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

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