Cloud-Control of Legacy Building Automation System: A case study

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Date Published





As Internet of Things devices and cloud-based platforms become more mature, Energy
Management and Information Systems (EMIS) are increasingly gaining momentum in the
building industry. In large commercial buildings, Fault-Detection and Diagnostic (FDD) and
energy information systems (EIS) are now established technologies with tens of providers and
thousands of deployment sites across North America. The new frontier for the EMIS technology
is now represented by control systems that use advanced system optimization (ASO) methods to
improve the operations of the HVAC system. Given the complexity of the integration of such
systems with the existing building automation systems (BAS) and the higher risk involved with
direct control of the HVAC, these systems are still emerging in the market.
This paper presents the results of a project in which a start-up company partnered with a
research institution to develop a cloud-based software EMIS solution and deployed it in a
university campus in California. The software system included advanced sensing, data
acquisition, storage and advanced control and analytics applications developed on top of the
native BAS. The new platform controls ten buildings on the campus and the FDD and the ASO
applications deployed on this platform were able to generate energy savings of up to 35% and
25% in certain buildings for each functionality respectively. Where the platform did not save
energy, it improved building service (air quality). Lessons learned include the importance of
collaborating with and training the building operators and evaluating whether the legacy system
can work reliably with the new technology.


2022 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Year of Publication




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