HVAC, BAS in educational facilities

More than half of respondents to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 HVAC and Building Automation Systems (BAS) Study specify, design, or make product selections for educational facilities.


Figure 1: The average fire protection engineer has been involved with fire and life safety systems for 23 years. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2016 Fire and Life Safety StudyMore than half of respondents to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 HVAC and Building Automation Systems (BAS) Study specify, design, or make product selections for educational facilities—and seven in 10 of these engineers are responsible for determining requirements/writing specifications, researching and evaluating options, and/or recommending the product brands for these projects. Five key findings are:

  1. Annual products specified value: The average engineering firm specifies $2.85 million in HVAC and building automation/control products for new and existing educational facilities on a yearly basis, with one-third of these firms specifying more than $5 million.
  2. Future of HVAC, BAS: Inadequate budget for good design and designing for energy efficiency are the top issues affecting the future of HVAC and BAS design in educational facilities. In addition, HVAC system design is challenged by frequent changes to codes and standards; designing BAS for interoperability and complementing systems affects future projects.
  3. Products specified: More than three-quarters of engineering firms are specifying fans and air movement, BAS, and pumps and pumping systems for educational facility projects. Over the next 12 to 24 months, firms have plans to specify variable refrigerant flow systems (32%), chilled beams (27%), and chillers and chilled water systems (24%).
  4. Important product considerations: When selecting HVAC products for educational facilities, engineers compare product quality (86%), energy efficiency of a product (60%), and manufacturer's reputation (60%).
  5. Technology demand: The top technologies that engineers expect to see an increase of within educational facility projects are energy recovery (77%), demand-controlled ventilation (71%), and dedicated outdoor air systems (65%).

Figure 2: Engineering firms more often write performance (81%) or prescriptive (76%) HVAC and controls specifications for educational facility projects. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 HVAC and Building Automation Systems Study69% of electrical engineers are responsible for researching and evaluating options for electrical and power system designs. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Electrical and Power Study

48: Average age of lighting designers; 30% are older than 60. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Lighting and Lighting Controls Study

$7 million: Average annual mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection design revenue earned by firms designing HVAC systems and BAS. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 HVAC and Building Automation Systems Study

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Consulting-Specifying Engineer covers several research topics each year. All reports are available at www.csemag.com/research.

Amanda Pelliccione is the research director at CFE Media.

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