How to Model Energy Savings with Pressure Independent Valves

Posted on Tue,Apr 12, 2016 @ 04:47 PM

The pressure independent control technology has matured over the years and is accepted as a proven application for optimizing hydronic system delta T, enhancing system performance and reducing energy cost. Pressure independent valves offer precise hydronic flow control resulting in improved system efficiency and control for heating and cooling applications. The primary purpose of pressure independent control valves in a HVAC system is to minimize flow through the coil in an air handler while maintaining process variable set point control (coil discharge air temperature). Hydronic system performance has varied from constant volume to variable volume with pressure independent flow control.

PIQCV_noreflect_nocable.pngInstalling pressure independent control valves instead of pressure dependent two-way control valves typically used in variable flow systems is the best of both worlds. The pressure independent valve combines the functionality of a control valve and a pressure regulating valve, creating ONE precise product which is unaffected by pressure variations in a system. The high rangeability provides enhanced control resulting in elevated delta T performance and reduced flow to serve system loads. This cost effective design provides a constant flow – at each degree of ball opening – giving unparalleled performance in your HVAC system.

Energy_Modeling.jpgCalculate the energy savings when using pressure independent valves with Belimo’s PIV Energy Modeling tool. The PIV Energy Modeling tool is a Mircrosoft Windows® based application tool offered by Belimo – free of charge. The user simply enters a minimum amount of variables and is able to obtain a quick comparison of energy usage between the two types of valves. Even though the software requires minimum user entries, the calculations are very complex. It uses a set of hourly calculations in the background to obtain the different building HVAC load with predefined building types along with the city weather data and climate zone. The calculations structure complies with ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Appendix G regarding requirements for simulation programs. The program even provides the calculation tables so that the user can use the modeling as part of an Exceptional Calculation Method.

The PIV Energy Modeling tool can be accessed online at located in the top page navigation under: Sizing/Selection Tool.

Download the PIV Energy Modeling Tool and the Installation Guide

Tags: Product Review, Belimo News, Software Tools

Active Safety with Motorized Fire and Smoke Dampers

Posted on Mon,Mar 07, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Ensuring the safety of human life and property in buildings is one of the toughest demands that planners, builders, owners and operators are called upon to face. Smoke related injuries and deaths outnumber fire related injuries and deaths four to one. This is a rising concern for the safety of people and fire fighters who need to travel through building emergency exit routes as quickly as possible.

Tactical methods for smoke control are: fans, smoke vents, and closed doors in combination with dampers. Strategy varies with each situation.

  • Warehouses employ smoke vents to release smoke to the outside. NFPA 204M allows fans in the roof with louvers and dampers in the side walls to control the smoke.
  • Stairwell pressurization systems combine fans and dampers to prevent smoke from entering the stairwell from a burning floor.
  • Building HVAC ducting systems use motorized fire and smoke dampers to seal off individual zones. Dampers which are actuated electrically can be controlled from a central point and be integrated into safety control systems allowing a relatively smoke free exit for occupants and entrance of fire fighters.

Fire and smoke dampers are an integral part of distribution systems and are critical links in the life safety systems associated with most buildings. They offer extra protection against the dangerous amounts of low temperature smoke often produced before a fire actually breaks out. Restricting fires to the area of origin not only helps stop fire spread but has been proven to allow sprinklers to operate efficiently, and helps to ensure safety of human life.


Attend this upcoming webinar. Larry Felker, Product Manager for Fire and Smoke Damper Actuators will help you understand further how the new FSAF A series fire and smoke damper actuators are an integral part of distribution systems and are critical links in the life safety systems associated with buildings.


Fire & Smoke Product Release and Essential Retrofit ApplicationsLarry_Felker.jpg

In this webinar, you will learn why the new Belimo FSAF A Series of Fire & Smoke actuators are the perfect retrofit solution. The discussion will provide information on key applications and about the optimized functionality that provides maximum safety. A question and answer session to follow.

Join Us on Wednesday, March 23 at 1:00 EST


For further information on fire and smoke damper actuators, visit our online resourceor contact us via email.

Tags: Fire and Smoke Control

NEW ANSI 250 Energy Valve and Electronic Pressure Independent Valve - An Advanced Performance Solution for High Pressure Applications

Posted on Tue,Feb 16, 2016 @ 09:05 AM

Belimo Americas announces the release of the new ANSI 250 pressure rating for 2 ½” to 6” flanged Energy Valve and ePIV assemblies. These assemblies utilize an electromagnetic flow meter in line with a control ANSI_250_straight_EV.jpgvalve to obtain close-off ratings from 135 – 310 psi depending on valve size and actuator force. Actuators respond to a modulating control signal and are available with non-spring return or electronic fail-safe functionality.

