Automation, Controls

Your questions answered: How to Specify Integrated Automation and Connected Buildings Using MasterFormat Division 25 Specifications

The June 6, 2019 “How to Specify Integrated Automation and Connected Buildings Using MasterFormat Division 25 Specifications” webcast presenter addressed questions not covered during the live event.
By Brad Bonfiglio, Schneider Electric June 18, 2019

This webcast introduced the concept of achieving a smart integrated building design using a not well-known American Institute of Architects (AIA) MasterFormat Division 25 Specification. In today’s world, with data traffic growing exponentially, mobile phones being a primary source of information, and building owners wanting a future ready building that is sustainable and can evolve around occupant/tenant needs, there is an increased demand for more intelligent and connected buildings. With building management systems costing only 1% to 2% of the building’s construction and lasting more than 20 years, we are seeing an increased demand using MasterFormat Division 25 Specification to produce high performance buildings. This presentation is intended to help designers, specifiers and engineers gain a better understanding on how they can adapt and adjust to digitization within connected buildings through understanding trends, use cases and what a MasterFormat Division 25 Specification is.

Key topics include:

  • Illustrate an understanding on how trends drive connectivity.
  • Defining Intelligent Buildings and how they interact with one another.
  • Summarize what a Master Division 25 Specification is.
  • Analyze use cases affecting energy codes, wellness and workplace efficiency.

Presenter Brad Bonfiglio, consultant solution architect director, Schneider Electric, responded to questions not answered during the live “How to Specify Integrated Automation and Connected Buildings Using MasterFormat Division 25 Specifications” webcast on June 6, 2019.

Question: What are the differences between Division 2309xx and Division 25? Also, what is the enforceable cost-conscious specification language? Specs are often 50 pages long and mostly copy/paste, what affects the cost, how to control the depth of integration and arm the commissioning agent?

Brad Bonfiglio: We view 2309xx as the specification for HVAC controls and Div. 25 as an integrated architecture/system specification – which can be the building management system (BMS) if it is capable – that integrates other divisions together using use cases to define their applications. Since Div. 25 usually is procured through the general/construction manager, this can be coordinated with the commissioning agent. Our Div. 25 is unique. It is does not copy/paste from other sections and is less than 30 pages, mostly defining the use cases to what the owner/developer will obtain in performance.

Q: Do you think the building intelligence quotient could use Div. 25 as a basis for rating buildings?

Bonfiglio: This is a good question. Our Div. 25 does affect the BIQ, but to what extent on the rating system, we do know. We will do some research to find out.

Q: How are you using Division 25? Are you writing a performance spec?

Bonfiglio: Yes, very much so and it is intended to be product agnostic.

Q: How can the building automation system access control and lighting controls be integrated?

Bonfiglio: Our Div. 25 specification has a “Communication Protocols and Interface Performance” section for each use case to help define this integration.

Q: How are internet of things solutions determined by space usage? What do OEMs and specifiers look for in IoT platforms? What is BMS looking to become in the new IoT space?

Bonfiglio: We have a use case called “Integrated Work Place Advisor System” that uses IoT sensors to determine space use with analytics. This information is shared with the BMS to help change the environmental conditions based on occupied and unoccupied status. So, we are combing the BMS and Workplace Advisor/efficiency to become the new IoT space.

Q: Why is Div. 25 such a difficult subject today with 95% of all building system not integrated? What are some of the advantages to a truly integrated building designed that way?

Bonfiglio: We are starting to see owners/developers/architects asking for high-performance buildings using use cases to define the building’s performance. A Div. 25 specification allows for multiple divisions to be integrated and verified by the Cx agent.

Q: Primary interest is integration options of lighting controls data with BAS; integrated versus unified; defining the role of the integrator.

Bonfiglio: In our Div. 25 specification, we provide a responsibility of work matrix example in Exhibit 1.2 to help define the different roles including the integrator.

Q: Discuss the scope and definition of on-boarding.

