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MBCx Detective: Finding Evidence-Based Savings with Analytics

October 18, 2017

Lincoln Harmer, P.E.
Senior Engineer, kW Engineering

Lincoln presents ways that analytics can bring legacy control systems into the future. The performance of a building is highly influenced by the quality of the controls infrastructure being utilized. Naturally, older systems still relying on legacy control systems are more prone to performance degradation than those with more modern controls. Typically, this is because the root causes of system faults are not fully resolved due to the rising cost of supporting older generations of system components and the inability for multiple vendors to exist on the same system. However, while maintenance costs may be rising, with spare parts becoming scarce and expensive, true maintenance savings alone is usually not enough to justify the capital investment involved with upgrading an entire control system.

He presents a cost-effective approach to EBCx and developing a prioritized migration strategy for controls upgrade, using analytics to serve as a framework that Owners and facility managers can use to justify a controls modernization project. Using analytics on the onset of any controls modernization project enables control system migrations to happen at the Owner’s pace, allowing new controllers to be strategically integrated with existing equipment. This allows organizations to develop migration strategies and prioritize controls upgrades without having to “rip and replace” their entire hardware and software systems.

Smart Benchmarking for Lab Buildings

October 18, 2017

Alison Farmer, PhD
Project Manager

Benchmarking against other buildings is the first step in any efficiency program. It tells us where we stand, provides a baseline against which to gauge progress, helps us prioritize attention and identify opportunities, and is an excellent catalyst for the conversations that drive improvement. This session demonstrates the smart ways to use lab benchmarking data and introduces the new lab benchmarking portal being developed at I2SL as part of the DOE Lab Accelerator Program.

Cx Investigations: Energy Waste, Operational Issues and Other Offenses

October 18, 2017

Arik Cohen, P.E.

This interactive presentation (and play on the popular CSI TV franchise) works directly with the audience to approach existing building commissioning (EBCx) from a forensics perspective. Using photographs, screen captures from control systems, trend data and other investigative tools, the panelists for this session reveal crimes of energy waste and dysfunctional operation. For each situation the speakers provide the data used to identify the issue, and then ask the audience “solve the case”. The session begins with an introduction to the building forensic tools available to commissioning providers, including site observation, building performance data, control system graphics, and functional test results. The presenters also provide notes on best practices for each of the forensic tools listed.

Don't Let This Happen To Your Building: Preventing and Solving System-Wide Problems in Central Plants

October 17, 2017

Sanjiv “Sunny” Devnani, P.E.
Project Manager

In the not too distant past, new building commissioning concentrated at individual equipment, with less focus on the systems as a whole (i.e. whole building commissioning – remember last year’s conference?). Existing Building and Retro-commissioning look at building performance in order to understand how to make the building operate well and save energy in the future.

In the present, design engineers are trying to use advanced control sequences, but are still looking at the individual equipment. Facilities engineers, pressed to their breaking point, are applying overrides – sometimes reactive, other times proactive – to achieve thermal comfort for the building occupants. The result of these overrides can help or hurt the operation.

Commissioning providers can work together with design and facilities engineers to prevent and solve system-wide problems in central plants. Doing so will lead to happier occupants, less work for the facilities engineer, less wear and tear on equipment, and in some cases even generate enough savings to pay for a new control system! Come to this presentation to find out why, when it comes to central plants, commissioning providers must think in terms of systems. Also learn about how overrides can be a double-edged sword by either removing an unnecessary, energy intensive operating condition or sending the central plant into a death spiral.

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Playing Nice: HVAC and Lighting Controls Integration

October 17, 2017

Project Manager

Occupancy based demand control ventilation is becoming the way to save energy in advanced buildings. In the past, carbon dioxide was used as a proxy for occupancy and driver for ventilation, but with the ubiquity of lighting controls, especially with recent code mandates, occupancy sensors are being used more and more.

But just because you can use them doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. This joint discussion between Gomes, a commissioning provider, and Lewis, a representative of the UC Davis Facilities Management Energy Conservation Office, includes examples of the challenges and complexities encountered and solutions based on their real-world experience implementing advanced lighting controls projects and integrating them into their HVAC control systems.

