Building Energy Controls / Systems Integration Services
One of the most significant advantages of the Enterprise method of total energy control is that we work with you and for you. We begin by surveying your facility with a complete computer analysis of your energy requirements. The detailed study forms a foundation of an ongoing support program of preventive maintenance. It is also the basis for our design of energy management and controls systems that will help you control your costs and comfort levels.
Today’s facilities are equipped with a wide range of diverse systems designed to control HVAC, energy management, lighting, and security. Integration and interoperability between all of these systems is critical to improving operations, lowering costs, and achieving the security and comfort demanded in today’s dynamic business environments. The challenge is to get these diverse systems that communicate using many different protocols to connect and converse with each other so you can derive actionable intelligence from the information they contain.
We address this challenge with something called Tridium®.
Tridium® is a complete management and control suite that orchestrates the building of automation, energy, and security functions of a facility by means of a single software platform. It integrates diverse systems and devices — regardless of manufacturer or communications protocol — into a unified platform that can be easily managed and controlled in real time over the Internet using a standard web browser. And Enterprise HVAC Service and Control is your local connection to a single platform network that integrates all your HVAC, Lighting, and Security systems.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD BUILDING CANDIDATE?
Most owners of multiple systems will start with their highest energy consuming buildings. A typical metric for this evaluation is determined by taking the annual utility cost (normally gas/electric) and dividing into the building square footage. For example, a 50,000 square foot Medical Office Building with a $125,000 annual utility bill has a $2.50 cost/square foot.
Another selection criterion has to do with performance of the building systems; i.e., which buildings are considered problematic from an energy systems (HVAC, lighting, compressed air, etc.) perspective? It is understood that energy will be saved as a result of retro-commissioning, but if the building owner can solve chronic performance problems at the same time (comfort complaints, process interruptions, noise, etc.), that can be a strong motivator in the building prioritization process.
- Buildings whose systems are currently operated continuously will typically offer better paybacks than buildings that are operated on a standard work week schedule.
- Buildings with mechanical A/C (cooling) often provide greater energy savings potential than buildings with only heating systems (except in the most extreme cold climates).
- Older buildings which have experienced multiple renovations or system modifications over the years are very good candidates for retro-commissioning.
- New or recently renovated buildings with DDC systems that were not commissioned as a part of the original design/construction project have also proven to benefit greatly from the retro-commissioning process.
Buildings with computerized direct digital control (DDC) systems will often have the most potential for hidden problems that can be discovered through a retro-commissioning process. In addition, retro-commissioning a building with a DDC system often takes less effort (time) than retro-commissioning a building with only local controls. The power of the DDC system can be used to trend key performance parameters over time and to view the status of multiple points and devices simultaneously.
Buildings with local pneumatic/electric controls also have great potential for hidden problems due to their lack of central reporting and/or monitoring of the distributed controllers. The older the local controllers are, the more likely they are to be out of calibration or otherwise “broken”.
As implied above, it is more labor intensive to re-commission a building with local pneumatic/electric controls than a building with a DDC system. Field investigation and checkout of control system operation takes considerably more time due to the absence of permanently installed monitoring equipment. In addition, the need to install and un-install portable data loggers to graph system performance data over time is quite different than the effort to set up and download trend logs from a DDC system.
For the past several decades, energy and its use in the commercial environment has been and continues to be a major concern for building owners and managers. Today’s headlines bring the truth of this statement to bear — Utility Deregulation, Increased Gas/Electric Costs, Highest Consumer Energy Costs in a decade, and so on.
The equipment and systems that maintain the environment inside commercial facilities are among the largest consumers of energy and therefore need to be monitored and maintained and upgraded as necessary. And that is where Enterprise comes in. As a “Greenstar” service contractor, we have the ability to help you maintain these systems so they run at peak efficiency to keep your sustainability objectives in tow.
The first step in determining if you need to upgrade your systems is to perform an energy audit. Enterprise will conduct a study of your energy use and benchmark the results with organizations or facilities similar to yours. As part of this process, Enterprise engineers will search your building looking for ways to save energy. After the audit is complete, you’ll receive a report that identifies where you can cut energy use and how much you can expect to save as a result. The report will also lists things you can do to save energy. This report includes:
- Recommendations — from the easiest/least expensive to the most difficult/most expensive
- Lists payoffs for each recommendation
- Determine if any Grants are applicable to your site
The national energy performance rating is a type of external benchmark that helps energy managers access how efficiently their buildings use energy, relative to similar buildings nationwide. The rating system’s 1-100 scale allows everyone to quickly understand how a building is performing – a rating of 50 indicates average energy performance, while a rating of 75 or better indicates top performance.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in conjunction with stakeholders, developed the energy rating as a screening tool; it does not by itself explain why a building performs a certain way, or how to change the building’s performance. It does, however, help organizations assess performance and identify those buildings that offer the best opportunities for improvement and recognition. Click here to access the Energy Star website where you can find a number of handy and inexpensive tips.
The process of energy upgrading is more than energy conservation or “going green”. It is energy optimization, which includes both conservation and efficiency, but also emphasizes increased productivity. To get the most out of an energy upgrade, you should do three things:
- Take a total facility approach
- Get an energy audit
- Call in an energy expert, like Enterprise
Enterprise not only will examine the equipment you currently have, we can also look at better ways to control that equipment using interactive building control systems. We can upgrade existing control systems, enhance them, or replace them.