Bonfiglio: Refer to the previous question and answer. For on-boarding, we recommend companies that have actually done this level of integration and can provide customer references.

Q: What is a TVDA?

Bonfiglio: TVDA stands for “tested validated documented architecture.” This is a document that describes in detail the integration between two (or more) systems such as BMS and lighting control. We have developed a number of TVDAs to help support our use case integrations.

Q: Where is hacking security handled and how often is it updated?

Bonfiglio: We update all our specifications with the latest cybersecurity requirements when released (about every 12 months). For example, we have the latest cybersecurity requirements in both our Div. 23 BMS and in Div. 25 integration automation specifications.

Q: When writing Div. 25, it seems important but tricky to remove the right scope from Div. 23 and Div. 26. Any tips?

Bonfiglio: Our Div. 25 specification does not remove sections from other divisions and does have coordination language in each specification linking them together.

Q: What are the most common system interface protocols, i.e., BACnet, LonWorks?

Bonfiglio: We see BACnet as the primary protocol for building related systems and Webservices for IoT systems.

Q: Who is the target audience for Div.25? Consultants? Owners?

Bonfiglio: We are starting to see owners/developers/architects asking for high-performance buildings using use cases to define the building’s performance. A Div. 25 specification allows for multiple divisions to be integrated and verified by the Cx agent.

Q: What is your opinion on the “Master Integrator” consultant specialty?

Bonfiglio: If you mean Master System Integrator, our view is Div. 25 is the “Master Integrator” that may or may not include the Div. 23 HVAC controls and/or other divisions under them.

Q: Your site appears to only have 23 specs within the Div. 25 section. 25 00 00 Integrated Automation (Facilities)

  • 25 50 00 Integration Automation Software.
  • 25 51 00.11 Building Management System-Enterprise.
  • 25 51 00.13 Building Management System-Cloud.

The titles seem correct but the content is not correct. Can you send out links to the correct Div. 25 we have been discussing?

Bonfiglio: We are going to publish our Div. 25 on our PROficient Web Portal within the month for the public to download. Schneider-electric.us/proficient4buildings. Once published, our Div. 25 spec. does not replace Div. 23 but defines the use cases for integration between divisions. The current Div. 25 specifications on our site will be replaced with the new one.

Q: What are the controllers, programmable logic controller (PLC); programmable automation controller (PAC), PC or dedicated controller?

Bonfiglio: We use our EcoStruxure Architecture and depending on the use case, the controllers can be BMS controllers, card access controllers, lighting controllers and/or microgrid PLC controllers. So, it could be a combination of one or many.

Q: Where do we go to access the Div. 25 specification Schneider Electric created?

Bonfiglio: We are going to publish our Div. 25 on our PROficient web portal within the month for the public to download. Go to Schneider-electric.us/proficient4buildings to register.

Q: How have you typically seen construction teams respond to and implement the Div. 25 spec? Does the general contractor take ownership? Is a new category of systems integrator brought on board? Does responsibility for sections get assigned individually to M/E/P/IT/Security contractors, etc.?

Bonfiglio: We typically see a Div. 25 specification procured under a general/construction manager. We also have seen this done using IPD and Design Build methods. In Exhibit 1.2, we have a responsibility matrix to help define which contractors do what.

Q: The portal does not contain the file. The files under Div. 25 are actually old Div. 23 files.

Bonfiglio: We are going to publish our Div. 25 on our PROficient web portal within the month for the public to download. Go to Schneider-electric.us/proficient4buildings to register.

Q: Does the Proficient Portal allow registrations from Canadian users? The registration form will not allow the country setting to be changed from USA.

Bonfiglio: We will look into this. In the meantime, you may have to register with the USA setting.

Q: You mentioned power quality monitoring. How is this addressed in Div. 25?

Bonfiglio: Power quality is defined in the Div. 26 power meter section. Our Div. 25 integrates directly into the Div. 26 specified power quality meter to share data such as waveform capture from a power disturbance.


Brad Bonfiglio, Schneider Electric