize building performance, reducing energy consumption and costs.

2. HVAC Control: This automatic system helps to control HVAC systems, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, to ensure optimal comfort and indoor air quality.

3. Lighting Control: BAS can control lighting systems to optimize energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, and improve occupant comfort.

4. Security and Access Control: This includes access control, video surveillance, and intrusion detection, to improve building safety and security.

5. Environmental Monitoring: This means BAS can monitor indoor and outdoor environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and air quality, and adjust to maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

6. Equipment Monitoring and Maintenance: It can monitor equipment performance, detect equipment faults or malfunctions, and alert maintenance personnel for timely repairs, reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

7. Occupant Comfort and Productivity: This is done by maintaining optimal environmental conditions, lighting, and other building systems.

8. Remote Monitoring and Control: BAS can be accessed remotely to monitor and control building systems, providing real-time data and alerts for improved building performance and reduced energy costs.

Overall, the main function of a Building Automation System is to optimize building performance, reduce energy consumption and costs, and improve occupant comfort and productivity.

Which Systems Can Incorporate Building Automation Systems?

A few systems that can be part of the BAS are mentioned below:

· HVAC systems

· Rooftop units

· Security systems such as surveillance alarms and cameras

· An electrical system such as lighting

· Fire alarms and other emergency units

· Plumbing units

· Elevators, and much more.

Elements of BAS

BAS commonly comprises five elements. They interact and communicate with each other as explained below.

1. Sensors: They are the devices that keep track of the lighting levels, temperature, humidity, and how many individuals are there in the hall when there’s smoke in the hall. After collecting this data, it shifts them to the controllers.

2. Controllers: They are the brain of a building automation system. Controllers help to gather all the data from the sensors and as per that data, send commands to all the interlinked devise such as lighting systems, HVAC systems, and so on.

3. Output devices: Actuators or relays of a particular unit follow the new requirements or instructions, whenever the controllers send out a command. For instance, switch in the air conditioner or heating unit at 8 pm so when you go to sleep at 10 pm, it will be properly air-conditioned or heated respectively.

4. Communication protocols: Every BAS uses a specific language to join every single element. Protocols like BACnet (Building Automation Control Network) and Modus help every element to send and receive data to manage its settings and execute commands.

5. Terminal interface: Each BAS comprises of terminal or user interface from which facility and building operators can access it. The terminal interface helps consumers to know about the data transferred between each element and offers the chance for making adjustments manually.

Advantages of a BAS

Modern BAS is prepared with several meters and sensors which offer several benefits not only to building managers but also to occupants and employees of the building in regard to comfort and increased productivity. Common benefits are:

1. Financial aspect: Although the implementation of a BAS is costly but properly used one pays for itself over time by reducing the utility bills and maintenance costs. When the usage of every element of the system is optimized, its lifeline improves which leads to higher indirect savings.

2. Occupants’ comfort: The biggest advantage of using an automated HVAC system is providing proper temperature in summer and winter by adjusting the temperature before anyone arrives in the building and after everyone leaves.

3. Environment aspect: Smart buildings have fewer carbon footprints which makes them energy-efficient and sustainable. This helps to build to receive certifications like energy star, tenant star, or LEED. Several building managers are specifically interested in having a portfolio of energy-efficient buildings.


Incorporating a BAS into a building can provide significant benefits, such as improved energy efficiency, reduced operating costs, and enhanced occupant comfort and safety. However, implementing a BAS requires careful planning, design, and integration with existing building systems, which can be complex and costly. Overall, a well-designed and properly maintained BAS can provide significant long-term benefits for building owners and occupants.

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