Track M | Big Data and IoT
For new construction, the HVAC system is commissioned at every step, pre-design to post-occupancy. The process for functional testing equipment is well established. While this is important, even with a great mechanical design, a building will not operate well without proper automation—the software layer that actually implements the sequences of operation.
HVAC systems are no longer hardware systems with software controllers. A modern HVAC system is a software application that controls hardware components (equipment). The software components get very minimal attention during most construction projects, from the engineering specification to the controls submittals to the actual code installed, and the results are predictably under-performing buildings. Analysis efforts on existing buildings suffer the same fate.
This presentation will use case study examples to show the flaws and impact of insufficient automation (software) implementations, including college/university buildings, a convention center, and a $500 million state-of-the-art medical research facility. We’ll show how engineering specifications and sequences need improvement to ensure the instructions to the controls contractor are complete and non-ambiguous, and how controls submittals need upgrading to ensure the specified control is delivered in a robust, maintainable fashion. We’ll also look the challenges of rewriting the BAS’s software layer in existing buildings.
The presentation will reference ASHRAE Guideline 36 as a roadmap for how software should function to deliver consistent high-performance buildings.
In conclusion, there are many lessons to be learned from the software industry about how to build resilient, intelligent software applications, as that is what’s required in complex buildings today. The industry needs to enhance its capabilities in this area and develop the skill sets necessary to treat the software side HVAC system with the same seriousness as hardware is treated today.
Kevin Fuller is executive vice president at Interval Data Systems where he is responsible for product development, marketing, and program management for several of IDS’ largest customers. Before joining the IDS team in 2004, Kevin spent 20 years working for vendors of relational database, data analytics and related technologies in both technical and marketing roles where he developed a strong understanding of how businesses use data to their advantage.
Kevin works closely with IDS clients to ensure their success and make certain the efforts solve real business and operational problems. For example, Kentucky’s statewide program, Commonwealth Energy Management and Control System (CEMCS), has been implemented across more than 1,125 buildings totaling 20 million square feet, combining data from over 150 utility companies and tracking 200,000 BAS trends. CEMCS has helped Kentucky reduce energy bills by $5 million annually, and enact legislation to require high-performance building standards that affect construction, engineering, and commissioning. IDS and CEMCS have won national awards from AEE, DOE, NASFA, NASCA, Energy Star, and most recently from DOE’s Smart Energy Analytics Campaign.
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