What is monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx)?

 

 

Monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) is a continuous process designed to increase comfort and reduce energy waste in your facility by using building control and metering data. Much like new commissioning, re-commissioning, and retro-commissioning, monitoring-based commissioning identifies ways to increase efficiency and comfort within your building.

 

The process of monitoring-based commissioning varies in its approach as compared to the more common new commissioning approach but is often conducted in conjunction with traditional commissioning. MBCx can also be conducted after a commissioning process to ensure continued operational and efficiency goals. You can implement a MBCx process into your building even if it has never been commissioned before, and even in lieu of a retro-commissioning project.

 

What are some of the benefits of implementing a MBCx Project?

  • Benchmarking how your facility performs compared to other facilities.

  • Energy savings (10-25%)*.

  • Continual monitoring of all your equipment 24/7/365.

  •  Identification of underlying issues behind ongoing problems in your facility.

  • Discovering previously unknown savings opportunities.

  • Verifying that savings initiatives produce real results.

  • Optimizing facility performance over time.

  • Enhancing staff knowledge about your facility.

 

The MBCx process is typically broken down into 3 phases. These are the Data Collection Phase, Analysis and Recommendations Phase, and the Energy Actions and Savings Phase. The MBCx team completes the following tasks in each phase:

 

Data Collection

  • Equipment & operational audit (inventory of equipment, motors, pumps, fans, etc.).

  • Short-term and long-term monitoring.

  • Utility data collection (water, electric, gas, etc.) through your service provider.

  • Collection of operational information (CAD drawings, TAB reports, prior Cx Reports, control points and sequences of operations, etc.).

 

Analysis and Recommendations

  • Review and analysis of data collected.

  • Energy benchmarking.

  • On-going monitoring and collection of data.

  • Identify areas of improvement and review options with Owner/Facility Staff to select energy savings options.

 

Energy Actions and Savings Phase

  • Implementation of recommendations of energy saving / improvement options.

  • MBCx staff verifies that the executed implementations perform as expected.

  • Data archiving.

  • Continued review and collection of data 24/7/365 to ensure your building continues to operate efficiency.

 

The best results from MBCx come from Owners and Facility Staff working closely with the MBCx Agents. Some things the Owner/Facility Staff can to do to ensure a successful MBCx project include:

  • Set clear goals for energy savings and comfort levels.

  • Participate in regular project update meetings.

  • Give access to utility data through your utilities provider.

  • Dedicate staff time to work with MBCx Team to ensure timely repairs of issues that are identified.

  • Provide ongoing funding for the repair of identified issues and be willing to continuously invest in building operations to ensure maximum energy savings.

 

Cost

How much does MBCx cost to implement? Depending on the size and complexity of your facility, on average, the cost could range from $0.10/ft2 to $0.50/ ft2 for the first year. Continued monitoring costs could then range from $0.09/ ft2to $0.15/ ft2 (including software) for each year after.

 

Also see our FAQ section on “Why monitoring-based commissioning?”

 

*According to a report by the Lawrence-Berkeley National Labs, MBCx is a highly cost-effective strategy. The buildings included in this analysis realized an average energy savings of 10%, with some ranging as high as 25% resulting in a simple payback of 2.5 years.

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