With so much invested in and supported by our many buildings, how can we keep them performing at maximum efficiency, while ensuring the safety and comfort of its occupants? That’s a frequently asked question by investors, executives, property owners and facility managers. For real answers to these questions, most folks look to the experts – monitoring-based commissioning and energy engineers.
What is Monitoring-based Commissioning (MBCx)?
It is a building services approach to sustain building performance utilizing a technology driven solution that includes energy management and information systems. Understanding monitoring-based commissioning starts with differentiating it from other Existing Building Commissioning (ECBx) practices. EBCx services include Retro/Re Commissioning, Ongoing and Monitoring Based Commissioning services. MBCx typically follows EBCx and NBCx methods or can be launched as a separate service. An MBCx solution leverages automation which allows all equipment to be monitored on a continuous basis, instead of a sample set.
A monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) technology solution uses analytics to deliver clear insights and recommendations that facility management use to maintain and improve building performance. Analytics delivered through automated reports and interactive dashboards, enable a data-drive approach that provides the guidance around not only what needs to be done but determines the priority – like what will deliver the most value.
Monitoring-based commissioning produces many benefits including a reduction in energy waste by up to 15%. Other key results include extending mechanical equipment life, by identifying and implementing low cost operational improvements. Through the MBCx process, facility operators can monitor their building equipment and systems on a continuous basis using energy and performance data. The process is usually focused on HVAC and lighting system performance but can also be applied to other systems.
Here are few of the key benefits behind a data-driven, technology approach:
- Analytics rapidly analyze thousands of building system components, enabling identification and savings opportunities by eliminating energy waste in a way that is not cost-effective with manual analysis
- When system performance drifts from optimal, analytics catch the issues so they can be resolved before turning into problems that impact occupant comfort, safety and system reliability
- Improving Energy efficiency from reducing energy waste, lowering utility costs and extending equipment life result in significant cost savings and higher building profitability.
Monitoring-Based Commissioning Diagram
Monitor: compile aggregate and visualize data from a variety of a sources (BAS, utility bills, weather, etc.)
Discover: Sift through operational data using analytics, automated software, and machine learning to identify evidence-based energy performance opportunities
Upgrade: Work with qualified contractors to fix, reprogram, replace, or recalibrate your building equipment
Verify: Examine and ensure system compliance, your equipment’s performance and quantify savings using analytics and key performance indicators
Optimize: Continuously monitor KPIs (key performance indicators) and analytics to protect your investment and improved performance using interactive dashboards and automated reports.
Using the correct and inclusive data, analytics can deliver clear insights and recommendations that facility management can use to achieve their goals. Clarity can be delivered through interactive dashboards and reports, including:
- Monitoring-based Commissioning Dashboard
- Energy Report
- Comfort Report
- Compliance Report
- Enterprise or Facility Reporting
Sample Facility Report with Energy Usage
This Facility Energy Report example clearly shows target Energy Use Intensity (EUI) against real building performance and savings opportunities.
The Enterprise Energy Report clearly shows target Energy Use Intensity (EUI) against real building performance across multiple facilities.
The Comfort Report helps facility management monitor and track various metrics to help keep occupants comfortable.
Data quality is critical to making any technology solution a success. The same is true in a monitoring-based commissioning program. Collection, aggregation and normalization of data from the BAS, utility bills, IoT devices, and weather are usually required. Upon compiling a list of all equipment needed for diagnostic tasks, ensure all data is accurately identified and captured. Analytics, key performance indicators and trends should be deployed to align with the goals of the project and building, which typically ensure ongoing sustainability of how the building was initially configured. Visualization of this data will make it easy to continually measure and monitor the building’s performance, thus reinforcing the value of a data-driven, technology approach to monitoring-based commissioning.