Why Facilities Should Consider Open BAS

August 12, 2015 By Mid-Atlantic Controls 3 minute read

empty hall in the modern office buildingOur Technical Services Manager, Marshall Nesgoda, is passionate about the benefits of open protocol BAS equipment. Working in the BAS industry for nearly two decades and growing up with a father that served as a Facilities Manager for more than seventy buildings has given Marshall extensive exposure to most of the BAS systems manufacturers, current and past. If you’re in the process of considering a BAS system for a facility there are a number or reasons why Marshall recommends going with an open protocol system.

What MACC’s Marshall Nesgoda Has To Say About Open BAS:

The question in the past was “why can't a particular system connect to my existing infrastructure?” For starters, doing so required dedicated integration gateways, which were cost prohibitive and not a viable option for many of the available systems on the market, with the exception of a few very specific applications. Even still, these integrations were limited in both feature and function and required the addition of yet another proprietary device.

Tridium Offers A Better Solution

For the last 14 years MACC has been working with Tridium to offer BAS customers a better option by providing open protocol BAS equipment. One of the best ways to preserve your investment in BAS equipment is by investing in an open system right out of the gate. Open systems can adapt and advance as industry technology and equipment improves and provide a much better cost option to end users. Being able to utilize advancing technology without having to replace an entire system is a great way to keep costs down in the face of ever rising energy expenses.

What's the Difference Between Proprietary and Non-Proprietary Building Automation?


What We Mean By ‘Open’ BAS System

The term ‘open’ refers to open protocol building automation and control networks, such as the American national standard BACnet and the international standard LonWorks. Open building automation systems communicate seamlessly with equipment produced from different manufacturers. As a result, many of the major players today have a Tridium product offering available. The core of many systems are built on the Niagara framework, “a universal software infrastructure that allows companies to easily build custom, Web-enabled applications for accessing, automating and controlling "smart" devices in real-time over the Internet.” This opens the market for competition using the same core system.

Is There A Problem With ‘Closed’ BAS Systems?

Closed BAS systems have a sole source for all service, equipment and upgrades and aren’t able to compete with the benefits of open system technology. Most of these manufacturers give a single authorized dealer control of each particular market, meaning customers have no choice over who installs, services or upgrades their equipment, which can be problematic for any customer hoping to reap the benefits of advances in energy management.

Benefits of Open BAS Equipment

One point often overlooked would be the option to replace only a small portion of the existing field level controllers and reserve those removed for replacement parts. The new systems will be utilizing one of the industry standard open protocols which can be interchanged with any open communicating controller, thus again closing the sole source loophole. If you don't like the price or service from one manufacturer, you are free to choose any provider available in your market.

If you’re considering BAS for a new building or need to upgrade an outdated system, we highly recommend selecting open equipment. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about the difference between open and closed BAS equipment or would like an estimate for installation, service or an upgrade.

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