Use of an Information Monitoring and Diagnostic System to Improve Building Operations
This paper discusses a demonstration of a technology to address the problem that buildings do not perform as well as anticipated during design. We partnered with an innovative building operator to evaluate a prototype Information Monitoring and Diagnostic System (IMDS). The IMDS consists of a set of high-quality sensors, data acquisition software and hardware, and data visualization software, including a web-based remote access system that can be used to identify control problems and equipment faults. The IMDS allowed the operators to make more effective use of the control system, freeing up time to take care of other tenant needs. The operators report observing significant improvements in building comfort, potentially improving tenant health and productivity. Reduction in hours to operate the building are worth about $20,000 per year, which alone could pay for the IMDS in about five years. A control system retrofit based on findings from the IMDS is expected to reduce energy use by 20 percent over the next year, worth over $30,000 per year in energy cost savings. The operators recommend that similar technology be adopted in other buildings. While the current IMDS is oriented toward manual, human-based diagnostic techniques, we also evaluated automated diagnostic techniques. Strategies for utilizing results from this demonstration to influence commercial building performance monitoring for commissioning and operations will be discussed.