Two factors typically attribute to the erosion of HVAC operating cost savings using software: Older building automation systems and tight comfort tolerances. 3700 North McDowell presented both of these challenges in a building envelope with less than 37k sq. ft. of usable office space – A building size that typically doesn’t warrant complicated savings strategies.
Basin-Street’s engineering staff had several existing challenges that we had to account for as well including a building automation system strewn with communication errors and malfunctioning unitary controllers. They looked to EnerDapt to not only optimize HVAC equipment operation and lower costs, but to drive economical repair and upgrade solutions.
Add our virtual engineer Hank to the building to drive at least 30% energy savings and fix existing system issues.
ADDING OUR VIRTUAL ENGINEER HANK
Generating New Insights
Previous sites our virtual engineer Hank managed had ample amounts of information to drive real-time cost evaluation and actionable-intelligence. Although we had sufficient mechanical records, the existing building automation system was far older than other systems we had previously managed. Teaching Hank was more sophisticated than past implementations as our team had to develop custom logic to fill the technological gaps of an aged system. Despite concerns about the lighter point-density, our team was able to use existing sensors to generate new insights vital to Hank making autonomous, real-time adjustments to equipment operation.
Optimizing HVAC equipment has traditionally been based on blanketed engineering knowledge regardless of individual site conditions including: Equipment age, weather conditions, building usage, occupancy, etc. We taught our virtual engineer Hank similar engineering principles but gave him the ability to modify sequences as necessary based on individual system characteristics. In the 3700 Old Redwood building Hank was able to learn how each unit operated and make small adjustments down to the zone level, generating large impacts to savings and degradation.
LIFE CYCLE COSTS
Four months into the case study Basin-Street acquired a new tenant with unique space usage requirements. As part of the lease, the tenant requested 24/7 HVAC conditioning for 550 sq. ft. of call center space. Our virtual engineer Hank ran a full cost-analysis of installing a dedicated HVAC unit versus utilizing existing HVAC. With some slight upgrades, Hank could isolate the existing HVAC for the new call center and save Basin-Street $17,400.00 over a 3-year forecast versus installing a dedicated system.