The Energy Valve and Electronic Pressure Independent Valve (EPIV) both provide true flow with the built-in electronic flow meter and dynamic balancing providing pressure independent operation by maintaining constant flow regardless of differential pressure fluctuations.

The Energy Valve also provides a solution to low Delta T syndrome with its Delta T Manager™.  Power Control is another feature of the Energy Valve, which allows setting the power output to a specific value in a linear response making coil control both pressure and temperature independent. Additionally, the Energy Valve is equipped with an Energy Meter and data logger that stores 13 months of data providing system transparency along with the ability to optimize performance over BACnet or standard analog control.

For further information, download the product flyers: Energy Valve, EPIV.

Tags: Product Review, Belimo News, Product Updates

Belimo Receives 3 ControlTrends Awards!

Posted on Tue,Feb 02, 2016 @ 12:31 PM

The 2015 ControlTrends Awards were held January 24th at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live, located at the door ControlTrends.jpgstep to the amazing Universal Studios. Hard Rock Live was a great venue to celebrate the achievements and superstars of the HVAC building automation industry. Marc Petock and Kimberly Brown co-hosted the awards ceremony. Belimo was awarded: Best Technical Support Company, Vendor of the Year and Lars van der Haegen, CEO of Belimo received Executive of the Year.

2015 ControlTrends Award Winners:

  • Commercial Thermostat of the Year: Siemens RDY2000ControlTrends_GW1.jpg
  • VFD Manufacturer/Product of the Year: Siemens BT300
  • Peripheral Product of the Year: ACI
  • Building Automation VAV Controller of the Year Manufacturer or Product: KMC SimplyVAV
  • Building Automation Plant/Equipment Controller of the Year: EasyIO FG-32+
  • Wireless Product/Solution of the Year: EasyIO EnOcean
  • Lighting Integration Provider/Solution of the Year: Blue Ridge Technologies and Siemens Gamma
  • Energy Savings Solution Product of the Year: SkyFoundry
  • Innovative Product of the Year: Tridium Niagara 4
  • 3rd Party Visualization Software of the Year: J2 Innovations FIN Builder
  • Building Analytics Software of the Year: J2 Innovations and Niagara Analytics Framework
  • Building Automation Control System of the Year: Johnson Controls FX
  • ControlTrends Systems Integrator of the Year: Hepta Systems, North America and Automation Integrated, Oklahoma City
  • Best Technical Support Person — Large Manufacturer: John Hutchey, Honeywell
  • Best Technical Support Person — Small Manufacturer: Patrick Dumas, Viconics
  • Best Technical Support Company — Large Manufacturer: Belimo
  • Best Technical Support Company — Small Manufacturer: Blue Ridge Technologies
  • ControlTrends Executive of the Year — Large Manufacturer: Lars van der Haegen, Belimo
  • ControlTrends Executive of the Year — Small Manufacturer: Jason Briggs, J2 Innovations
  • ControlTrends Vendor of the Year — Large Manufacturer: Belimo
  • ControlTrends Vendor of Year — Small Manufacturer: ACI
  • PID Award (Passion, Integrity, and Dedication): Mike Marston (EasyIO) and Larry Andrinuas (Honeywell)

ControlTrends, a web based HVAC news site developed to provide the latest trends in the controls industry. ControlTrends additional features new products and software solutions, troubleshooting, training, and videos to help keep the controls community informed. In 2012, the ControlTrends Awards were created to recognize control manufacturers and personnel who have gone above and beyond. ControlTrends and ControlTrends Awards have sponsors and attendees from around the world.

Tags: Belimo News

Belimo Now Offers HVAC Zone Solutions for Residential Applications

Posted on Tue,Dec 08, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Belimo Americas, the trusted leader for 40 years in commercial HVAC is now available for residential applications. Whether you’re a home owner, contractor, equipment manufacturer or home automation provider, Belimo Residential offers the right solutions for you. From innovative dynamic air balancing solutions that provide maximum occupant comfort to smart design actuators with durable dampers providing top quality performance you can rely on.

