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Building Automation and Control Systems Integration

The Building Automation and Controls Systems Integration (BACSI) group has, historically, been called "Energy Management and Control System (EMCS) Management" since our major task has been to support the EMCS in all its facets including design, installation, networking, user interfaces, databases and operations. Over the years, we have been a part of a variety of organizations:

  • 2010 - Facilities Operations
  • 1994 - Utilities
  • 1993 - Facilities, Design, Maintenance and Construction
  • 1981 - Facilities Engineering
  • 1979 - Utilities and Energy Management
  • 1977 - Design and Project Management

"BACS" refer to:

  • Microprocessor-based computers that are used to meter, monitor and control the whole range of building systems.
  • These include heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration, lighting, fire and smoke control, utilities, elevators, access control, intrusion detection, etc., At Cornell, elevators, access control and instrusion detection are in other jurisdictions although the systems themselves are still in the realm of "BACS."

BACS computers have these characteristics:

  • Use vendor-provided, non-Microsoft operating systems.
  • Are configured and programmed using proprietary software.
  • Attach to building systems via sensors and actuators.

BACS computers are most akin to the Programmable Logic Controllers used in industrial process control. Here is a sampling:


The purposes of "BACS integration" are:

  • To present a unified alarm interface, regardless of originating device or communication protocol.
  • To allow graphics and trends to show related data, again from any device in the system.
  • To provide emergency access to information that is normally viewed elsewhere, e.g., utility system data.

BACSI's users include:

  • EMCS Operations
  • Control Shop
  • Energy & Sustainability's Energy Conservation Initiative
  • Building Operating Personnel
  • Increasingly, the Campus Community

More Information

If you have questions about the building automation and control systems at Cornell, please contact the BACSI Team Leader:

Joel Bender
(607) 255-8880

EMCS Control Room

EMCS Operations is located in a control room at the Julius F. Weinhold Chilled Water Plant. The "Bridge" is manned 24/7/365 by at least one operator and the workstations are arranged so that, in the event of a major campus incident, a second operator can join in.


BACSI and EMCS Operations are both located at the Julius F. Weinhold Chilled Water Plant on Beebe Lake.