Why is chapter 15 important to our
Review ASHRAE GreenGuide
by Ken Sinclair
Have you seen?
CHAPTER FIFTEEN BUILDING AUTOMATION SYSTEMS in ASHRAE new GreenGuide?
A Guide for the Design, Construction, and Operation of Sustainable Buildings
This is one of the best documentations of our Building Automation Industry's role in Green Building Design that I have seen.
ASHRAE GreenGuide aims to help you answer your biggest question—“What
do I do now?” Using an integrated, building systems perspective, it gives you
the need-to-know information on what to do, where to turn, what to suggest, and
how to interact with other members of the design team in a productive way.
Information is provided on each stage of the building process, from planning to
operation and maintenance of a facility, with emphasis on teamwork and close
coordination among interested parties.
Why is chapter 15 important to our industry?
control systems play an important part in the operation of a building
and determine whether many of the green design aspects included in the
original plan actually function as intended. Controls for HVAC and
related systems have evolved over the years, but in general, they can be described as either
distributed (local) or centralized. Local controls are generally
packaged devices that are provided with the equipment. A building
automation system (BAS), on the other hand, is a form of central
control capable of coordinating local control operation and controlling
HVAC and other systems (e.g., life-safety, lighting, water
distribution, and security from a central location). Control systems
are at the core of building performance. When they work well, the
indoor environment promotes productivity with the lighting, comfort,
and ventilation people need to carry out their tasks effectively and
efficiently. When they break down, the results are higher utility
bills, loss of productivity, and discomfort. In modern buildings,
direct digital control systems operate lights, chilled- or hot-water
plants, ventilation, space temperature and humidity control, plumbing
systems, electrical systems, life-safety systems, and other building
systems. These control systems can assist in conserving resources
through the scheduling, staging, modulation, and optimization of
equipment to meet the needs of the occupants and systems that they are
designed to serve. The control system can assist with operation and
maintenance through the accumulation of equipment runtimes, display of
trend logs, use of part-load performance modeling equations, and
automated alarms. Finally, the control system can interface with a
central repository for building maintenance information where operation
and maintenance manuals or equipment ratings, such as pump curves, are stored as electronic documents available through a
hyperlink on the control system graphic for the appropriate system.
This chapter presents the key issues to designing, commissioning, and maintaining control systems for optimal performance.
This chapter is divided into seven sections as follows: Chapter 15: Building Automation Systems
• Control System Role in Delivering Energy Efficiency. Through
scheduling, optimal loading and unloading, optimal setpoint
determination, and fault detection, controls have the capability of
reducing building energy usage by up to 20% (or sometimes even more) in
a typical commercial building.
• Control System Role in Delivering Water Efficiency. Used primarily in
landscape irrigation and leak detection, controls can significantly
reduce water usage compared to systems
with simplistic control (such as time clock-based irrigation
controllers). Building controls can also provide trending and alarming
for potable and nonpotable water usage.
• Control System Role in Delivering Indoor Envirommental Quality (IEQ).
In most commercial buildings, controls play a crucial role in providing
IEQ. Controls can regulate the quantities of outdoor air brought into
the building based on occupancy levels, zone ventilation, zone
temperature, and relative humidity, and can monitor the loading of air
• Control System Commissioning Process. Of all the building systems,
controls are the most susceptible to problems in installation. These
can be addressed by a thorough process of commissioning and
postcommissioning performance verification.
• Control System Role in Attaining Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEEDŽ) Certification. This section describes the
elements of LEED certification that can be addressed by control system
design and implementation.
• Designing for Sustained Efficiency. Control systems help ensure
continued efficient building operation by enabling measurement and
verification (M&V) of building performance and serving as a
repository of maintenance procedures.
Chapter 15 provides a great
overview of the control systems' roles in Green Building design while providing connection to how to obtain LEED credits;
CONTROL SYSTEM ROLE IN ATTAINING LEED CERTIFICATION
In Chapter 7, the LEEDŽ and other green building rating programs are
discussed. This section explicitly discusses how controls can be used
in various sections of the LEED 2009 Green Building Operations and
Maintenance (USGBC 2009) (for existing buildings) and the LEED 2009 for
New Construction and Major Renovations (USGBC 2009). (These are the
latest versions in effect as of this writing.) A BAS or building
control system can be of great assistance with the certification and
maintaining certification for existing buildings under the
LEED-Existing Building program, but the impact is dependent on the type
of control system available within the building. This section on LEED
and controls will connect control methods discussed earlier in this
chapter with either of the two LEED rating systems cited above. The
credit areas that can be affected include the following:
Be sure to get your copy of this
important guide and work with your consultants and clients to insure
that their projects are automatically green forever
How can non ASHRAE members get
The guide is available at ASHRAE's online bookstore at member and non-member pricing. The book also has a
student price and is encouraged for use in classroom instruction in
engineering, construction and architectural curricula.
http://www.ashrae.org/greenguideASHRAE has a vast resources
available to the building community to reduce the environmental footprint of
buildings. Standards 189.1 and 90.1 come to immediate mind.
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