  • Factory installed round damper assemblies from 4” to 20”NIAVR04C_Cut-Away.jpg
  • Standard, premium, in-duct or pressure bypass assemblies to meet your client’s needs
  • Fast, easy, and error proof installation for pressure bypass control dampers
  • One button setup on pressure bypass damper assemblies for time saving installations
  • High quality products with trouble free operation for reliable performance
  • 5-year limited warranty

Why Belimo is the smart zoning choice.

  • Overall indoor air comfort is increased – Members of a household feel comfortable at different temperatures. With a zoned HVAC system controlling Belimo actuators and damper assemblies, one member of the home can raise or lower the temperature in their room without affecting the other family members.
  • Increased energy efficiency – A well–designed zoning system can reduce energy costs by not heating or cooling the entire house.
  • Flexibility and control is increased – Customize the temperature in various areas of the home to give family members greater control.
  • Reliable, high quality products – Belimo is a renowned world leader in the commercial HVAC market and is now delivering innovative solutions to the residential market. All products are backed with a 5-year warranty.
For 40 years, Belimo has provided innovations in Comfort, Energy Efficiency and Safety Solutions to customers throughout the world, all of which are backed by Belimo’s unsurpassed 5-year warranty. For more information, on Belimo Residential visit or call 1-844-541-7467.

Additional Information:
Product Line Card

Tags: Belimo News

New Belimo Ultrasonic Flow Meters – Accurate Flow Measurement

Posted on Tue,Oct 20, 2015 @ 09:00 AM
Belimo Americas releases of their new inline Flow Meters (½” to 2”) which provide accurate and repeatable hot or chilled water flow measurement. Utilizing an ultrasonic transit time technology, the transducers perform as both emitter and receiver to provide accurate signal.


  • Multi-point wet calibrated to ensure accuracy and repeatability.
  • Patented temperature and glycol compensation logic precisely reads flow rate and eliminates calibration requirements.
  • ±2% accuracy of reading and ±0.5% repeatability provides accurate and precise flow measurement.
  • Maintenance free design ensures reliable operation and extended product life.
  • Easily integrates with building automation systems.
  • Low power consumption of 0.5W saves energy and transformer capacity.

“The Flow Meters detect and troubleshoot hydronic performance, are maintenance free and have a compact size for easy installation in tight spaces,” states Rodrigo Marques, Belimo Product Manager.

Learn more online at or download the product flyer.

Tags: Belimo News

HVAC Training Offered by Belimo University

Posted on Tue,Aug 25, 2015 @ 12:32 PM

Learning is an action that every person shares. From learning how to tie your shoes at a young age to attempting to properly install ZoneTight QCV into a fan coil unit, all of these actions are learned processes. Individuals learn in multiple ways, whether they are visual, auditory, or tactile learners, learning styles are imperative to the training process.

Belimo University has established three categories ofbelimo-university-logo training methods to better meet learning needs. In our classroom trainings, we utilize blended learning approaches to ensure that all students master the learning objectives with ease. This training concept is the basis of our fundamental training session, Belimo 101-Introduction to Air Damper Actuators and Control Valves.   From powerful videos and images to hand’s on exercises with different fail-safe and non-spring return actuators, students walk out of our trainings with confidence and real world skills that can be applied immediately.

Free Webinar Sessions for Consultanting Engineers, Facility Managers, Contractors, and Distributors

Our monthly webinar sessions use the training theory of “small chunks,” taking a smaller portion of a larger topic, to systematically present and discuss key topics based on the needs of our customers. Webinar topics may include: Introduction to the PIQCV, Delta T Management, and Understanding Economizer Codes and Rebates. Belimo University uses subject matter experts who present through a webinar solution that allows viewers to see, hear the presentation and ask questions in real time. As a training provider we understand that not all learning is completed in a single session which is why we record our webinars and provide them to our viewers to use at a later time.

Free Online Training for HVAC Professionals

Lastly, Belimo University offers complimentary online training through a learning management system. Simply register for a username and password and you will have access to free online trainings, any time of the day. This on demand training allows learners to complete training sessions at their own pace as well as giving the opportunity to repeat a module to ensure they are competent with the subject. The Belimo University Online training sessions include: Introduction to Control Types, Introduction to Valve Sizing for Water Systems, Butterfly Valve Retrofits and much more.

Free Training Programs

It is important to Belimo University that we provide different methods and styles of trainings to assist in the learning process. We want learning not only to be fun but to also stick with any person who participates in a Belimo University training program. The training options Belimo University offers is based on the needs of our customers, if you need extra support contact us!