The speakers will share views on the advantages and disadvantages – including huge implications for maintenance – of different ways to implement occupancy based ventilation on your projects. They will cover:

  • Four methods for implementing occupancy-based ventilation
  • Things to watch out for in the control sequences
  • What to remember for integration
  • How to prevent a maintenance nightmare
  • How choice of occupancy sensor manufacturer affects implementation

Food for Thought: Ingredients for a Delicious Meter-Based Restaurant Program

August 30, 2017

Amy Allen, P.E.
Project Engineer

A meter-based M&V approach can aid utilities in meeting increased targets for energy savings, and quantifying savings more rigorously. In 2015, California adopted legislation (Senate Bill 350 and Assembly Bill 802), to pursue deep, reliable, and lasting energy savings by authorizing efficiency program administrators to quantify gross energy savings using a normalized metered energy consumption (NMEC) approach, with an existing conditions baseline. While this approach aligns the accounting of energy savings with a customer’s expectations, it is not without risk. Learn the technical risks associated with the applicability and accuracy of the meter-based savings methodology, and how it informs program designs to assure program success. In response to the legislation, a major Southern California gas program administrator is developing a program that targets gas, electricity, and water resources for commercial restaurants in its service territory. The program proposes to quantify normalized savings using a NMEC methodology, which requires modelling of energy use with weather and other independent variables. Key questions concerning the applicability of models to restaurants arise: can the restaurant’s energy use patterns be modeled, and are the modeling algorithms appropriate for the restaurants?

Amy presented the results of an in-depth analysis of natural gas energy use in restaurants that have participated in recent past energy efficiency programs. We collected baseline and post-installation monthly gas data for over 400 restaurants, applied a set of piecewise linear regression models, and determined the accuracy of each model for the population.

mv20 presentation
M&V 2.0: New Developments and Applications

September 12, 2017

David Jump, PhD, P.E.
Project Manager, kW Engineering

As our energy management practices turn toward deep energy savings projects, continuous energy management programs, and sustainability practices, there is more interest in and use of data from advanced metering systems. The short time interval data from these systems provides rapid feedback on a building’s or system’s energy performance, and advanced analytic methods enable more accurate accounting of savings. However the industry is realizing that the analytic methods are more complex and less understood and may act as barriers to their application by most stakeholders. This presentation will clarify the process and requirements in applying “M&V 2.0” to a project, discuss common issues, identify useful tools, and demonstrate its benefits in case studies.

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M&V 2.0: A User's Guide for the Latest Release

June 8, 2017

David Jump, PhD, P.E.
Project Manager, kW Engineering

EMC is the largest energy conference and technology expo on the West Coast. As part of Track 2, High Performance & Green Buildings, David presented on M&V 2.0: A User’s Guide for the Latest Release. He clarified the process and requirements in applying “M&V 2.0” to a project, discussed common issues, and demonstrated its benefits in case studies.

Turning on the Switch to Lighting Controls in High Performance Buildings

August 30, 2017

Project Manager

Lighting control systems operate in a highly proprietary environment, making interoperability impossible between manufacturers and stymying “or equal” substitutions. Little can be done to remedy poor design or application of lighting controls, so design must involve an integrated, preventive approach across all building systems. A knowledgeable commissioning provider can coordinate this effort. Learn how the commissioning process bolsters and supports successful lighting control system design, installation, and operation.

Previous Years

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Harnessing Technology to Improve M&V

June 2, 2016

David Jump, PhD, P.E.
Project Manager, kW Engineering

David presented “Harnessing Technology to Improve M&V” at “The Financing Community Takes Another Look at Measurement and Verification Requirements: Will Stipulated Savings Survive?” session of this workshop. He shared how to:

  1. Understand key risks in energy savings performance projects.
  2. Understand the four M&V Options, level of rigor, best applications.
  3. Define M&V 2.0 concepts and applications.
  4. Understand advantages over traditional M&V methods.

