Building systems commissioning processes applied at the design phase and throughout the building life cycle have been shown to effectively improve performance and reduce energy consumption. In spite of that fact, commissioning is underutilized because current practices are labor intensive and require considerable technical expertise. NIST will develop the measurement science needed to enable commissioning techniques that leverage the embedded capabilities of building automation and control systems to automate functional performance tests and analyze the results in ways that reduce costs. The results will be used to improve high-impact industry best-practice guidelines.
Objective - To improve the operating efficiency of building systems by providing the measurement science needed to develop improved building commissioning techniques that utilize embedded capabilities of building control systems, and accelerate the adoption of cost-effective commissioning as standard practice.
ASHRAE recently published a first advisory public review for Guideline 36P, High Performance Sequences of Operations for HVAC Systems. The new technical idea is to leverage these new standard sequences of operation and the capabilities of the HVAC-Cx tool to develop and validate a library of automated commissioning tests linked to the standard sequences of operation. This validation work can become the basis for new industry guidelines or standard methods of test for building system commissioning tools. In addition, NIST will develop a prototype rating system to provide the metrics needed to inform building owners/operators about how best to invest their limited resources in resolving problems that are identified in the commissioning process.
A method to characterize the energy consumption and life-cycle impact of faults will be developed that can be incorporated into both HVAC-Cx and a fault detection and diagnostic tool under development in a separate research project in the Embedded Intelligence in Buildings program. In order to assist the building industry in applying the knowledge gained from commissioning commercial buildings to energy-efficient residences, NIST will leverage experience gained in building and operating the Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility to develop and document recommended best practices for commissioning high-performance residential buildings and testing the performance of their systems.
The NIST Engineering Laboratory will work with industry throughout the development process to establish market pull for our research products. Research results will be disseminated to a wider audience (market push) through informative journal publications, involvement in the development of key industry guidelines (ASHRAE Guideline 36P - High Performance Sequences of Operation for HVAC Systems, ASHRAE Guideline 1.2 Commissioning Process for Existing HVAC&R Systems) and educational activities such as webinars and tool demonstrations. Steps will also be taken to make NIST-developed tools and the guidance for using them readily-available online.
Start Date:October 1, 2011
Lead Organizational Unit:el
Virtual Cybernetic Building Testbed
Project Leader: Natascha S. Milesi-Ferretti
Related Programs and Projects:
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