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AEI Soft Start® BAS

A comprehensive BAS review and tune-up.

An AEI Soft Start BAS is a fast and efficient way to address a wide range of questions such as: Are there are obvious reasons for comfort complaints? Are control sequences being overridden? Are occupied set points reasonable? Do unoccupied set points meet ASHRAE 90.1 recommendations?

Our Certified Energy Managers will review the operation of your BAS by analyzing the data presented on the BAS screens and provide specific feedback on all systems controlled by the BAS. Our analysis for your specific building will take into account many variables such as the type of control strategies utilized and the nature of the installed instrumentation. All of the items listed below may not be applicable for your facility, but they are shown here to give you a sense of the items that can be evaluated with a BAS Soft Start:

  • Equipment not operating on the desired schedules
  • Sensors out of calibration (pressure, temperature, CO2, etc.)
  • Excessive amount of outside air introduced at air handlers
  • Simultaneous heating and cooling
  • Equipment operating in bypass
  • Equipment not meeting set points
  • Heat recovery equipment not operating properly
  • Economizers not operating properly
  • Leaking hot water valves
  • Equipment not staged on/off properly (boilers, chillers, cooling towers, etc.)
  • Equipment not operating on the desired lead/lag sequences
  • Central plants operating with an undesirable temperature differential
  • Reset schedules not utilized (hot water, chilled water, discharge air temp, etc.)
  • Control strategies not optimized
  • BAS graphics not presenting basic information required to optimize building

What's the Process?

Sometimes a site visit is appropriate, but with VPN access to your BAS, we perform a visual evaluation of all relevant BAS screens on various days under different operating conditions. An updated set of mechanical drawings, control drawings and sequences of operation will allow the CEM to provide the most valuable feedback, but if not available, we can utilize the BAS graphics. The graphics do not have to be pretty; they just need to present the relevant data. Where possible, we'll extract the history data so that we can examine the off-peak hours and seasonal changes that can't easily be examined at the front-end screen of your BAS software.

The magic happens when we are able to load your BAS data into our database and tag sensors according to their equipment and functional roles. From there, a first automated pass shows us all the outliers by sensor type and equipment, by times of day and days of the week. We'll correlate paired sensors to see that feedbacks match commands. Our flexible visualizations and report designer will then show you what we see in a clear and intuitive view of all the performance characteristics of your equipment. We'll port the data for some of your larger air handlers, chillers and boilers into an AEI Flatcube interactive visualization that lets you explore the simultaneous values of dozens of sensors in a system, with filtering capability for time of day, day of week, or any combination of sensor value ranges.

What's the Result?

The AEI Soft Start BAS process optimizes the deployment of your resources to maximize the comfort, health and efficiency of your buildings with a set of clear reports and analyses that point to the specific issues reported by the BAS. Schedules, set points, sensor calibrations, and control sequences are all evaluated. If you're building is already tuned, then you'll at least be left with a documented set of baseline reports that can be used as a reference work for a future review.

If there are issues, we can take the AEI Next Step consisting of a deeper dive into building control strategies or help you move forward with cost-effective upgrades to certain parts of the BAS system. All of what we do is bumping up against the next logical steps to provide you with the foundation for:

  • ASHRAE New Building Commissioning (Cx)
  • ASHRAE Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx)
  • ASHRAE Existing Building Re-Commissioning (OCx)
  • Master Energy Planning
  • LEED 4.0 Metering, Commissioning and Verification


  • AEI Soft Start BAS is $2,750 per building. Delivery of all reporting and analytics to a secure web portal. Multiple building discounts apply.
Operator Training

The Operator Training Option consists of six 2-hour webinars or on-site sessions led by an AEI AEE Certified Energy Manager. The webinars use the existing graphics, reports and trends to help personnel gain insight into potential operational improvements. This option includes a copy of Phil Zito's book titled "Building Automation Systems A to Z". Webinar time can be utilized to answer questions regarding Phil's book or specific questions regarding existing building operation.

  • $1,500 for six 2-hour webinars scheduled when mutually convenient.


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AEI Commissioning

Are your buildings running efficiently? Let's look at the data and prove it to the managers who pay the utility bills. Efficiency problems? Download the AEI Commissioning Services brochure to see how we can help.