Verkada Air Quality sensors offer organizations a way to monitor essential indoor air quality factors such as CO2, CO, PM2.5, AQI, TVOC, and formaldehyde. BACnet integration allows Verkada Air Quality sensors to inform a building’s HVAC system about an air quality metric, or any sensor reading for that matter, thus allowing the building HVAC to respond to these indoor air quality conditions. Verkada air quality sensors can integrate with the popular building management system (BMS) protocol BACnet. By integrating Verkada's air quality sensors with this popular protocol, organizations’ HVAC systems can now automatically respond to suboptimal air conditions.
In this article:
What is BACnet?
BACnet, or Building Automation and Control Network, is a communication protocol specifically designed for building automation and control systems. It is an industry-standard protocol used to facilitate the exchange of data between various devices and systems within a building, such as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), lighting, security, and other building automation systems.
BACnet provides a standardized way for different devices and systems from different manufacturers to communicate with each other, regardless of the underlying hardware or software implementation. The goal of BACnet is to enable efficient and standardized communication between different building automation devices, promoting interoperability, scalability, and flexibility in the design and operation of building control systems.
Do all Building Management Systems (BMS)/BAS use BACnet?
No, not all BMS/BAS will support BACnet. Most major HVAC providers have products and controllers that support this feature. However, the customer should talk with their HVAC specialist to understand if their system is supported.
Some BMS systems use different protocols such as LonWorks. If you are unsure whether your Building Automation System supports BACnet, you may reach out to Verkada Support for additional assistance.
If you are unsure or need help, please contact Verkada Support.
Which sensor readings are supported by BACnet?
All Verkada sensor readings can be used as inputs for your Building Management Systems such as temperature, humidity, CO2 values, Vape index, etc. to control dampers, ventilation fans, or other HVAC equipment.
Do Verkada sensors control the HVAC directly?
No, the sensors do not control the building's HVAC system directly. Instead, the sensors relay their readings to your BMS, which in turn uses these as inputs in a function that controls the building's HVAC, such as adjusting the temperature in a room or increasing the airflow in a closed space.
Do Verkada Air Quality monitors support BACnet MS/TP?
No, BACnet MS/TP, the hardwired version of BACnet that requires an RS485 connection similar to our access control readers, is currently not supported by our air quality sensors. Please reach out to your SE should you require additional information or support in regard to this.
What is BACnet used for?
If your Building Management System (BMS) also sometimes called a Building Automation System (BAS) supports BACnet, Verkada Sensors can be used as inputs to control HVAC equipment or any other equipment inside a customer's BMS.
BACnet allows centralized control and monitoring, and by accepting various input readings from Verkada sensors such as temperature, humidity, PM 2.5, TVOC, and CO2 among others, can be used to control the outputs to remediate the effects. For example, a sensor installed in a meeting room could trigger a high CO2 alert, which would then feed this information in turn to the BAS/BMS, which in turn controls a specific action such as powering on a ventilation fan or damper in the meeting room.
There are several situations in which the intuitiveness of BACnet can be beneficial to organizations.
Adjusting the temperature in a room or building to save costs
Adjusting the output of dampers to increase fresh air circulation in a room
Turning on supply fans
Automatically close windows whenever poor air quality is detected
Automatically turn on air filtration systems and increase outdoor airflow whenever the CO2 levels are high
Only run air through filtration systems when pollution thresholds are met to avoid unnecessary filtration when the air is clean
Automatically increase the ventilation rate in a lab when there are high levels of VOCs
Use the SV23 and SV25 as occupancy sensors to save on HVAC energy costs, if programmed to allow the HVAC system to reduce its operation when the room is unoccupied
Use SV25 light sensor to turn off the lights in a room when it is unoccupied but light is detected
Trigger a strobe or alarm if vaping is detected
What does BACnet do when enabled?
Once BACnet is enabled on a device, the BMS controller is now able to "discover" the device on the BACnet network. This is why the BACnet device needs a Device ID, which is used to identify the device on the network, as well as a port, which is also used for communication.
The Verkada SV21, SV21, and SV25 all support the BACnet/IP protocol and support IPv4. The UDP port defaults to 47808 (0xBAC0).
The server will initiate a handshake with the device via the "Who-Is/I-Am" flow. It will then figure out what properties the device has with the "Who-Has/I-Have" flow.
Let's say we want our Verkada Air Quality sensor to monitor Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in a conference room and increase fresh air flow when CO2 hits 700 ppm. We start off by installing our Verkada Air Quality sensor and putting it on our BACnet network.
We then enable BACnet on the device and give it a unique device ID. See how to enable BACnet on a device.
Now go to your BACnet over IP compatible BMS system, and use the "discover" feature to find your Verkada Sensor. In this example, we are using Vykon WorkPlace N4:
This will return the BACnet devices found on the network:
From here we can rename the device and add it to our BMS. Then we can run a BACnet Who-Has discover to find all the points available to us:
From here, we can add the points to our BMS and use them to make HVAC decisions.
In this case, we have In2 linked to our SV25 CO2 reading, which goes to In A which is a GreaterThanEqual function. If the SV25 CO2 reading is above 700 ppm, we want to send True otherwise send False. Thus, we link the Out (the output) of that function to the input of a BooleanWritable variable, in this case, In16. In16 will determine the Out boolean. We then link the Out boolean to our damper control. If Out is True, the damper is open. If Out is False, the damper is closed.