2017 Monitoring-based Commissioning Plan Template

What is MBCx?

Monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) is a process to maintain and continuously improve building performance over time. Through the MBCx process, a large amount of data is analyzed on a continuous basis. The process is typically focused on HVAC and lighting system performance but can also be applied to other systems. MBCx may follow on from an existing building commissioning (EBCx) project with the goal of maintaining savings and looking for deeper controls refinements, or analytics software may be used during the EBCx process to help find savings opportunities then continue being used in the MBCx program. Fault detection & diagnostics (FDD) and/or energy information systems (EIS) are the analytic software that support an MBCx process (these tools are types of energy management and information systems, or EMIS). The three core elements of MBCx are:

  • Collection of building data, typically energy metering and data from energy-consuming systems;
  • Data analysis through automated fault detection and diagnosis (FDD) and/or energy information systems (EIS) to identify issues and opportunities; and
  • A process for implementing improvements based on the analytics and verifying savings.

    What are the benefits of MBCx?

    Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx) is a proven strategy to cut energy waste by 5-15%, and it is recommended to repeat EBCx every 3-5 years to rectify performance degradation that happens over time. MBCx can prevent that performance degradation, and offers two major additional benefits:

  • Building analytics software can rapidly analyze thousands of HVAC system components, enabling identification of deeper savings opportunities in a way that isn't cost-effective with manual analysis;
  • Analytics software can identify when system performance drifts from optimal, meaning that issues can be caught and resolved before they turn into problems that impact occupant comfort.

    How do I implement an MBCx process?

    MBCx may be managed completely in-house or outside support may be used. Options for implementing the core elements of MBCx are:
  • EMIS software - purchase from software vendor, develop own EMIS by programming FDD rules and adding metering into BAS
  • Ongoing analytics review & diagnosis - in-house review of analytics software, EMIS service provider remote analysis, or third party commissioning authority (onsite and/or remote)
  • Fix issues & verify performance - in-house team implement fix and verify performance improvement, verification by commissioning authority or EMIS service provider

    How do I use LBNL's MBCx Plan Template?

    The MBCx Plan template is designed for use by building staff (e.g. an Energy Manager) or a third party (e.g. Commissioning Provider). Once created, the MBCx Plan drives a thorough, methodical MBCx process and helps ensure that all team members (internal and external) are fully aware of the plan and their responsibilities. The MBCx Plan template offers introductory language under each section heading and additional supporting reference material in the appendices, such as a Monitoring Action Plan. The structure of this template is built around best practice concepts and can be tailored to the unique needs and scope of each MBCx program.

    The template is not intended to be used as an MBCx guideline or standard; it is assumed that the user of this template is already familiar with the MBCx process. The 3rd edition of the Building Commissioning Handbook includes a chapter with detailed guidance on the MBCx process.

    Resources

    Monitoring-based Commissioning Plan Template - June 2017
    Granderson, J., Kramer, H., Crowe, E.
    DOC, 8.7 MB