EMCS and Time-Series Energy Data Analysis in a Large Government Office Building

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Date Published




Energy Management Control System (EMCS) data are an underutilized source of information on the performance of commercial buildings. Newer EMCS's have the ability and storage capacity to trend large amounts of data and perform preliminary analyses; however, these features often receive little or no use, as operators are generally not trained in data management, visualization, and analysis. Whole-building hourly electric-utility data are another readily available and underutilized source of information. This paper outlines the use of EMCS and utility data to evaluate the performance of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, California, a large office building operated by the Federal General Services Administration (GSA). The project began as an exploratory effort at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to examine the procedures operators were using to obtain information and operate their buildings. Trending capabilities were available, but in limited use by the operators. LBNL worked with the building operators to use EMCS to trend one-minute data for over one-hundred points. Hourly electricity-use data were also used to understand usage patterns and peak demand. The paper describes LBNL's key findings in the following areas:

  • Characterization of cooling plant operations
  • Characterization of economizer performance
  • Analysis of annual energy use and peak demand operations
  • Techniques, strengths, and shortcomings of EMCS data analysis
  • Future plans at the building for web-based remote monitoring and diagnostics

These findings have helped GSA develop strategies for peak demand reduction in this and other GSA buildings. Such activities are of great interest in California and elsewhere, where electricity reliability and demand are currently problematic. Overall, though the building's energy use is fairly low, significant energy savings are available by improving the existing EMCS control strategies.


9th National Conference on Building Commissioning

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