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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver Facilities Management


Building Automation System


A Building Automation System (BAS) for the University of Colorado Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus uses computer panels to control building mechanical systems such as heating, ventilating and air conditioning. Inputs such as temperature sensors tell the system about the conditions of the space and the equipment. Then outputs from the system control the equipment. The control strategies are accomplished by the computer instead of with physical control components. This allows a wide variety of control strategies resulting in greater energy efficiency and occupant comfort.

Auditoriums and classrooms can be easily scheduled from a single workstation instead of walking to each piece of equipment and adjusting time clocks. The computer can estimate how long it will take to get the space comfortable each day so the equipment can be turned on closer to when needed. Equipment can be programmed to heat or cool the space as quickly and efficiently as possible further reducing the time the equipment needs to be on.

Turning off equipment when it is not needed, matching the operation of the equipment more closely to the actual needs of the space, avoiding heating and cooling at the same time are some of the ways a BAS optimizes equipment control. Equipment problems that waste energy or effect occupant comfort and safety can be alarmed and paged to alert people of a problem instead of being discovered sometime later.

A BAS can be used to optimize other energy conservation measures such as variable air systems, variable pumping systems, evaporative cooling, and heat recovery systems.

CU Denver began installing a BAS at the Ninth Avenue Campus in 1984 primarily to save energy. This system was expanded to cover most of the major building mechanical systems before the move to the Anschutz Medical Campus was planned. A BAS is an integral part of all the new construction on the Anschutz Medical Campus. The system in the new campus will provide almost all the control from the large air handling systems to the small dampers and coils controlled by a sensor in the space.

For information on the Engineering Services section of Facilities Management, please email Roen, Phone 303-724-1103.

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