Case Studies

The Ohio State University

Columbus, OH, United States, United States
Colleges / Universities
Completed: Winter 2010 (Ongoing)
The Ohio State UniversityThe Ohio State UniversityThe Ohio State University

Nearly ten years ago, the first BACnet project was installed at The Ohio State University by Building Control Integrators (BCI). The project, known as Evans Laboratory, was “live” to the world via BACnet/IP in early September of 2000. Since then, BACnet has become the adopted control’s standard for the university. The original project included three main BACnet panels, manufactured by Delta Controls, with only 128 total inputs and outputs. Today, there are approximately 150,000 physical points throughout 65 facilities. It sounds simple enough, but this is not a “conventional” collection of I/O. The OSU BACnet network is currently comprised of 19 different vendors with connectivity to multiple system types. For OSU, BACnet has become the catalyst for advancing controls beyond the traditional front. For instance, the university currently uses BACnet to monitor and/or control non HVAC/Lighting systems such as generator banks, laboratory rooms, critical patient rooms, fire alarms, air quality, power consumption, clock systems and so forth.

While still in its infancy stages, it remains apparent that the inclusion of these systems will become more prevalent. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that OSU’s use of BACnet appears to be proportional to the evolution of the ANSI/ASHRAE standard itself. The Ohio State University employs the BACnet protocol to its fullest extent and benefits greatly from the standardization of systems. Moreover, the university continues to profit from the bidding process as several contractors/manufacturers are readily available with BACnet product. At this point, only BACnet Testing Labs (BTL) listed gear is being considered for future installations. Most recently, there seems to be greater focus on integration expertise – both internally and externally. For OSU, the service offering or system integration experience is equally important. Kelly Bloomfield, the OSU Director of Building Automation, states “The product reveals the inherent capacity to interoperate while the service/support reveals the integral capacity to utilize the product comprehensively.” Moving forward, OSU plans to implement a continuous improvement program centered on internal training and contractor validation”. Once complete, BACnet for OSU will evolve to yet another level-promising even greater flexibility than previously imagined.

Number of Buildings65
Special Features

One of the Largest BACnet projects in the region with 19 different manufacturers integrated into one single web based graphical user interface.

Products/Equipment Installed

The BACnet products include devices from several manufacturers, namely: ABB, Air Cuity, Amann, Automated Logic, Carrier, Critical Room Control, Delta Controls, Field Server, Johnson Controls, Liebert, Lithonia, McQuay, Phoenix, Reliable, Siemens, Sierra Monitor, Trane, Tridium, and York.

The integrated equipment includes: HVAC systems, Fire Alarm Systems, Electric Distribution Systems, VFDs, Lighting Systems, Laboratory Systems, Generator / Emergency Power Systems, UPS Systems, Data CRAC Systems, Smoke Evacuation Systems, Isolation Room Monitoring Systems, Air Quality Systems, Gas Detection Systems and Proprietary Control Systems.

Systems IntegratedBoiler, Heatpump, Chiller, HVAC, CO2 Monitoring, VAV, Smoke, Laboratory, Fume Hood, Power Monitoring, Water Monitoring, Geothermal
Number of Devices5,000
System Points150,000
Owner / OccupierThe Ohio State University
Engineering FirmVarious Firms
ConsultantsVarious Consultants
System IntegratorBuilding Control Integrators, BCI
Mechanical ContractorVarious Mechanical Contractors
Controls ContractorVarious, Primarily BCI and Siemens