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May 17, 2021

Creating Intelligent Buildings with Controls


Controls consist of a very complex network of devices that understand how HVAC equipment operates. Control systems measure, react, communicate, and decide how your HVAC equipment should respond to your indoor environment. These systems are used to regulate how devices operate in real-time.



What if you could have an intelligent building? What if your building could be equipped with the technology needed to understand the real-time needs of your spaces and automatically make the decisions for you? This is where Direct Digital Control (DDC) and Building Automation Systems (BAS) step in. Upgrading to DDC means that your building is equipped with digital sensors that feed information to a controller which is essentially a small computer. Once this information is made available on the controller, it can be interpreted through intelligent programming and the programmed controller begins to make the decisions on how to best control the HVAC equipment. A BAS can then act as a master controller, networking all your HVAC systems together.


Direct Digital Controls and Building Automation Systems can truly optimize the operation of your building, saving you time, and reducing your energy bills. Antiquated pneumatic controls lack the ability to effectively communicate all needs of each space and the building as a whole, forcing HVAC equipment to work overtime or inefficiently. However, with the built-in monitoring features of the BAS, building operators can be proactive instead of reactive. The technology exists to have intelligent buildings – let your building start talking!


There are many reasons why control systems become under-utilized and consequently, the energy use associated with HVAC operations may not be realized. Luckily, there are solutions to keep these systems updated and improved upon. This includes new equipment, reusing equipment components, merging multiple DDC systems, and retro-commissioning. As product offerings associated with DDC expand, building owners and operators have choices on how to best manage and maintain their building’s infrastructure and keep their energy-saving paybacks coming.
Two people examining large machine on the wall
Katie Lowery, Director of Integrated Control Systems at Strang reviewing building system performance.


  • On-site Assessment of Existing HVAC Systems
    • Inventory existing equipment and working condition
    • Understand building needs: Temperature, humidity, and air quality requirements
    • Understand occupancy requirements: Occupied/unoccupied schedules, space function, and utilization
  • DDC Building Design for Contractor Bidding and Installation
    • Customized control drawing schematics of your HVAC systems, showing simplified layouts of the systems and required sensor locations
    • DDC point tables, indicating each input (sensor) and output (controlled device) required for system conversion to DDC
    • Full specifications for all control devices, including sensors, relays and switches, control valves, control dampers, motorized actuators
    • Full specifications for DDC controllers and Building Automation Systems
    • Full specifications for installation standards
  • Operations Design for Contractor Bidding and DDC Programming
    • Customized sequence of operations for all your HVAC systems
    • Optimization strategies to save energy
    • Code compliance with the International Energy Conservation Code and standards published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
  • Building Retro-commissioning
    • Full audit of existing HVAC operations
    • Identify deficiencies in current operations and provide specific solutions and recommendations for repair
    • Enrollment in qualifying utility incentive programs for building owner



To learn more about control systems from Strang’s own Director of Integrated Control Systems, Katie Lowery, sign up to receive our industry whitepapers here.

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