How a BAS Engineer Helps During Each Phase of Your Project

bas engineer

Do You Need Yet Another Consultant? How Would Hiring a BAS Engineer Help You?

While a building automation system (BAS) engineer can play a critical role in project delivery and success, most building owners are reluctant to hire yet another consultant. But a BAS engineer can help you take control of your project’s success in each phase, from design, to procurement, to construction, to commissioning, to tuning and trend verification, to closeout.

If you read our previous article, Project Delivery Methods Might Be Why Your BAS Isn’t Working, you know there’s an industry paradigm that delays focusing on the building management system (BMS) until it becomes a complex problem later in the project. By then, resources are depleted and time is no longer on your side.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how a dedicated BAS engineer, like Enica Engineering, can help pull BMS focus forward in the timeline and surface it higher on the priority list. So, how do we do it? It starts during design.


The Design Phase: A BAS Engineer Starts with the Dynamic Requirements

Enica’s design approach starts with the BAS requirements first. Specifically, we start with the dynamic requirements the automation system must deliver. It’s key to understand the difference between the destination and the roadmap:

  • Destination: “The requirements are where we are going.”
  • Roadmap: “The basis of design (and ultimately the design) is how we are getting there.”

Using these two concepts, Enica aligns the design team in the proper direction. A BAS engineer takes the reins to solidify and memorialize the dynamic requirements early in the project. This sets the foundation for a “roadmap” or design driven towards achieving the system requirements.


BAS Engineering Uses a Value-Focused Roadmap

The next step in the process is to deliver an automation-focused design that establishes a clear roadmap that limits misinterpretation. A BAS engineer’s intent is to deliver a detailed design that specifies the value-course to a level of detail that leaves little room for deviation from requirements.

Design teams need to be extra clear with the BMS scope. Peer reviews and CX reviews can help, but often fall short. You need a deep technical understanding of network architecture, device I/O, and system control sequencing to produce a design that can be competitively bid and effectively used to ensure compliance during construction. A BAS engineer can help you achieve this.

Related: Why Building Automation Needs to Be Part of Your New Project from the Start >>


The Procurement Phase: A BAS Engineer Establishes Contractor Alignment

Proper contractor alignment during the procurement phase is essential in order to properly match fees to scope and limit potential misunderstandings during construction. This game-changing approach requires all stakeholders, especially the contractor, to be thoroughly versed in the BAS scope, requirements, and expectations during construction and beyond.


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The Construction Phase: A BAS Engineer Builds Upon the Detailed Scope

With the requisite level of BAS scope specified, memorialized, and established during the design phase, the process needs to be kept on course during construction. Things change along the way, but the initial requirements typically don’t. Collaboration through effective communication keeps the BAS team on course and in agreement throughout the construction process.

The BAS details provided during the design phase serve as the source of truth for alignment during construction. With the goal of achieving the requirements at the forefront of every decision, you’ll make decisions effectively and confidently.

With a dedicated BAS engineer on your team, you can effectively incorporate the following game-changing steps earlier in the project timeline and avoid a scramble at the end of the project:

  • Review BAS programming during the submittal phase.
  • Bench test (or factory acceptance test) the BAS programming code offline.
  • Accept BAS graphics prior to turnover.
  • Enforce owner’s BAS standards earlier in the project timeline.


The Commissioning Phase: A BAS Engineer Thoroughly Vets the Automation System

To fully realize the benefits of commissioning, the automation system needs to be verified and thoroughly vetted for proper operation. Functional demonstrations of the entire sequence of operation are not possible unless the automation system is installed and performing as required. Maintaining focus on the importance of automation during commissioning keeps the team’s eye on the prize and towards achieving the requirements.

Related: HVAC Commissioning: Why You Need to Test for Performance >>


The Tuning and Trend Verification Phase: A BAS Engineer Takes a Pragmatic Approach

The tuning and trend verification phase is an essential step in the process that is often overlooked. The BAS team takes a pragmatic approach to implementing the necessary adjustments and monitoring performance over time to ensure requirements are being achieved.


Closeout: A BAS Engineer Keeps the End Users in Mind

Enica’s approach to closeout and training is to facilitate the delivery of a turnover package that is relevant and practical for the end users. The detailed sequence of operation serves as a deep learning tool and an effective troubleshooting enhancement for future operators looking for specifics on how the system works.

The automation system won’t perform properly if operators and the automation system are not in sync. A BAS engineer’s intent is to enhance the operations team’s understanding of the system. This will allow the team to improve automation and effectively monitor performance, while avoiding counterproductive overrides or manual setpoint manipulations.


The First Step: Hire the Right BAS Engineering Firm

In this day and age, with increasingly more complex building automation systems driving smart building innovation, arming yourself with the right BAS technical expertise early in the project is essential to keep your project team on track.

Proper deployment of the right technical resources sets your project up for success by providing the necessary dedicated focus at the right time. While the traditional BAS project delivery method might be broken, having a BAS engineer in your corner fighting for you is a game changer that can set your project up for success.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of hiring a BAS engineer?

Contact our team today to discuss your next project >>