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What is Building Automation

What is Building Automation speaks to how are buildings controlled which in fact refers to a computerized intelligent building system.

This information is presented in simple terms, to help provide an understanding of the systems available. It is a computerized, intelligent network of devices which will monitor and control the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanical systems, lighting systems, security systems, fire systems and elevators in a building.

The automation system will ensure that the building operates at the lowest energy use level possible. The building controls work in tandem with each other to assure minimum energy use.

The system provides for lighting on off control based on a preselected occupancy schedule. A BAS controlled facility decreases energy costs and maintenance costs as compared to a non BAS controlled building.

If a building is automatically controlled it is referred to as an intelligent building system.

BAS Explained Components

The components may be:

  • Operator work station which provides for human interface with the system.
  • Printer.
  • Webserver.
  • Primary bus for level 1 communications.
  • Programmable logic controllers.
  • Secondary bus for level 2 communications.
  • Central plant controllers.
  • HVAC controllers.
  • Boiler controllers.
  • Lighting controller.
  • Security controller.
  • Control card reader.
  • Parking controller.

    Inputs and outputs may be analog or digital. Analog points are used to read a variable measurement. Digital points are used to indicate or control the starting and stopping of mechanical devices.


  • HVAC control set points and conditions transmission.
  • Occupancy.
  • Lighting.
  • Air handlers of all types.
  • Central plant.
  • Chilled water system.
  • Condenser water system.
  • Heating water system.
  • Alarms and security.

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