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The Present and Future of Office Building Design

Three-quarters of respondents to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 HVAC and Building Automation Systems (BAS) Study specify, design, or make product selections for office buildings—and seven in 10 of these engineers are responsible for determining requirements/writing specifications, researching and evaluating options, and/or supervising or consulting on these projects. Below are five HVAC and BAS findings as they relate to office building projects:

  1. Annual specified products value: The average engineering firm specifies $2.72 million in total HVAC and building automation/control products for new and existing office buildings on a yearly basis, with one-third of these firms specifying more than $5 million.

  2. Future of HVAC systems, BAS: An inadequate budget for good design is the top issue affecting the future of HVAC system and BAS design in office buildings. In addition, HVAC system design is challenged with designing for energy efficiency, while designing BAS for interoperability and complementing systems also impacts future projects.

  3. Products specified: Seven in 10 engineering firms are specifying fans and air movement, air handlers, and rooftop units for office building projects. Over the next 12 to 24 months, firms have plans to specify variable refrigerant flow systems (32%), chillers and chilled-water systems (26%), and BAS (22%).

  4. Important product considerations: When selecting HVAC products for office buildings, engineers compare product quality (85%), energy efficiency of a product (62%), and service support offerings (59%).

  5. HVAC, BAS specifications: Engineering firms most often write performance (81%), prescriptive (73%), or open (alternate or substitute; 65%) HVAC and controls specifications for office building projects.

View more information at Amanda Pelliccione is the research director at CFE Media.

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