Building Automation Systems or Direct Digital Controls Learning

Siemens Apogee DDC Controller

Building Automation Systems or Direct Digital Controls Learning – HVAC Building Automation Systems (BAS) or Direct Digital Controls (DDC) is pretty much one in the same. Basically described BAS and DDC are combining air conditioning, heating, ventilation, lighting, electrical loads, security systems, and life and safety systems to a computer and complex algorithms for better control over the systems.

Building Automation Systems or Direct Digital Controls Learning

These systems offer higher efficiency levels that could not otherwise be achieved without computer control. The are many different opportunities inside the BAS or DDC field but you have to start somewhere. Commercial HVAC Technicians and Electricians are commonly hired into positions as DDC or BAS technicians and BAS and DDC installers. Where do you begin if you want to get into the field of HVAC BAS and DDC?

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The Skills and Education for BAS and DDC Jobs

First, you want to sharpen your skills as an HVAC Technician or Electrical Technician. It doesn’t hurt to understand and know computers. Knowing computers from software installation to operating systems to even computer hardware troubleshooting will help. To get a job as a BAS or DDC Technician you will most likely have to prove you are either a great electrician or a great HVAC Technician who completely understands electrical circuits especially control circuits. You have to start somewhere so it is a good idea to start at your local community college or tech school to learn these skills mentioned so you can at least show you have the education if not the experience.

Building Automation Systems or Direct Digital Controls Learning – What to Expect as a BAS or DDC Technician? BAS or DDC Supervisor

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DDC Wire Looks neat and clean

This depends on your skill level and abilities to supervise people especially a highly skilled group of DDC or BAS installers and not so skilled DDC or BAS apprentices. If you are an old salt HVAC Technician or Electrician then you will probably be assigned to supervise a DDC or BAS installation crew. Basically, you will be a highly qualified babysitter making sure the BAS and DDC systems gets done right and on a schedule. You will scope out the BAS or DDC job before it starts with a BAS or DDC project manager and makes all the plans and work schedule with the building engineer or general contractor in charge of the job.

You go over the mechanical and electrical engineering drawings and floor plan and all the equipment and systems which will be integrated with BAS or DDC. You’ll make out a schedule and materials list necessary to complete the BAS or DDC job. When the BAS or DDC installation crew arrives whom you are supervising you will walk them through the BAS or DDC job and make sure they follow all the rules as set forth by the general contractor or building engineer. You’ll keep the inventory of materials and supplies and keep the hours of the BAS or DDC installation crew working the job. You’ll attend meetings with the building engineer or general contractor, the mechanical and electrical engineers and the BAS or DCC control engineer all at the same time making sure the BAS or DDC install job is going smoothly and is meeting the schedule.

Building Automation Systems or Direct Digital Controls Learning – BAS or DDC Installer

If you are a BAS or DDC installer you will have to follow the instructions of the BAS or DDC supervisor on the job. You will be pulling lots of wire to start and running electrical conduit. Most electricians have this skill but few HVAC technicians know how to properly run electrical conduit and pull a multitude of wires through electrical conduit. If you are an HVAC Technician it might be a good thing to learn before applying for a job as a BAS or DDC Technician.

You will also be integrating all these wires that you pull to boilers, lighting panels, Air Handlers, Condensers, Chillers, exhaust fans, damper actuators, motor starters, and a multitude of other HVAC and electrical related equipment. As a BAS or DDC newbie or beginner it is best to get someone who knows, namely the BAS or DDC supervisor if you don’t know how to hook something up. It’s better to do that than to fry something that may cost more than you make in a year. Understanding that and not being afraid to ask questions will take a very long way as a BAS or DDC installation technician.

Building Automation Systems or Direct Digital Controls Learning | Conclusion

It is important to be familiar with wiring practices and wiring codes. In DDC there are wiring standards and a lot do’s and a lot of don’t do’s. Learning these practices, codes, and standards is very important because you want to do the job right from the start. Learning when to use shielded wire and the non-shielded wire is also important as the shielded wire is more expensive and used in certain applications while the non-shielded wire is cheaper and used in other applications.

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Building Automation Systems or Direct Digital Controls Learning

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