The topic of smart buildings and building management is very broad, and there is a continuous torrent of Internet postings and published articles that reference some aspect of the technology and the market. There are a few specific items that catch our eye each month - last week it was a webinar reporting on the first two years of the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign. Read on to see what we found interesting here!
The Smart Energy Analytics Campaign is a program led by the U.S. Department of Energy that encourages the use of a wide variety of commercially available Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS), Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) solutions and ongoing monitoring practices to help uncover energy-saving opportunities and improve building performance for the long run. KGS Buildings is a supporting partner in these efforts.
The team regularly holds webinars about their work, publish information on the industry and recognize significant initiative that demonstrate what can be achieved. The team's most recent presentation was the Year Two Outcomes webinar, including an overview of all results of the initiative's research to date. The data covers 77 organizations, including management of 400+ million sq ft in more than 5000+ buildings in a cross section of market sectors. Among the interesting high level perspectives here are observations about expansion of the range of suppliers, trends in the key required features of such systems and industry challenges that should be addressed.
One stand-out confirmation of the benefits of investing in EMIS/FDD systems is documentation by participants of long term impact to the bottom line that stems from a systematic improvement process. Although there are typically very good year one energy savings after deployment - a median of 4% reported savings by study participants - the study illustrates (above) that the more dramatic and sustained impact of such systems can be best be seen by looking at a multi-year period. After 4 years, we can see that the median savings rate against pre-EMIS implemented baseline has climbed to 19%. Through a process of continuous prioritization of maintenance effort and retrofits, clients can often reap incrementally improving savings year over year totaling as much as 26%. The presenters indicated that they were not sure this effect was going to be clearly demonstrated by the data they gathered over the course of the study, but are pleased that the often cited theoretical models are substantiated in their findings.
The study team also sketches out areas of continuing research which seem likely to benefit the whole industry including:
- Which FDD issues are most prevalent and to what degree can faults be automatically fixed?
- What additional data does it take to illustrate issues or savings in real-time?
- What cyber-security issues are seen as the biggest threats for FDD/EMIS users?
The slide deck can be downloaded here, and a recording of the webinar itself can be found at this link. In the webinar, the Q&A discussion in the last 10 minutes of the recording is full of great information on the state of our industry.
Don't hesitate to let us know in the blog comments what we missed in our skimming of the web and what you would like to hear more about. Until next time!
The KGS Buildings Team
Automated Analytics. Smarter Facilities.