Energy Services & Sustainability

Building Automation

Energy Services and Sustainability manages the Building Automation and Building Data Analytics Platforms for all of the University's main campuses. We provide these systems to support the Facilities Department and the University as a whole. Hundreds of people across the University use these systems as daily components to their jobs.

Modern HVAC systems are complex and nearly impossible to operate manually. The most common task for Building Automation Systems (BAS) is to facilitate the efficient, automatic operation of Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Computer Screen Showing Pressure Panel Graphic in Building Automation Software

A Nest thermostat is an example of a BAS that you might use at home. If you picture hundreds of thousands of Nest thermostats talking to each other and working together, it might give you a sense of UR's BAS. The system is comprised of sensors (temperature, pressure, etc), actuators, control valves, dampers, relays and other devices that connect to a controller module. This module coordinates the information from the sensors, identifies required changes, then sends commands to the actuators and relays that control the HVAC equipment. Many of these controllers are networked together and connected to a central computer or web-server, where a human operator monitors, programs and adjusts the system.

Our BAS platforms are a critical component to making our buildings operate comfortably, efficiently and effectively.

  • Maintain occupant comfort.
  • Efficient equipment operation
  • Alert an operator when equipment fails
  • Maintain and collect operational trend data, used to analyze failures or look for opportunities for improvement.
  • Allow the operational staff to use their time more efficiently

Energy Services and Sustainability maintains the following BAS platforms:

*Legacy System to be upgraded or replaced in the next few years.

Building Analytic Systems

Energy Services and Sustainability is also responsible for managing URs building data analytic platforms, which extend the BAS and similar data systems to provide much more detailed analytics about how the building and equipment is operating.

Various systems connected to a building analytic system.
  • Ensure the building is using the appropriate amount of energy.
  • Provide a means of measurement and verification for energy conservation projects.
  • Monitor the HVAC equipment for sub-optimal operation based on comparing actual equipment operation to an ideal modeling.
  • Fault Detection and Diagnostics - Detect equipment faults that do not show up routine BAS alarms.

The eSight Energy Management Information System was installed as Phase I of building analytics, which analyzes information primarily at the building level. Phase II will look at platforms, which can perform detailed analysis inside the building at the equipment level.


Rich Stein

Donald Steltz

Rob Watkins

Cody Williams