December 13, 2016

Holiday Checklist for BAS

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year, with the kids looking forward to receiving presents and being out of school. If you are a facility operator or a controls technician for a school board, however, you probably are planning the best way to shut down the schools’ building automation system (BAS) during the two-week period.

We asked our resident BAS experts for their advice, and here is the checklist of how to prepare the shut-down.

Step 1. Update contact information: Ensure that the appropriate people have the contact information (phone numbers, emails) of all the key individuals, such as the school board’s controls technicians, the manufacturer’s customer service representative, the security officers on site, etc.

Step 2. Check the weather forecast: You can use The Weather Network or similar sources to see if there will be any extreme weather events anticipated during the break and adjust as necessary.

Step 3. Put the BAS on automatic: Since there will be limited staff on site, it is important that the BAS is on automatic and requires no manual changes. Ideally, this should be done a few days before the holidays to ensure that everything is working well.

Step 4. Check the following in the system:

  • Check the glycol percentage in the exposed outdoor networks to confirm an appropriate concentration of glycol.
  • Check that the outdoor air dampers are tight when ventilation systems are shut down to confirm that there is no leakage when the air handing units are off.
  • Check the operation of the low-limit freeze thermostat on the air handing units.
  • Check that all the windows are closed.

Step 5. Review the scheduling: During the break, make sure that the appropriate shut-downs are scheduled. For example:

  • The boilers go into “unoccupied” mode, with reduced heating setpoints.
  • The fans go into unoccupied mode.
  • The lights, other than the emergency lights, are turned off.
  • The chillers should already be off at this time of year, but check to make sure that is the case.
  • Anything else that may be required at your school board

Step 6. Enable remote access and remote alarm: Make sure that the appropriate person gets notified should the temperature get too hot or too cold during the break. The notification can be sent via text or email. Some schools also have a system that alarms the on-site security company, who can send a security guard to check on the temperature, and that individual will contact the BAS technician on call. Therefore, it is important that everyone has provided their latest contact information (See Step 1).

Step 7. Enjoy the break! Get started on the party hosting and marshmallow toasting. Happy Holidays from Ecosystem!