Central Shops

Building Automation Systems

Tim Kennedy, Building Automation Systems Manager Phone: (734) 647-0962
Email: timken@umich.edu
Joel Kennedy, Application Programming Supervisor Phone: (734) 647-3348
Email: joelmk@umich.edu
Ken Verardi, Direct Digital Controls (DDC) Supervisor
Phone: (734) 936-3259
Email: kverardi@umich.edu
Beth Sprang, Administrative Assistant
Phone:(734) 936-3955
Email: esprang@umich.edu

Building Automation Systems (BAS) is part of the University of Michigan’s Maintenance Services department. BAS serves nearly all of the University’s General Fund Buildings, and a few non-general fund buildings. BAS implements schedule and operational changes for various types of equipment and monitors alarm conditions and energy efficient system operation.


Direct Digital Control, known as “DDC” is at the heart of building automation. DDC measures environmental conditions and compares the measurements to the desired settings (a.k.a. setpoints). It calculates an appropriate response if the two aren’t equal, and sends out control signals to correct for any difference. Start/stop control and alarm reporting are also incorporated into DDC.

Building Automation System Growth Chart

Line and bar graph showing consistent growth in the number of networks, direct digital controls, terminal box controllers and end points supported by BAS.

Controlled Equipment at the University of Michigan

At the University of Michigan, DDC is typically used to control fan systems, namely the supply and return fan speeds, fresh-air mixing dampers, heating and cooling coils and humidification systems, all to maintain the desired fan discharge temperature and humidity and ultimately the occupied spaces of buildings. Additionally, BAS may control and/or monitor fume hood exhaust fan and energy recovery controls, using the available heating/cooling from the exhaust air to heat/cool the outside air that’s being drawn into the building by the supply fans. CO2 monitoring also provides for controls that adjust fresh air to auditoriums as the occupancy level changes. BAS also controls complex chilled water systems, including primary/secondary/tertiary chilled water loops, cooling towers start/stop and where available variable-speed controls, free-cooling systems, as well as outside and inside lights, hot water pumps and a rapidly growing number of individual DDC room controls.

Prior to DDC

Regardless of whether you have DDC in your rooms, the local thermostat should be able to adjust individual room/zone temperatures. If all of the areas served by a particular fan system are too hot or cold, the fan system’s DDC may need attention. However, if there is a problem in one specific area while other areas served by that same fan system are fine, it usually means the local controls are at fault.

Occupancy Schedules

The building occupants determine the schedules. Typically each building has a representative who collects schedule information before passing it along to BAS. Schedule changes can be sent to: Building Automation Systems, 326 E. Hoover, Campus zip 1002.

BAS Operation

We have several computer consoles connected to our campus-wide networks, from which Utility Systems Technicians and Control System Specialists can make program changes that alter schedules and modify control operation. Changes are sent to remote panel-mounted computer servers which control the building systems. The servers perform stand-alone control for autonomous operation whenever networks are unavailable.

For Information or Assistance

BAS can be reached 24 hours/day at (734) 763-4013, and the Facilities Service Center is available to take comfort and maintenance requests at 647-2059, also 24 hours/day.

Questions or comments about this document can be directed to Tim Kennedy.

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