So back to learning how to tie your shoes, how did you learn how to do it?

Gain Access to Belimo University Training Portal



Q&A on Testing, Adjusting and Balancing, Belimo's Pressure Independent Valves

Posted on Tue,Jul 14, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Over the last decade Pressure Independent (PI) valves have become somewhat commonplace since they are ideally suited for today’s variable speed pumping systems. PI valves are designed to deliver a specific flow to a coil for each value of the control signal - regardless of pressure fluctuations that occur in a typical system. Testing, Adjusting and Balancing (TAB) agencies, the Engineer of Record, and valve manufacturer’s work together to assure project documents incorporate PI valve “best practice” specifications for TAB flow validation.

The following questions and answers address common TAB issues experienced when encountering PI valves on a project.  

1. How do TAB professionals verify flow with a Belimo PI valve? Belimo offers multiple ways to verify flow:PICCV_ZTH

1. Pressure Independent Characterized Control Valves (PICCV) with integrated pressure temperature (PT) ports or external PT ports use four methods for flow verification and commissioning System Verification –

Total System Flow Method
Terminal Level Verification  – Air Delta T Method
Terminal Level Verification – Water Delta T Method
Terminal Level Verification – Coil dP (Delta P) Method

2. PICCV’s furnished flow verification orifice and actuator model LRB24- SA or KRB24-3 require positioning the flow clip for maximum flow and then verify the setting with a manometers reading; measured in inches of water across the PT ports.  Reference the flow chart found in PICCV Technical Documentation to verify flow settings.

3. Electronic Pressure Independent Valve (ePIV) or Belimo Energy Valve™ flow verification is read or adjusted with the ZTH handheld tool . Flow data from the ePIV can also be accessed with PC-Tool  computer software. Flow data from the Energy Valve can also be accessed by using a web browser and logging to Webview . Flow readings are sourced from an integrated in-line ultrasonic or magnet flow meter and are also used by the actuator logic to deliver pressure independent flow to the coil.

2. When the TAB professional is validating maximum coil flow is the valve required to be wide open?
PI PICCV_FlowSettervalves may not be required to be wide open to achieve full flow.

With mechanical PI valves, travel adjustment is used to achieve full flow when coil design flow is less than the capacity of a wide open valve. Travel adjustment of the PICCV with Multi-Function Technology (MFT) proportional control actuator (2-10 vdc) is programmed in the factory, or in the field with the ZTH handheld tool.  Travel adjustment of 3-point floating actuators is set by adjusting the mechanical travel limit to match the GPM of the FlowSetR™  scale.

Travel adjustment is not necessary with ePIV or the Energy Valve because the available differential pressure across the control valve is used to achieve the flow setting. The flow feedback signal is used by the actuator logic to throttle the valve to the position needed to obtain the programmed flow setting - just like pressure independent VAV box actuator behavior.

3. What is the position of the override handle if the mechanical PI valve is “travel limited” to achieve full flow? The override handle will stop at the travel limit the actuator was set for after it was commanded to achieve full flow. PICCV actuator travel limit is between 38 and 90 degrees rotation depending on the valve model and design flow requirements.  For PICCV’s refer to the on-line calculator  to determine field settings.  To view PICCV factory flow settings and associated travel angle refer to the running time  table.
4. Does the TAB professional need to adjust the travel setting of the mechanical PI valve? Yes, if the PI valve is not factory set to a flow limit then the travel setting needs to be adjusted.

If the Engineer of Record has approved the PI valves with factory set flow limits than the flow data tag value should be verified and field adjustment is typically not required. If the TAB professional is directed to field set coil flow to match design flow to ± 10% tolerance utilize adjustment methods detailed in Answer 1 above.   Consult the project specifications for TAB clarification.

TAB guidance language examples from Associated Air Balance Council (AABC) and National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) are detailed below. The AABC specification and NEBB standard do not direct the TAB professional to change factory set flow settings furnished by the PI valve supplier. The NEBB standard states the flow rating from the data tag is the verification target.

REFERENCE: AABC specifications  found in Section 230593 – Testing, Adjusting and Balancing for HVAC, sub section 3.8.D, for systems with pressure-independent valves at the terminal: “(1) first measure differential pressure across the valve to verify that it is within manufacturer’s specified range and then (2) perform temperature tests after all flows have been verified”..

