Open Building Automation Control Systems Made Easy

If you are a building owner, engineer, or HVAC contractor you hear terms like open verses proprietary building controls system and Lon and BACnet. These concepts and terms can be a bit daunting. Thanks to Honeywell’s national account manager and technical control wizard, David Witherspoon, these concepts just got a whole lot easier to understand. Check out David’s presentation by clicking

here. David takes concepts like Lon,BACnet and other communication protocols, and makes them easy to understand. David also demonstrates how system architecture looks. This process integrates access and security, lighting, and energy monitoring with the building automation controls system creating “single seated control” over the entire building. Single seating removes the necessity of  looking at different software packages for each individual building controls systems ( lighting, HVAC, access and security). Instead,  users are able to use one graphical software package to look at all systems simultaneously.

These efficiencies and advantages are made available through open system platforms like Honeywell Webs and Niagara. All major controls manufacturers have access to open systems, so a building owner should never have to be held hostage to a “proprietary” or closed building automation system.

Building owners beware, just because a building automation control system can speak Lon or BACnet, does not mean that the system is truly open.

To be truly open the building owner should insist on the following:

1) Multiple factory trained contractors must be able to work on the system ( giving the owner service choices after the system has been installed)

2) Controller programming tools must be available to the building owner and service contractors. ( Just because the system is open at the network      level does not mean the system is open if the building owner has to go to one source ( proprietary) to get a replacement field level controller)

3) Make sure that the building owner has access to the same training as the staff that the control manufacturer’s technicians receive. ( there  are controls manufacturers that offer training on their building automation system that is different than the training their techs get, the result being  you as an owner are still stuck with calling the control vendor for service work putting you back in a choice less situation.

The message here is that open systems mean choice, and choice is good for a building owner.

In todays control world all control manufacturers offer “open solutions”. Only a few truly offer “open”  building automation control systems. With a network of independent distributors and factory trained building automation controls contractors, Honeywell is the best example of a company that offers a building owner the real “open” building automation controls solution.

For more information on open building automation systems, check out my  Stromquist Radio interviews with two of the countries leading experts on open systems and building integration, Scott Cochrane and Brian Turner


For even more information on open building automation systems, including Honeywell, Johnson Controls, building controls system integration and energy sub metering, contact the control pros at Stromquist & Company (Georgia or Florida). Other locations can find controls expertise from one of our affiliates at Controls Group North America.

For competitive prices and great service the HVAC and building automation control pros trust Stromquist @ Company

4 Responses

  1. Have these types of controllers been used to control municiple sanitary and storm water lift stations in a sub-zero enviroment?

  2. I have LON platform DDC that will not read 2 wall module controllers. (model W77631016) as a result I manually open or close zone valves in the associated classrooms. How do I test?

  3. Thank you for explaining that building automation forms a single-seated control over the whole building. This made me realize that building automation is more ideal since it allows you to supervise all systems simultaneously. With that said, I think it’s best to partner with a building automation construction company to ensure that the building is established in a way that it’s optimal for automation.

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