Waiting until tenants complain, equipment breaks down or energy bills eat into your bottom line before you decide on asset improvements is no way to manage a building, especially when there are better alternatives available.
The new best-practice approach is to use Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) to ensure a building is performing at its optimum, according to new research by CSIRO.
It is also an approach that can leverage opex (operating expenditure) to achieve significant gains in energy efficiency, thermal comfort and lower spends on equipment maintenance and repair.
CSIRO recently assessed a number of FDD products available in the market, and rated CIM Enviro’s ACE platform as an all-star performer in terms of delivering results.
The , commissioned by the CRC for Low Carbon Living, also identified the big picture benefits of FDD tools.
Authors Dr Josh Wall and Dr Ying Guo from CSIRO Energy said performance degradation, improperly tuned controls and malfunction of HVAC systems and equipment wastes up to an estimated 16 per cent of whole building energy.
More asset owners using FDD technology effectively can therefore improve the overall energy performance of the built environment, they say.
David Walsh, CIM Enviro’s chief executive officer, says the platform can help underperforming, older A and B Grade buildings, as well as optimise the performance of new A Grade and Premium assets.
The key is “getting the most out of the data available at the site”, David says.
So how does the ACE Platform work?
The ACE Platform utilises data delivered by a small device about the same size as a mobile phone that can be installed in seconds, which collects all of a building’s data streams, from thermal analysis to the performance of specific items of plant and equipment.
The platform then uses machine learning and analytics to convert this information stream into real-time insights into unnecessary energy use, associated carbon emissions and key factors such as how equipment is performing and the likelihood of tenant comfort complaints.
The technology can be customised to each specific client and building to generate intelligent alarms, report on faults, or predict where equipment is likely to fail or where energy budgets are being exceeded. It can show how improved energy use is likely to influence the NABERS rating.
It can also pinpoint what a maintenance technician needs to pay attention to, what possible solutions could be, and predict the dollar savings of proposed actions.