[Case Studies] The Monetary Value of Real-Time Commissioning October 7, 2014 | Samantha Dubrow

Industry leaders with large building portfolios, such as Microsoft, Google, and Vornado, all centralize their energy data. Data centralization allows them to view their entire portfolio in one place and work with their team to collaborate on commissioning projects.

With a combination of real-time metering data and data centralization, retrocommissioning can become real-time commissioning. By commissioning buildings in real-time, organizations are able to work proactively, fixing problems before they occur, to continuously increase building efficiency. Traditional methods of commissioning, on the other hand, are slow, costly, and lead buildings to decrease performance over time.

 

Benefits of Real-Time, Centralized Portfolio Data

When energy data is centralized, you have two primary benefits. First, you can view and compare your entire portfolio in one place. Second, your entire team can collaborate to make decisions on time. With data centralization, commissioning can be done the day a problem occurs, instead of months later. Data centralization is primarily what makes real-time commissioning possible.


CASE STUDY 1: Finding the Problem the Day it Occurred

 

Catching a Faulty Economizer

In January, 2014 using real-time energy data for his building, a Building Chief Engineer noticed erratic behavior in energy consumption over the course of the day. He found that there was a problem with the HVAC system.
Based on the data, the engineer was able to find that the economizer was actually stuck in the open position. Since this was during the winter, the heating elements were on, competing with the air coming in from the open economizer.
By identifying the problem nearly immediately he was able to work with his team to take action on the same day. With traditional retrocommissioning, the entire winter could have gone by without noticing this problem, potentially costing them tens of thousands of dollars in waste.
 
Case_Study_1
 

 

CASE STUDY 2: Saving $90,000/year with Continuous Commissioning

 

BMS Failed To Identify Damaged HVAC

Last winter, a building engineer was comparing centralized energy data for two of his buildings, which supposedly act similarly. The two buildings have the same primary function and like tenants. However, he found that one of the buildings was consuming much more kW per square foot at night and on the weekends than the other.
Using submetering data, the building manager found that there was a problem with the HVAC. Relays to the VAV boxes of the building were not installed correctly, resulting in the BMS being unable to signal that the VAVs were shut off. Catching this problem quickly yielded real-time commissioning and saved the company $90,000 per year thanks to real-time commissioning.
 
Case_Study_2
 
 
With centralized real-time data that is accessible to all decision makers, teams can:
  1. establish a proactive commissioning routine,
  2. receive meaningful data in a timely matter, and
  3. clarify the bottom line of their energy consumption.

Data centralization is the key to commissioning buildings before problems get too severe and expensive. In these two case studies, centralization allowed two teams to identify irregularities as soon as they occurred, so they could take action toward six-figure savings.

Data Centralization, Real-Time Commissioning, Sub metering

About The Author

When Samantha isn’t writing for the blog or managing our HR like a champ, she studies Organizational Psychology at George Washington University.