Step 11 Equipment Selection

Having analyzed the savings potential for various measures, and having made preliminary equipment and component selections, the next step is to develop conceptual designs and select specific equipment. This allows for preparation of budget estimates for development, installation, and commissioning of each measure under consideration. From this, final measure cost-effectiveness can be evaluated.

All equipment selected and/or specified and installed should satisfy the necessary requirements of the governing agencies, such as local and state codes, testing and approving agencies (UL, AGA, NFPA, ANSI, ASHRAE, ASME, etc.), and construction agencies (SMACNA, ASTM, NEC, NEMA, etc.) and should represent the highest standards of the industry. Equipment and systems should be selected that both minimize OM&R requirements and can be simply and effectively serviced. Equipment is also selected on the basis of environmental emissions characteristics, with emphasis on minimizing emission of pollutants.

It is generally most cost-efficient to not favor particular manufacturers in the equipment selection process. However, customer preferences or specific request should also be considered. Equipment selection should be based on the engineering specifications required for the best performance and on economic analysis of all available models that can meet the specifications. This also encourages vendors to be creative in matching the most cost-effective equipment option to the specified performance, or suggesting alternate performance parameters that may improve measure economics. This process allows the purchaser to optimize price performance, since project capital cost projections are relatively accurate and minimal contingency budgeting is required.

Another important selection criterion is technological obsolescence protection. It is prudent to specify only manufacturers that have demonstrated a corporate commitment to backward compatibility, i.e., that new systems will be able to operate with existing field equipment. An example is the specification of a facility EMS or system-specific DDC controls. Building automation controls used should support open protocols such as Building Automation and Control Network (BACNet) because they provide the ability to view and operate with data of different systems from a central operator's workstation, allow for interaction of data from different systems, and offer the ability to select the best products from various vendors to meet the facility's needs over the long term.

In addition, specified manufacturers should have a demonstrated commitment to supplying equipment repair and replacement parts for a minimum of ten years from the time the particular devise is no longer manufactured. This will avoid obsolescence of an otherwise usable devise due to lack of a proprietary component or part.

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