Many companies are realizing the advantages of commissioning their buildings and systems to ensure optimal performance. Monitoring-based commissioning takes this process to the next level by allowing continuous oversight of a building’s operations. This approach can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and create healthier, more comfortable spaces. In this blog post, we’ll explore monitoring-based commissioning, the concrete ways it benefits businesses, and signs that a company should implement it.
Traditional commissioning brings in third-party experts to test and tune up equipment like HVAC systems when a building is first completed or after major renovations. This gets systems running their best as occupants move in. However, there are limitations to performing commissioning just once. Over time, sensors can fall out of calibration, equipment can fail, and settings can get knocked out of position. This prevents systems from operating at peak efficiency.
Monitoring-based commissioning solves this problem by keeping a constant digital eye on system performance. It uses permanent sensors and smart devices to track metrics like temperature, equipment runtimes, and energy usage. This data offers insight into how well systems are working day-to-day and year-over-year. Problems get flagged quickly, allowing facility managers to make real-time adjustments. They don’t have to wait for yearly tests to identify and troubleshoot issues.
Besides fixing current problems, monitoring-based commissioning helps prevent future ones. By analyzing trends in performance data, you can catch inefficiencies while they are small. This allows you to optimize components and adjust settings to keep equipment operating as it should. Think of it like preventative health care for your building.
There are several concrete ways monitoring-based commissioning benefits companies:
Experts estimate that building owners are wasting 30% on energy costs due to inefficiencies. Monitoring identifies wasteful energy use and allows you to optimize systems so you aren’t overheating, overcooling, or over-ventilating spaces. This translates directly into lower utility bills.
Issues get flagged sooner with constant digital oversight. This means problems can be fixed before causing major equipment failure or downtime. The data also gives clearer insight for more accurate troubleshooting, speeding the return to normal operations. Together, this reduces costly emergency repairs over the lifetime of your building.
Monitoring-based commissioning creates comfortable spaces without hot or cold swings by keeping environmental conditions within target ranges. It also optimizes ventilation based on occupancy so you maintain proper air quality. This benefits both health and productivity. One study saw performance improvements of 8–11% in commissioned buildings.
With expert oversight through monitoring, systems run closer to design specs with less downtime. This puts less strain on components, helping them last longer. Air filters also get changed right on schedule, improving indoor air quality along with equipment lifespan. The result is fewer costly replacements.
Monitoring provides easy access to equipment runtimes, temperatures, and setpoints. This data helps locate the source of issues faster. You also have trend reports and benchmarks to know if systems operate normally or have moved out of alignment over time. Together, this reduces the legwork required for troubleshooting.
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If any of the scenarios below sound familiar, there’s an excellent chance your organization would benefit from monitored-based commissioning:
- You suspect your building isn’t running efficiently but have limited data confirming issues. Monitoring would provide clear insight.
- Equipment fails regularly between maintenance checks. Preventative care supported by monitoring would minimize failures.
- Your occupants frequently complain about temperature or air quality. Monitoring would stabilize conditions.
- You struggle to pinpoint causes of comfort and operational issues due to a lack of performance data.
- Your building is more than five years old and has never been recommissioned. Performance has likely slipped substantially.
- Implementing energy-conserving measures hasn’t produced utility savings as predicted. Monitoring would confirm whether settings or sequences got knocked out of position.
- You make fixes, but problems return quickly. Constant monitoring would identify deeper issues.
- Your maintenance team spends excessive hours troubleshooting equipment failures. Monitoring data would simplify this work.
If you see your situation above, monitored-based commissioning could prevent frustration for occupants, facility managers, and ownership while optimizing equipment uptime. Most importantly, it ensures maximum savings and efficiency gain from your systems. Let the data direct the way to better building performance.
Choosing the right monitoring-based commissioning partner is key to ensuring your building’s systems operate efficiently. Here are some things to look for when finding a partner:
Seek out firms with extensive experience in monitoring-based commissioning. It is still an emerging practice, so look for companies that focus a large part of their business on this specialty. They should have completed multiple projects across a wide variety of building types. Ask for referrals from past clients.
Look for technical expertise in analyzing system data. The ideal firm will have engineers on staff who are experts at using monitoring data to diagnose operational issues. They should be able to identify performance problems, pinpoint their root causes, and prescribe solutions. Validate their expertise by reviewing sample reports.
Make sure they follow established protocols. Reputable firms will adhere to standard methodologies outlined by organizations like ASHRAE and the Building Commissioning Association when conducting their monitoring-based commissioning process.
Evaluate their technical capabilities. They should use state-of-the-art monitoring hardware and data analysis software. The ability to monitor equipment and integrate many data sources is essential. Ask about the types of meters they deploy and the technologies they use.
Assess reporting quality. The deliverables should provide clear, actionable intelligence on improving building operations, including benchmarking, analytics, issue logs, and recommendations. Reports should focus on optimizing performance, not just describing monitoring activities.
Seek involvement beyond reporting. The best partners go beyond submitting reports to provide oversight of implementation. They should collaborate with your facilities team to make sure recommended measures improve outcomes over time.
Since 2006, BuildingLogix has been helping businesses across markets use monitoring-based commissioning to reduce energy costs and increase the useful life of equipment. Our Connected Building Services seamlessly connect with your building automation systems and use innovative features to track performance, including:
Our FDD software provides key insight into the efficiency of equipment and identifies minor problems before they develop into major issues.
Our data visualization platform allows your staff to translate data into actionable insights. Our staff works with you to customize a dashboard that meets your company’s needs.
Contact BuildingLogiX today to learn more about our solutions.