REFERENCE: NEBB Standards Section-9, Hydronic System TAB Procedures, sub section 9.3.3, Calibrated Balancing Valves, Self-Adjusting Valves (i.e. PI Valves) states: “The NEBB certified TAB Firm shall verify the valve flow rating from the data tag, and verify by differential pressure measurements, if available, that the pressure drop across the valve is within the control range of the valve”.  

RECOMMENDATION: Most coil schedules today are generated from computer calculations and the design flow value can be displayed to a hundredth of a GPM.  Belimo factory set flow offerings for PI valves represent typical coil flows and may not exactly match the calculated flow. Belimo advises the Engineer of Record to adjust the coil schedule to match the flow setting of the valve before contract documents are published.  For example, if coil design flow is calculated to be 0.7 GPM and the valve schedule was approved with a factory set flow of 1.0 GPM; the contract document’s design flow should have been adjusted from 0.7 GPM to 1.0 GPM.  If not, the installed valve will have a maximum flow 0.3 GPM higher than design.  The maximum flow is now 42% higher than design which is beyond the standard ± 10% tolerance TAB professionals typically seek to verify.

Modifying the coil schedule from 0.7 GPM to 1.0 GPM will positively impact the TAB professional’s ability to achieve their goals and will not impact operational performance of the coil.  Most of the time the coil is operated at part load and there is no impact. When the coil is operated at full load the temperature control system will become satisfied with 0.7 GPM delivered to the space when the coil inlet water temperature is at design temperature.  

5. What is the impact on total system flow if the PI valve is factory set to a maximum flow that is different than the design flow in the contract documents?
A5: The impact will vary based on the aggregate deviation of factory set flow vs. design flow.  If the contract documents detail the coil design flow to be 0.7 GPM and the installed PI valve with factory setting was approved to be 1.0 GPM the impact is only 0.3 GPM.  For a single valve, or a few valves, this is negligible.  However, if this scenario is hypothetically multiplied by 100 for a large project the deviation is 30 GPM which may be noticeable.  To resolve this Belimo advises the Engineer of Record to adjust the coil schedule to match the flow setting of the valve before TAB work commences.
6. Are Belimo PI valves prone to clogging with dirt or debris? No, Belimo PI valves utilize Characterized Control Valve (CCV) technology where the ball and seat arrangement is “self-cleaning” and resistant to clogging; unlike some mechanical PI valves that utilize short-stroke globe valve trim. Clogged PI valves are very rare but if the installation contained excessive dirt and debris upon start-up hydronic components can become clogged.

The PICCV also utilizes a differential pressure regulator that passes normal debris present in the hydronic loop.  When the valve begins to open, water flows first through the wide open “upper section” of the regulator. Debris smaller than 9/64“ (3.55mm) passes through the regulator then it exits the valve.  After flow is established the regulator moves in response to pressure changes to maintain the flow setting. When the valve closes the regulator returns to its wide open position.

The ePIV and Energy Valve are even more resistant to clogging due to the absence of a differential pressure regulator.

7. Should strainers be used for each PI valve? Maintain standard design practices concerning strainers; Belimo PI valves do not require strainers.

8. Do PI valves require more system pump head to achieve full flow than standard pressure dependent valves? No, Belimo PI valves require 5 psid to achieve full flow which is equivalent to a standard pressure dependent valve sized to a 4 psi pressure drop in series with a circuit setter that typically induces a pressure drop of 1 psi or greater.

The ePIV and Energy Valve use the available differential pressure across the valve and the actuator throttles to any position needed to obtain the flow setting - just like pressure independent VAV box actuator behavior. Under light load conditions flow settings can be achieved with as little as 1 psid across the valve.

9. Do PI valves save energy over the life of a building? Yes, Belimo has successfully documented this in the following case studies  including: Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, FL, the corporate headquarters of The Phoenix Companies, Inc.  in Hartford CT, and the Eglin Air Force Base  near Pensacola Florida.

PI valves are dynamically balanced delivering the proper flow to the coil over any operating load condition. Overflow and underflow are eliminated providing better comfort and efficient system performance.  For further information on PICCV performance refer to straight answers to your questions about PICCV's  and the PICCV brochure .

