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ECS 101 at-a-glance

This class is intended for engineers, entry-level technicians, and building/facility owners who wish to gain a better understanding of control theory and building automation control systems.

  • Gain a fundamental knowledge of basic concepts of the controls and control strategies used in comfort HVAC systems
  • Learn about DDC controllers and HVAC sequence of operation
  • Covers different types of controls and BAS control networks and concepts of control interoperability
  • Discuss and specify BAS control systems

duration cost format register
2 days $600 classroom




Class Overview

This course is designed to provide a fundamental knowledge of the controls and control strategies used in comfort HVAC systems. The course is intended for engineers, entry-level technicians, and owners wishing to gain a better understanding of control theory and DDC control systems. The course starts by introducing the basic concepts of control and the vocabulary necessary to understand HVAC controls used in the designing of HVAC systems. This will take the student through the basic elements and building blocks of HVAC controls and show how comfort control systems create the desired equipment responses for maintaining room environmental condition set points. Students will learn about what DDC Controllers are, what a Sequence of Operation is, and the importance of a Sequence of Operations. Class discussions will include the various temperature control strategies and HVAC systems that can be employed to maximize comfort provided to the building occupants. You will be exposed to the different types of controls and DDC control networks being installed and the basic concepts of control interoperability. The four key management methods available through DDC control networks will be addressed and students will be shown how to specify network configuration and functionality. At the conclusion of this class, students will be better able to discuss and specify HVAC control systems. This class is classroom with several workshops allowing students to demonstrate the concepts covered in class.

Who Should Attend this training

This course is for HVAC engineer, contractors, owner / operators and new control technicians who are designing HVAC systems, operating HVAC systems or who will be servicing HVAC controls. A working knowledge of building design, HVAC equipment and basic computer skills are required.

HVAC Training Objectives

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, each student should be able to:

  • Define in a written exercise the basic control terms like points, time schedules, setpoints, sensors and control devices used in DDC controllers with 80% accuracy
  • Develop accurately a written sequence of operation for the properly controlling simple activities like parking lot lighting or building exhaust fans along with more complex equipment like a Rooftop Unit (RTU).
  • Identify using a work sheet the different types of human interface and be able to completely explain their use within a DDC control systems
  • Orally explain the difference between standalone control and network control
  • Using a work sheet identify the differences between a proprietary control networks and open control networks with 80% accuracy

Learning Methods Used

This course uses a combination of classroom lecture, videos, lab tours of commercial equipment, demonstrations using the controls lab and workshops to present the material. Student’s achievement of the learning objectives is determined by successful completion of the workshops, and final written exam. Workshops are instructor guided exercises using the procedures taught in the lectures.

Class Details

Topics Covered

All times are approximate and shown as (classroom hours/lab or workshop hours).

  • What are Controls, What is Control? (0.5/0)
  • Control Actions (0.5/0)
  • Control Terms (0.5/0)
  • Common HVAC Control Strategies (0.5/0)
  • Control Devices versus Controlled Devices (0.5/0)
  • Types of Control Devices (0.5/0)
  • Types of Controlled Devices (0.5/0)
  • Types of Control Systems (0.5/0) (Pneumatic Control / Electric Control / Electronic or Direct Digital Control (DDC))
  • Defining a General-Purpose Controller (0.5/0)
  • DDC Network (0.5/0)
  • User Interfaces (0.5/0)
  • Direct Digital Control Theory (0.5/0)
  • Control Point Classification (0.5/0)
  • Typical Input and Output Channel Signals (0.5/0)
  • Points List (0.5/0)
  • DDC Design for HVAC Equipment (0.5/0)
  • Rooftop Unit Example (0.5/0)
  • Work Session (0/1.0)
  • Control System Networks (0.5/0)
  • DDC Management Systems (0.5/0)
  • Interoperability (0.5/0)
  • Open Protocols (0.5/0)
  • Strategies for Interoperability (0.5/0)
  • Specifying DDC Control Systems (0.5/0)
  • Specification Process (0.5/0)
  • Specifications (0.5/0)
  • Sequences of Operation (0.5/0)
  • System Diagrams (0.5/0)
  • Points List (0.5/0)
  • Going from Specification to Installation (0.5/0)
  • Installation (0.5/0)
  • Start-Up (0.5/0)
  • Commissioning (Cx) (0.5/0)
  • Work Session (0/1.0)

Class Requirements

Completion Requirements

To receive a certificate for this course student must be present for the entire course, complete all workshops and receive a grade of 70% on graded final.

Prerequisite requirements



A introductory knowledge of commercial air conditioning and heating systems, commercial building design and design process is desirable.


None required


Students in this course receive a course workbook.


This class is held in a class and business casual dress is appropriate. Some demonstrations are held in the training lab and hard sole shoes are recommended. Any safety equipment required for these lab tours will be furnished.


Class starts at 8 AM Monday and runs from 8 AM till 5 PM each day including Friday if class is scheduled at the end of a week. Travel arrangements should be made accordingly.


Carrier University is located at 6540 Old Collamer Road South, East Syracuse, NY 13057. Lodging options can be found here.