Managing a property isn’t easy. Maintenance and operations staff have a lot on their plates, running to fix one issue after the next. But when you’re constantly reacting to the latest emergency, it is hard to stay on top of overall equipment operations and preventative maintenance that will keep a building operating at peak performance and avoid surprise system breakdowns. And now with the new carbon emissions laws in New York, on top of all this, operators must strategically manage building systems and plan future upgrades to curb carbon emissions or risk fines.
So how do our clients keep their building operations effective and efficient, avoiding surprise breakdowns and making cost-effective, impactful upgrades to reduce building emissions?
With Bright Power’s MoBIUS® (Management of Building Information, Utilities, & Systems).
Optimize Equipment, Increase Building Performance, Streamline Operations
With MoBIUS, Bright Power dives into a building’s real-time operational data to find opportunities to cut energy waste and ensure systems and equipment are working as designed. We collect that data remotely, allowing us to identify and diagnose issues—such as with setpoints, schedules, and other operating parameters—and identify potential energy efficiency improvements. We work with the building staff, both over the phone and by going on-site, to correct any problems. We also go on-site to make sure staff are properly trained on both existing equipment and any new equipment getting installed—a process often overlooked that can lead to energy waste, premature equipment failure, and a major hit to a building’s bottom line.
Let’s look at an example.
At a higher education client’s building that we recently onboarded into our MoBIUS service, the real-time data we received from the Building Management System (BMS) indicated that almost every Air Handling Unit (AHU) in the building had its operating schedule overridden to run 24/7. This meant that even though there were many hours when spaces weren’t occupied, fans, valves, compressors, etc. were operating to maintain comfortable temperatures in all the spaces 24/7. Running equipment this way wastes energy and decreases the life of the equipment.
We worked with the Chief Engineer and the building operations staff to better understand the needs of the building and assisted in re-programming setpoints and schedules to better suit the spaces the AHUs were serving. For example, we reset the default schedule for an AHU serving a performance and theater space to a custom schedule so that it only functioned during the hours when the space was occupied. This is a different approach than what we would recommend for an office space with more set, standardized hours.
We also worked to understand the root causes of the overrides and trained site staff to better understand operational setpoints and avoid future issues. Now, instead of overriding equipment into manual operations at the slightest problem or complaint, the operations team has a plan of action and direct access to the Bright Power MoBIUS team for further assistance. And we are continuing to monitor the building’s performance and will intervene whenever any new issues arise.
The graphs below show the operating schedules before and after the changes:
That same client worked with a third-party contractor to install and commission a brand new Building Management Systems (BMS). The contractor finished the job and trained a group of building operators on how to use the BMS. You may be thinking, “This sounds great—a new BMS and trained staff.” But the contractor missed explaining key details that would help the operations staff utilize the BMS to its full potential. That’s not to say the contractor did a poor job. Rather the BMS contractor who installs, programs, and commissions the BMS day in and day out has a different baseline of experience than the group of operators they are training and often doesn’t have detailed knowledge about the way the building is operated day-to-day.
A piece of equipment is only effective if you know how to properly use it.
That’s where we stepped in. Bright Power re-trained staff, answered questions, and provided individual coaching to ensure each team member was comfortable with the new system. This training included matching building equipment to the equipment on the BMS, shedding light on how to navigate it to change set points and managing schedules, and moving away from changing set points locally on the equipment to changing set points remotely in the BMS. Not only is the current staff trained, but through this custom training, the client can now quickly onboard new site staff to operate the BMS. Bright Power is also holding ongoing BMS meetings in which all operators, along with a Bright Power team member, review any questions and additional best practice strategies to keep the ideas fresh to the operators.
With Bright Power’s MoBIUS, this building is:
- Achieving energy and water savings.
- Total Energy Saved: 329,000 kBTU
- Total Water Saved: 48,000 Gallons
- Annual Cost Savings: Over $49,000
- Operating in a new way that optimizes equipment life and energy savings without sacrificing occupant comfort.
- Run by operations staff that are trained in the building’s equipment and armed with best practices and strategies to address issues when they arise.
- Supported by the Bright Power team on an ongoing basis to combat daily operational problems and set a strategy for all equipment that impacts energy and water usage and carbon emissions.
Curious to hear more about MoBIUS?
We’ll be sharing more in future posts from our experiences out in the field to help you better understand continuous energy management services and how real-time energy management can be your secret weapon in the fight to keep your ROI and lower carbon emissions. Interested to learn more about MoBIUS? Sign up for emails to learn more here.