Learn more about the ePIV or Energy Valve and their integrated ultrasonic or magnetic flow meter by viewing the ePIV product brochure  and Energy Valve product brochure  found online at

A Glance Inside the Belimo HVAC Valve Test Lab

Posted on Tue,Jun 30, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Belimo Americas200,000 square foot facility enables expanded manufacturing capabilities; it also serves as a HVAC showcase to give visitors a firsthand experience of how Belimo technologies can improve controllability, comfort, and energy efficiency in structures. The new facility features a number of the company’s very own proprietary products and is on track to achieve LEED® Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The building includes a state-of-the-art HVAC control valve design and testing laboratory.

Over the years the Belimo test lab has grown to support the needs of Belimo and their customers.  It has grown from 600 square feet in 2001 to 15,000 square feet in 2015.  Testing capacity has also grown from 23 test positions in 2001 to 280 test positions in 2015.  The design of the new lab focused on safety and ergonomics.

Belimo’s performance testing verifies that their products comply with industry and trade association specifications.  The testing is performed with ISO 9000 traceability, and based on ANSI, EN, IEC, ISA, MSS, and VDI VDE standards

Performance testing provides a high level of assurance to their customers.  The Belimo test lab can perform flow testing on valve sizes ranging from ½” to 6” and includes: equal percentage curve, pressure independent curve and range ability.  Shell testing is performed for threaded and flanged valves up to 5,000 psi.  Automated systems for flow testing improve accuracy, precision, repeatability and efficiency.  The lab’s flow testing capacity is a combined flow of 6,000 GPM .

The durability testing involves subjecting ½ “ through 6” valves to 100,000 full cycles at worst case temperature and pressure conditions with a maximum temperature of 302 ⁰F (150 ⁰C).  With 12,000 GPM durability testing capacity, they could fill an Olympic size swimming pool every hour or one standard above-ground pool every minute.  Long life testing is also performed; where the valve is subjected to application conditions (including varying water quality) for months or even years at a time.

In the future, Belimo plans to increase test rig automation, further increasing accuracy and efficiency.  They plan to add end tester style characterization equipment, highly accelerated life testing (HALT) and high volume compact durability testers all of which will improve test throughput.  Conducting individual component testing will ensure each and every part of our valves continues to be robust and reliable.

The Belimo Valve Test Lab always continuously looks for ways to improve their testing methods and equipment.

Take a Tour and View the Belimo Valve Test Lab.

Tags: Belimo News

Belimo Highlights: National Conference on Building Commissioning

Posted on Fri,Jun 19, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

2015 National Conference on Building Commissioning (NCBC); “Gateway to the Future of Commissioning”; is designed by the Building Commissioning (Cx) Association (BCA) to advance state-of-the-art building commissioning and the professionals within a forum for sharing the cost-effective processes for optimizing building performance, reducing energy use, and improving indoor air quality, occupancy comfort, and productivity.

At this year’s national conference William ‘Bill’ McMullen, President, Business Unit Manager, Energy Solutions, Dewberry announces that the BCA will be launching a University. The university is in the development stages and more information will be released online when it comes available.

Big Data was a central theme of this year conference.  A highlight of a few of the sessions covered:

The Value of Submeter Data in Energy Information Systems Implementations: Andrea Salazar, Senior Engineer at EMI Consulting 

Our industry is evolving with the use of the internet to allow for Energy Information Systems (EIS) to develop instant access to information such as fuel cost, weather, and sub metered data to enable us to make smarter operating decisions for lower cost and more efficient building operation. 

Previous research into benefits of sub metering indicated:

  • Energy Reduction 5%-46%
  • Cost $0.02-$0.25 per sq. ft.
  • Simple Payback 10 Months – 3.5 years

A recent study was conducted by EMI Consulting referencing 27 commercial buildings with EIS.  The results indicate more sub metering (data) = more savings. When energy is metered at the building, system, and equipment level and integrated with sensors and building automation systems, the savings were measured up to 20% (Building + System + Equipment + Sensors + BAS Integration = 20%). Even more enlightening is that a higher level of integration resulted in lower incremental cost. However, technology and systems are new so cost/benefit is still evolving.

Lawrence Berkley National Lab (LBNL) hosts a site of EIS tools and research located at The LBNL has worked with the California Energy Commission and the Department of Energy to evaluate and improve performance monitoring tools for energy savings in commercial buildings.  This website covers all prior, recent and current LBNL work in energy information systems and types of performance monitoring and analysis technologies. The site also contains links to project-specific pages documenting DOE and CEC-funded work from 2008 to present, links to research publications, and presentations.

