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The Cornell University "Design and Construction Standards" contain two standards that have the greatest influence on controls projects:

15955 tells the design engineer which control equipment to use and how to program it for the specific project application, whether standalone or networked.

  • 15955, Building Automation and Control System (BACS) Guidelines
    15955 applies to all new and major renovation projects that involve automatic control of building systems. The Cornell University BACS monitors and controls predominantly building heating, ventilating, air conditioning, its associated equipment and their auxiliaries while monitoring key parameters and alarms from other systems. While several BACS vendors exist on campus, they are all covered by this standard. 15955 specifies the hardware, software and control strategies, including the use of "smart alarms," that are to be used in all of our projects. This standard is currently maintained by Lanny Joyce, Energy and Sustainability, and Liz Kolacki, Facilities Engineering.

15956 tells the design engineer and controls contractor how to connect a control system to the campus infrastructure so that it can be accessed and monitored by the Controls Shop and EMCS Operations. 15956 discusses the use of the Cornell backbone network and the ANSI/ASHRAE/ISO BACnet communication protocol along with device and object numbering and naming conventions that are required for "seamless" integration.

  • 15956, Building Automation and Control System Communications and Interoperability
    15956 provides the communication and interoperability requirements for building automation and control system components to be supplied to Cornell. Because the University's systems have evolved over many years and involve products from multiple vendors and, in several cases, multiple generations of control systems from single vendors, attention must be given to the integration of the old and the new. The objectives of this integration include: providing a mechanism for competitive procurement of building control products; assisting in meeting the University's energy conservation and environmental protection goals; improving the operational systems available to our facilities management and operations staff; reducing, if possible, overall facilities management costs; and providing an infrastructure for optimizing performance in a deregulated utility environment. These objectives are to be met by the use, to the extent possible, of existing, widely-accepted data communication standards and practices. This standard is currently maintained by Mike Newman, Building Automation and Control System Integration.
  • Naming Conventions
    This link further explains the naming conventions mandated and described in 15956.

More Information

If you have questions or concerns about your project and how it relates to building automation systems, please contact the EMCS and the operator will direct you to an appropriate contact.
(607) 255-5777


The EMCS provides the operators with thousands of graphic displays to assist in monitoring and troubleshooting critical campus systems.