Phillip Burton Federal Building: EMCS Retrofit Analysis

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This report presents the interim results of analyses carried out in the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco from 1996 to 1998. The building is the site of a major demonstration of the BACnet communication protocol. The energy management and control systems (EMCS) in the building were retrofitted with BACnet compatible controllers in order to integrate certain existing systems on one common network. In this respect, the project has been a success. Interoperability of control equipment from different manufacturers has been demonstrated in a real world environment.

Besides demonstrating interoperability, the retrofits carried out in the building were also intended to enhance control strategies and capabilities, and to produce energy savings. This report presents analyses of the energy usage of HVAC systems in the building, control performance, and the reaction of the building operators. The report does not present an evaluation of the performance capabilities of the BACnet protocol. A monitoring system was installed in the building that parallels many of the EMCS sensors and data were archived over a three-year period. We defined pre-retrofit and post-retrofit periods and analyzed the corresponding data to establish the changes in building performance resulting from the retrofit activities.

We also used whole-building energy simulation (DOE-2) as a tool for evaluating the effect of the retrofit changes. The results of the simulation were compared with the monitored data. Changes in operator behavior were assessed qualitatively with questionnaires.

The report summarizes the findings of the analyses and makes several recommendations as to how to achieve better performance. We maintain that the full potential of the EMCS and associated systems is not being realized. The reasons for this are discussed along with possible ways of addressing this problem. We also describe a number of new technologies that could benefit systems of the type found in the Philip Burton Federal Building.

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