Well, I’m back; I got a little wrapped up out in the field
on a project. More on that later. In this post, I
wanted to point you to a resource that addresses some of the issues
I have been discussing in my previous posts where I share my
perspective on the
problems with our current HVAC control system procurement
process. The resource I wanted to point you to is
called CtrlSpecBuilder, i.e. Control Spec Builder.
This website is structured to help the user build a solid
control system design, including the necessary specifications,
narrative control sequences,
and system diagrams.
If you have taken the time to look through the
Control System Design Guide I referenced in a
previous post, you will probably recall that all of these items are
considered critical components of a good control design by many who
have achieved success in the field.
While the site was developed by Automated Logic
Corporation, a DDC control system manufacturer, the
design documents it will help you generate are highly
non-proprietary. You use the site for
free and can use it anonymously with out entering any contact
information. The products you create can be stored on the
site and shared with others or downloaded or both, but nothing is
made public and you control who can view and share in the
development of the information.
The fact is that you could use the site to develop your
control system design and totally edit ALC out of the spec and
still have a very useful, solid product to support bidding your
control system. I think that is because the documents
developed with the tool focus not just on the products to
use. Rather a significant portion of the focus is on how the
products are to be applied and structured so they can deliver the
required level of performance. Generally, this is
accomplished by using a series of screens similar to the spec set
up screen illustrated above or the equipment set up screen
The input screens are structured to
guide the user through the process of selecting the
features and criteria that apply to their project, including:
Operator interface requirements like web based access,
floor plan driven penetration of the project data base, etc.
Communication requirements like BACnet integration with
other systems, integration of multiple remote sites, availability
of existing IT infrastructure, etc.
Equipment features such as the type of system, the types
of utility systems supporting it, O&M requirements, desired
optimization strategies, etc.
Integration of related products and work of other trades
like terminal equipment, sensors, fire alarm, project scheduling,
Reference codes and standards like the National Electric
Code (NEC), the International Mechanical Code (IMC), American
Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers
So, if you are involved with the design, startup and
operation of HVAC systems, take a few minutes to check out CtrlSpecBuilder. Your
involvement with HVAC implies a vested interest in control systems
and I think you will find that the Control Spec Builder website can
be a valuable resource for you to use directly or share with