What Is BDA in Construction?

February 14, 2024

As building materials have evolved to offer high environmental performance and occupant comfort, they also reduce or block the radio frequencies that connect first responders with people inside buildings during emergencies. When these vital communications fail, firefighters aren’t able to get the information they need and can put lives at risk.

This is why a BDA (Bi-Directional Amplifier) or DAS (Distributed Antenna System) is an important solution for all types of commercial buildings and is increasingly mandated by local fire codes and state regulations. These radio signal booster systems (sometimes called public safety BDA systems) provide a critical life-saving technology that enhances in-building two-way radio communication signals for emergency response equipment.

These systems eliminate communication “dead zones” where RF signals might be weakened or cut off by concrete, walls and metal. The signal boost solution works by receiving signals from a donor antenna on the roof, amplifying them and distributing them throughout the entire building.

The best way to ensure your building meets code requirements is by partnering with an experienced, knowledgeable BDA/DAS vendor. We specialize in surveying, designing, installing, expanding and monitoring top-tier BDA/DAS systems – with both single and dual band capabilities – and can help you bring your facility into compliance for both state and local fire codes.

The process of determining whether or not a BDA system is required for your building involves an RF survey, conducted by a qualified FCC GROL certified professional, that includes measuring the current downlink and uplink RF signal strengths in decibels-milliwatts on the designated radio frequencies. Once this inspection is complete, the results are submitted to your Authority Having Jurisdiction for review.

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