With the emergence of highly efficient buildings, monitoring and control systems become increasingly complex as the number of sensors and actuators grows exponentially. To maintain optimal performance over building lifetime, these systems need to be monitored, their performance needs to be trended, and drifts or anomalies need to be detected, analyzed and reported. With various hardware manufacturers using proprietary communication protocols, robust infrastructure systems are essential.
Building occupants also impact the overall performance of the buildings. Inadvertent behavior due to lack of information or feedback, such as opening windows while HVAC systems are in heating or cooling modes, wastes a significant amount of energy. To create this awareness, technology displaying building energy performance metrics and recommendations can engage the occupants toward pro-environmental behavior. A synergy of manual and automated control should be achieved by giving occupants control of their environments, improving satisfaction and productivity, while reducing health issues and concerns.
The Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace is a 7000 square foot living laboratory of office environments and innovations located on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). To support integrated ventilation (mechanical and natural), heating, cooling, lighting, and day lighting control strategies, OSIsoft’s PI System is used as the real-time data platform in the laboratory. All systems installed in the facility, with more than 10 different BAS (Building Automation System) manufacturers (Siemens, Automated Logic, National Instrument, etc.) were integrated into a common platform using the PI Server. Using PI ProcessBook, all data (heating and cooling, plug loads, real time energy consumption, etc.) was displayed on public interfaces to occupants within the laboratory. Using the capability of the BACnet protocol, occupants control these various systems (blinds, louvers, lighting, temperature set-points) in their own workspaces.
For CMU, we leverage the PI System’s real-time data collection, analytic and visualization capabilities to integrate, monitor and diagnose building performance indices. The integration of multiple BASs under a common platform drastically reduces building maintenance and operation. We will demonstrate an energy dashboard with feedback and control mechanisms for individual occupants. The dashboard displays energy consumption, provides energy conservation recommendations and has a control feature to actuate energy consuming equipment in the workspace. The goal of the dashboard is to engage individual building occupants toward environmentally sustainable behavior while saving energy through feedback and control mechanisms. Preliminary studies have shown that more than 40% energy savings can be achieved.
Bertrand Lasternas, with a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, is a Senior Researcher in the Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Bertrand is one of the key investigators of the EEBHub project [http://www.eebhub.org/], an industry/university/national research lab consortium. CMU was awarded $6.25 million over the next five years from the US Department of Energy to contribute to the Energy Innovation Hub, focusing on developing technologies to make buildings more energy efficient while improving occupant comfort and productivity and at the same time improve indoor environmental quality. In addition to working on EEBHub projects, Bertrand develops and writes proposals and is engaged in publishing journals and conference papers. Bertrand advises and supports the Center’s PhD and Masters students in thesis and course projects.
On top of research and academic responsibilities, Bertrand manages the diverse mechanical systems, sensors and actuators in the Intelligent Workplace and supports graduate student experimentation in the “Building Diagnostics and Controls” course as well as the Master of Science in Sustainable Design synthesis projects. His efforts have become central to the Intelligent Workplace and the Center for Building Performance research and academic agendas, supporting the creation of a platform that integrates energy consumption data, indoor environmental quality data, weather data, and mechanical systems control choices into high performance building solutions of significance in the US and beyond. Deeply engaged in energy saving designs and strategies, Bertrand is certified as a Passive House Consultant.