April 2015
Column
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Control System Retrofits

Many buildings though are operating with the same control systems that were installed when the building was constructed, ten or more years ago.

Paul Ehrlich, Ira Goldschmidt & Angela Lewis
Building Intelligence Group

As published
Engineered Systems 
April Issue - BAS Column

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Control Solutions, Inc

On average, Americans keep their smartphones for two years before trading up to the latest model.  Laptop computers have a useful life expectancy of around four years.  Many buildings though are operating with the same control systems that were installed when the building was constructed, ten or more years ago.  While we do expect a building control system to have a longer life expectancy than a smartphone, it is important to keep in mind that these systems do need to be regularly updated and in many cases, replaced periodically.  Here are some of the key issues we examine when evaluating a building control system:

When considering upgrading or replacing an existing control system, we recommend starting with a careful examination of how well the system is working, what needs to be replaced or upgraded, and how satisfied the owner is with the existing system and the supporting supplier or contractor.  In many cases, it makes sense to work with the existing supplier to upgrade the system, but it is also a good idea to carefully consider all options, including system replacement.  On many projects, it has been less expensive and offered improved performance to replace an old system with a new open system.


About the Authors
Paul and IraPaul and Ira first worked together on a series of ASHRAE projects including the BACnet committee and Guideline 13 – Specifying DDC Controls. The formation of Building Intelligence Group provided them the ability to work together professionally providing assistance to owners with the planning, design and development of Intelligent Building Systems. Building Intelligence Group provides services for clients worldwide including leading Universities, Corporations, and Developers. More information can be found at www.buildingintelligencegroup.com  We also invite you to contact us directly at Paul@buildingintelligencegroup.com or ira@buildingintelligencegroup.com


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