The News Room The News Room The News Room
HVAC/R Sep 20, 2023

What do you need to know about HVAC and building automation systems?

Consulting-Specifying Engineer conducted the Specifying Considerations for HVAC Equipment and Building Automation/Control Systems study in 2022 to identify the buying and specifying habits of building professionals when it comes to HVAC and building automation system products.

When asked in late January and early February 2022, 163 people participated. The sample for this study was selected from qualified subscribers of Consulting-Specifying Engineer with valid email addresses who select, specify, or design HVAC and/or building automation systems in new construction or modernization projects.

The majority of respondents were engineers (45 percent), and about half (53 percent) were senior administration or upper management staff. Half of respondents worked for consulting engineering firms.

The survey touched on smart HVAC and building automation systems, which are important in many buildings, especially as they relate to COVID-19. A smart building project leverages data from one historically siloed system to another siloed system to create new and useful insights, savings, efficiencies, and other uses. If an organization’s business and building systems become integrated, a smart building project creates the greatest economic impact.

Sixty-one percent of respondents specify smart HVAC or building automation systems; 36 percent have been specifying smart systems more in the past 18 months than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those who said yes, 36 percent specified more smart systems recently.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, energy efficiency improvements increased substantially in importance for smart HVAC and building automation systems. Other features that grew in importance include interconnectivity with other systems, scheduling and convenience, and owner/user understanding and desires.


How do engineers find the right HVAC and building automation system information?


When researching and specifying HVAC equipment and building automation systems, the average engineer spends 33 percent of their time researching vendors on their own, 24 percent evaluating vendors after speaking with their representatives, 18 percent sending proposal-like requests for information, and 25 percent writing the specification.

The research and evaluation process is typically 5 months before engineers specify a new HVAC product or building automation system. Seven percent of respondents indicated they specify only products with which they are familiar.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of respondents reported no change to their research and evaluation process.

Do you design building automation systems? Our website offers free tools and utilities for building design and automation consultants. Make your life easier, save time, and save effort by registering for a Consultant account on our Reliable Controls Support Center.


This content was previously published by Consulting Specifying Engineer.