Ongoing commissioning addresses the challenge of ensuring that energy savings from commissioning persist by enabling organizations to effectively diagnose problems as they arise and to ensure that building equipment and systems continue to perform at a high level under current building conditions and requirements.
In this process ABCx acquires data from building systems and equipment. Often, this data comes from the building’s automation system (BAS), as well as utility consumption data (electric, gas, steam, chilled water, etc.) and electricity consumption data from addressable switchgear, but some may also come from data loggers. Next, the data are analyzed to identify opportunities for performance improvements and energy cost savings by comparing actual performance to expected performance. Data analysis is automated or aided by software-based data visualization and/or fault detection, diagnostics and optimization (FDDO) tools of varying sophistication.
ABCx delivers to the building operator a list of opportunities and recommendations to reduce energy expenditures, often prioritized by energy cost impact. These recommendations include controls, maintenance, and hardware recommendations. Implementations tend to focus on control changes because controls issues often account for a significant portion of performance degradation and usually can be addressed at little cost. Ultimately, the building operator selects what changes he wants on-site staff, ABCx, or a third party to implement.
Ongoing commissioning can be provided in at least three ways. In many cases, building operators lack the time and skills to detect and diagnose energy performance problems and improvement opportunities. The first two approaches outsource ongoing commissioning to experts with the tools, time, and understanding to effectively manage building energy performance.
- A building owner enters into a contract with ABCx who performs initial commissioning, with regular follow-up monitoring to assess building energy performance and, as needed, additional on-site visits to recommission building equipment and systems.
- A building owner enters into a contract with ABCx who continuously receives building operations data at a remote location. Off-site, ABCx uses a customed designed dashboard tracking key operational monitoring points in the building and evaluate energy performance and make recommendations for reducing energy cost at regular intervals.
- A building operator purchases a data retrieval tool and implements the tool with help from the tool developer. The tool continuously collects and analyzes the data to help the operator identify opportunities to improve energy performance; the building operations staff consults the tool as often as they wish.