Building Automation and Controls

“A world where energy-efficiency and sustainability in every building is achieved through the optimal application of building controls, automation systems and services.”

The eu.bac Building Automation sector group represents European manufacturers of Building Automation and Controls and Services for residential and non-residential buildings.

BACS integrate information from all the building services equipment: heating and cooling systems, ventilation and air conditioning systems, lighting and blinds, fire and security devices etc.

What is Building Automation and Controls? 

In very simple terms, you can think of Building Automation and Controls – BAC as the ‘brain’ that controls the ‘body’ – i.e. the building. They can:

 Give visibility to energy consumption in a building (e.g. display actual energy use through monitoring systems)

  Identify when a particular function is being met and automatically reduce energy use in response (e.g. turning off the heating when the building is warm enough),

  Optimise the use of energy sources (e.g. turning off artificial lighting when there is enough daylight)

  Respond to occupancy and behaviour (e.g. reducing ventilation rates when sensing that an area of a building is unoccupied)

  Contribute to temporarily lower electricity use in buildings and homes when the electricity grid is nearing capacity (if combined with Demand Response schemes, building automation and controls can help to adapt buildings’ energy consumption to the grid’s demand).  As a result, these technologies minimise the lifetime costs of the building whilst guaranteeing comfort for the building user because required functions will be delivered.   

What are the potential energy savings from building automation and controls?

The potential reduction in thermal and electrical energy consumption in all sectors is substantial

 26% in educational institutions and hospitals

 27% in residential buildings

 41% in hotels and restaurants

 49% in wholesale and retail buildings

 52% in office and lecture halls

 What about cost and installation?

Building automation and controls ensure average payback times of 3 to 5 years at low investment volumes and with long-lasting impacts on energy savings. These are some of the most cost-effective energy efficiency technologies and the easiest to implement.

 You can install new building automation and controls at any point in the renovation cycle.  If you do it as part of a major renovation job, the effect of the controls is added to the rest of the energy efficiency improvements. If done as a ‘stand-alone-job’, the effect is still marked – and can be augmented later by other interventions.