Regional Hospital Leverages New Technology to Enhance Existing System

For some highly motivated facility managers, good enough just isn’t good enough. That’s the mindset a regional hospital manager had when his high-performing building scored 75 out of 100 from EnergyStar. He was proud of the good rating but remained motivated to build continuous optimization strategies for his HVAC and building systems. For guidance, he contacted BuildingLogiX. Read more about how the client’s realistic approach to improvement and drive to action led to an even greater level of performance for the hospital’s facility.

The Client’s Expectations

A regional hospital’s maintenance manager was excited by the possibilities his existing Niagara building automation system (BAS) offered. His staff and the hospital’s executives enjoyed the cost-effective benefits and were happy when their high-performing system received a high score from EnergyStar. These positive results only increased his desire to achieve a better-performing building. However, like many hospitals, he was dealing with staff shortages and budget constraints that impacted his ability to implement further changes.

The hospital’s location is geographically isolated, making contracted work challenging to retain and expensive. The client realized that he would have to work smarter to optimize performance and reached out to BuildingLogiX to deliver solutions that increased visibility through trends and data analysis and met his facility budget.

What The BuildingLogiX Team Delivered

The client understood that finding a partner that fits their budget and has expert knowledge of building automation systems and advanced analytics would be critical and he made the right decision in reaching out to BuildingLogiX. Our team met with the facility manager and delivered a full facility assessment with a fixed, budget-conscious price. The hospital implemented BuildingLogiX’s Connected Building Services (CBS) onto the hospital’s Niagara-based BAS and collected operational data for six weeks. Our experts analyzed the collected data and created a detailed engineering report that provided data driven improvement recommendations.

Areas of Concern Discovered by BuildingLogiX

The facility assessment confirmed many of the client’s beliefs. Our rules based-analytics provided operational scorecards at the building, system, equipment, and device levels that indicated their building stacked up favorably to other midwestern hospitals and surpassed many of the benchmarks set by the National Energy Star. However, their commitment to getting better uncovered the following areas of concern:

Building and Space Pressure

Proper pressure management at a hospital is complicated because various parts have different positive and negative pressure needs. However, making sure ideal pressure levels are sustained is critical. Excessive negative pressure can impact occupant comfort by allowing unfiltered air to enter the facility. However, extreme positive pressure can cause energy waste and impact ventilation control inside the building.

Connected Building System l analysis determined that some air handling units (AHU) were experiencing pressure issues. Also, some AHUs lacked enough static pressure when at their maximum fan speed. These problems forced their HVAC system to work harder to maintain the room temperature and increased energy costs.

Instrumentation Failure

The client previously installed meters throughout the facility to track and validate energy performance. However, our team discovered that many were offline and weren’t providing accurate data. Also, the monthly data provided by gas meter units significantly differed from gas utility bills, impacting the client’s ability to chart performance.

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Energy Conservation Measures

The client’s ultimate goal was to increase the hospital’s energy efficiency while maintaining the same budget and staff size. They understood that proactively repairing minor issues was the most effective way of maximizing cost savings and performance. Our report provided the following energy conservation measures for their HVAC system:

Valve Performance

Actuators and valves failing to close completely is a common issue that wastes energy causes poor dehumidification control, and creates temperature control problems. Our analysis discovered that some AHUs were experiencing valve closure issues. These issues generally happen because they’re leaking or out of calibration. BuildingLogiX recommended leveraging the benefits of our Fault Detection & Diagnostics platform to further investigate the cause.

Airflow Setpoints

Hospitals often have a history of expansion, changes, and renovations that impact their HVAC system’s setpoints. BuildingLogiX recommended a full review of configurations to determine and adjust all system elements that are operating outside design parameters. Though this is an easy measure to implement when powered by the analytics of Connected Building Services that can provide long-term cost savings.

AHU Static Pressure Control

We recommended adjustments to their static pressure reset routines. Our team recommended additional research to determine the root cause of various underlying issues and set up weekly calibration schedules to address ongoing airflow issues.

Occupancy Scheduling

Equipment operating in unoccupied rooms wastes energy and increases costs. Our team recommended a full review of occupancy data and a proactive method for continuous review to determine which areas could be good opportunities for energy savings.

Client’s Commitment to Improve Delivers Positive Results

The client understands that high-performing buildings still have room for improvement. Their commitment to increasing energy efficiency created an ideal atmosphere for a productive relationship. They were excited about the insights and opportunities our assessment reports delivered and have implemented most of our recommendations.

Not only does BuildingLogiX continue to do Analytics and CBS work for the client, but our results-based solutions have motivated the client to expand their relationship with BuildingLogiX to include more of our services:

  • We are now their Master Systems Integrator that connects various systems
  • The BuildingLogiX team now provides a BAS service agreement
  • Our experts have upgraded their Niagara software to the most secure platform

Client Testimonial

“Here’s what the hospital’s System Director of Facilities Planning had to say about partnering with BuildingLogiX: “The BuildingLogiX data extraction and analysis is very strong. We’ve found the Connected Building Service analytics to be very accurate in pointing to underlying issues and system concerns. So the overall tool is very useful to the maintenance and health of the Building Automation System.”

Start Your Journey to a Healthier Building With BuildingLogiX

Maximizing building operations is a never-ending task for facility managers. BuildingLogiX takes pride in working with teams across multiple industries to deliver the right information to the right people. Contact us today to learn more about the services we provide.