How a Building Energy Management System Benefits Your Smart Building
In 2020, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) found that...
The return on investment (ROI) of a commercial building reflects the profitability of facility investment. But ROI isn’t just about how much money an investment saves. It must also take into account how improvements impact occupant satisfaction, tenant retention, lease rates, and sales price.
The fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) features of a building management system are instrumental in optimizing ROI, eliminating energy waste, reducing costs, and identifying maintenance issues long before they create discomfort. However, most building fault detection and diagnostics are rule-based and only examine a limited set of conditions or performance issues. This limits opportunities for proactive maintenance, increases the risk of false alarms, and often results in unexpected downtime. Furthermore, rule-based FDD is unable to adapt to a building’s evolving maintenance requirements.
Intelligent fault detection and diagnostics addresses these challenges to streamline maintenance, unlock savings, and improve the occupant experience.
In large commercial buildings, conventional building management systems (BMS) detect basic faults when there is an equipment breakdown or alarm levels are met. However, these BMSs offer little or no guidance on resolving equipment faults and largely depend on manual intervention to address the maintenance issues.
Advanced building fault detection and diagnostics based on machine learning (ML) expands the capabilities of facility management beyond conventional alternatives. This type of FDD identifies problems and creates a roadmap for resolution. ML-driven building fault detection and diagnostics enables smoother operations, makes maintenance more cost-effective, and helps you maximize ROI.
Budgetary constraints, labor costs, and lack of digital transformation mean that most maintenance is reactive. Typically, it happens in response to occupant complaints. If a fault isn’t disrupting the tenant experience, it often goes undetected, and those undetected faults can add up to significant energy waste. In fact, energy waste is often one of the very first signs of suboptimal equipment performance.
Intelligent building fault detection and diagnostics continuously monitors energy consumption and detects anomalies to prevent waste as early as possible. It also provides insights into how equipment performance affects energy efficiency. As a result, costs are kept in check and you don’t get any unwelcome surprises on your utility bill. In fact, according to a 2019 study, maintaining HVAC systems using model-based fault detection and diagnostics can reduce energy use by up to 30%.
It typically costs more to address a maintenance emergency than it does to prevent it. Reactive service calls are, on average, significantly higher than proactive maintenance visits. However, most properties do not have the labor capacity to handle it. Facility managers often have only enough time to simply respond to complaints or equipment breakdown. Advanced building fault detection and diagnostics offers a cost-effective way to implement preventive and predictive maintenance without adding new burdens to staff. Proactive approaches led by intelligent building fault detection and diagnostics free up maintenance teams to focus on what matters, when it matters.
Building systems are major investments that require proper maintenance. Poor maintenance increases the likelihood of incurring emergency repair costs and raises the risk of premature failure. Intelligent FDD, however, flag any deviations as early as possible and can even predict equipment failure long before it occurs. By preventing unnecessary wear and tear and keeping small problems from turning into big issues, you can extend the life of your equipment and ensure you get the most out of it.
Providing excellent occupant experiences leads to extraordinary ROI. From increased tenant retention and higher occupancy rates to longer-term leases and premium pricing, investing in occupant satisfaction can have great financial rewards. With advanced FDD, you have a powerful tool to improve comfort, minimize downtime, and streamline operations, all of which can have a positive and immediate impact on occupants.
A smart building platform with ML-driven fault detection and diagnostics, like onPoint, integrates mechanical maintenance and building automation and maximizes ROI.
onPoint is a cloud-based platform with truly intelligent FDD that transforms your maintenance program:
onPoint makes reactive maintenance easy by bringing the FDD and FDD resolution into a single platform. onPoint’s intuitive interface provides real-time insights into the cause of problems, offers solutions, and allows maintenance staff to validate fixes in real time. For example, if the platform detects that a fan coil unit is not working properly, staff can create a maintenance work order with inputs received from onPoint. Once the issue is fixed, they use onPoint to verify that the unit is running properly.
onPoint uses rules and machine learning to prioritize issues and allows facility managers to easily filter and sort problems based on their preferences or needs—before occupants complain..
Predictive maintenance stops problems before they start. onPoint uses robust data analytics and ML to perform root cause analysis (RCA) of potential future equipment malfunctions. By looking at data revealing the rate of wear on a specific piece of equipment, it can alert facility managers to the earliest changes in equipment operations. This gives maintenance staff the opportunity to perform repairs, adjustments, or replacements before functionality is affected or performance is compromised. It also ensures that resources are allocated wisely, not waste on costly and unnecessary maintenance checks or last-minute emergencies.
By simplifying building maintenance and supporting better occupant experiences, onPoint helps building owners make the most of their investment.
Laura draws on her experience in commercial real estate to cover trends in occupancy, indoor air quality and operational efficiency.
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