Commissioning Lighting Control Systems

May 16, 2016

Senior Commissioning Provider, kW Engineering

Pete Samaras, PE, LC, LEED AP
Preconstruction Manager, DPR Construction

Commissioning providers can usually count on finding a sequence of operation for the HVAC system. Sequences for the lighting design are usually missing or incomplete. This presentation focuses on lighting sequences of operation during design, construction, and commissioning. It looks at how the sequence is set up in the OPR, how it moves through the basis of design and drawings/specifications, the challenges contractors face when trying to program lighting systems, and the CxP’s role in making sure the sequences are present, implementable, and maintainable.

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Standard 211P: Taming the "Wild West" of Commercial Building Energy Audits

Jim Kelsey, P.E., BEAP, LEED AP
President, kW Engineering

At the CxEnergy 2016 Conference and Expo from April 11-13, Jim Kelsey presented on Standard 211P. This standard will change the way that ASHRAE defines Level 1, 2 and 3 energy audits, including energy auditor qualifications and options for online audit delivery and data exchange formats. Jim, the chairman of the committee developing the standard, provided vital insight for energy auditors and those with plans to hire one.

Attendees learned about:

  1. The basic purpose for each of the ASHRAE Audit Levels 1, 2 and 3
  2. New reporting procedures that will likely be part of the new ASHRAE Energy Audit Standard
  3. How BuildingSync can be used to communicate energy audit results
  4. Common credentials that have been used qualify energy auditors

Top 8 Do’s and Don’ts of Lighting Systems/Controls Commissioning

February 26, 2016

Senior Commissioning Provider, kW Engineering

Rick Miller, PE, LEED AP, LC, CLCATT
President, RNM Engineering

Lighting and lighting controls have changed at a lighting pace over the past 5 years. This presentation describes leading dos and don’ts for lighting design and lighting controls commissioning for new construction and existing buildings. It describes the importance of setting up the project for success with the OPR, BOD, and Title 24 NRCC forms. It goes through the basics of creating a sequence of operations with examples, including a section on demand response. Resources to additional presentations are given at the end.

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November 5, 2014

Jim Kelsey, P.E., BEAP, LEED AP
President, kW Engineering

Many schools are finding it difficult to deliver the value promised by Prop 39 funding. Regulatory hurdles are high, filing requirements can be difficult, and it’s hard for districts to sort out whether vendors are presenting measures that will help save energy, or just help spend the money. In this session we help you sort the wheat from the chaff. Jim Kelsey, P.E., a nationally recognized expert on energy efficiency, will provide insights into which strategies result in real cost savings to schools, what energy efficiency measures are safe, sound and reliable, and what snake oil smells like.

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August 19, 2014

James Donson, P.E., LC, BEAP, MIES
Senior Engineer II, kW Engineering

Bruce Chamberlain, CEM
Project Manager, Engineering

kW Engineering presented this paper written by James Donson (lead author), Bruce Chamberlain (co-author) and Jon Schoenfeld (co-author) at this year’s ACEE Summer Study. This paper identifies and describes the potential non-lighting energy and operational benefits associated with advanced lighting controls (ALCs) and provides decision makers with a justification to specify integrated building systems. The authors include a discussion of ALC system network topologies and associated, enabled lighting efficiency measures. The paper will provides an in-depth analysis of control strategies that provide non-lighting energy savings in new construction and existing buildings applications.

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Jim Kelsey, P.E., BEAP, LEED AP
President, kW Engineering

Through his experience as Chair of ASHRAE’s proposed Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits, Jim Kelsey has had unique exposure to nation-wide perspectives on what energy audits should be for utilities, program administrators, and end-users’ multiple internal stakeholders. Energy audits have become common practice, but there is wide variation in qualifications and deliverables. Jim covered trends that challenge the development of a credible energy assessment industry, guidelines for the often misinterpreted ASHRAE Audit levels, best practices for auditors, and how software is changing the landscape for data collection, analysis and reporting results.

Additional Presentations

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