HVAC and BAS study: Comparable trends between small and large firms

Below are a few key comparisons between small and large engineering firms that specify HVAC and building automation systems (BAS).


These are a few key comparisons between small and large firms that specify heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and building automation systems. Courtesy: CFE MediaMore than half of respondents (58%) to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2014 HVAC and Building Automation Systems Study work at a firm with less than 100 employees, compared to 41% with 100 or more employees. Below are a few key comparisons between small and large firms that specify heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and building automation systems (BAS):

1. Annual revenue: Firms with less than 100 employees specify an average of $2.24 million of HVAC and BAS products on a yearly basis, compared to $3.84 million by larger firms.

2. Project size: The largest projects based on average billings are demand-controlled ventilation, energy recovery, and metering/sub-metering and M&V strategies. Smaller firms generate an average of $1.14 million, $1.26 million, and $1.27 million (respectively), while larger firms’ projects average $1.83 million, $1.96 million, and $1.97 million (respectively).

3. BAS changes: Forty percent of respondents from any sized firm have observed changes in the budget/cost of BAS projects or products specified in the past 12 months. Smaller firms have seen a greater demand for interoperability in this time frame, and 53% of larger firms have observed changes to integration of these systems.

4. Future challenges: Despite firm and project size, both data sets identified two critical challenges to the future of HVAC design—energy efficiency and inadequate budget for good design—and two challenges to BAS design—interoperability/complementing systems and inadequate budget for good design.

View additional findings at

Amanda Pelliccione is research director for Consulting-Specifying Engineer, CFE

Product of the Year
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
40 Under Forty: Get Recognized
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
MEP Giants Program
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
November 2018
Emergency power requirements, salary survey results, lighting controls, fire pumps, healthcare facilities, and more
October 2018
Approaches to building engineering, 2018 Commissioning Giants, integrated project delivery, improving construction efficiency, an IPD primer, collaborative projects, NFPA 13 sprinkler systems.
September 2018
Power boiler control, Product of the Year, power generation,and integration and interoperability
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Data Center Design
Data centers, data closets, edge and cloud computing, co-location facilities, and similar topics are among the fastest-changing in the industry.
click me