CX Mission Critical Facilities for Safety and Resiliency: Rachel Rueckert, PE, LEED-AP, QCxP and; Dave Guberud, QCxP, Ring & DuChateau, LLP

This presentation provided an in-depth understanding of resiliency including related threats and underlying principles. Commissioning of mission critical facilities for safety and resiliency is important in keeping the critical space at varying degrees of negative pressure. This requires not only a well-controlled and sealed air distribution system, but also envelopes that can pass a variety of tests.  The ability of measuring direction of flow, redundancy of systems, and quick and tight damper control are some of the important HVAC functions.

Data Analysis in the Cx Process: Ryan Stroupe, PG&E Pacific Energy Center; and William E. Koran, PE, Director of Energy Analytics, Northwrite, Inc.

We were introduced to two different but powerful tools that enhance the visualization of measured building data to enable identification of proper operating trends and areas for improvements that can save energy.  Both of these tools, ECAM and Universal Translator are free to download and use. 

ECAM is a Microsoft Excel®-based tool that facilitates the examination of energy information from buildings and reduces the time spent analyzing utility meter data and system operational data. Starting from time-series data, ECAM automates a wide array of charting and analysis functionality to provide the ability to complete pre and post energy efficiency project regression analyses of utility interval meter data against outdoor air temperature. ECAM offers additional applications that can be used independently: analysis of a building’s load profile, creating per-square-foot metrics of building energy use, and developing scatter charts based on occupancy or time of day. These applications can ultimately be used to better understand a building’s energy use patterns and inform the selection of energy efficiency measures with the highest potential for savings. Learn more online at

The Universal Translator (UT) is a tool that was developed for building energy maintenance professionals that allows a Cx agent to take measured data and normalize it and put it in nice graphical form. The program is for anyone who works with “real world” data. Problem data might be data that comes from different data loggers where the clocks are not synchronized or from data loggers that recorded at different intervals. Calibration errors might be another source. The UT also has additional analysis functions to help analyze data. It includes modules to analyze economizers, light and plug loads, equipment runtime and set point analysis. Spending hours with a spreadsheet trying to take problem data and make it into something usable is a real task. The UT could save hours of work.

"Big Data", Better Choices: Data Tools for EBCx Impact: Terry Bickham, CEM, LEED AP, CDSM,CSDP; Director, Energy Services and Solutions, TraneCost of Ownership

Continuing the topic of visualizing “Big Data”, Terry Bickham of Trane presented how visualization of data can communicate opportunities for optimization of operation to reduce building operating cost.  Data from the National Institute of Building Sciences(NIBS) indicate in the life cycle expenses of a building operating costs account for 60-85%  compared to 5-10% for construction. 

A study by LBNL indicates opportunity to save energy as the building gets older using retro commissioning, ongoing commissioning, operational optimization, and analytics of available data.  Available data displayed to building occupants can be used as behavior modification resulting in lower energy use.  LBNL scientists are also developing methods of applying Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) to rapidly diagnose problems in buildings and inform human operators what needs to be fixed before they turn into bigger problems. The ultimate differentiator is in maintenance gains and setting building professionals up to further optimize performance. Many of the same visualization techniques can be applied to the ongoing operation. Combining visualization with automated analytics allows for ongoing commissioning at a glance – simple, sustainable, and with measurable impact.

NCBC chart

The Future in Fire Protection and Life Safety Cx: David LeBlanc, PE, SFPE, Vice President, Jensen Hughes

In this session, discussions on the development and relevance of two new NFPA standards (NFPA 3: Recommended Practice for Commissioning of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems) and (NFPA 4: Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing).  These standards were developed in response from a request from the NIBS for standardized methods to commissioning and test Fire Protection Systems to ensure performance in conformity with the design intent.

The NFPA 3 outlines the commissioning process and integrated testing of fire protection and life safety systems, to ensure systems perform in conformity with the design intent. NFPA 3 address the recommended practice which covers procedures, methods, and documentation, giving stakeholders a reliable way to verify that active and passive safety systems are optimized to function as intended. It also defines a commissioning team and spells out qualifications for team members. The next edition of this standard is now open for Public Input (formerly proposals).

The NFPA 4 standard provides the minimum requirements for testing of integrated fire protection and life safety systems where such testing is required by governing laws, codes, regulations, or standards. This standard would not provide requirements for the testing of individual systems. The standard would apply to new and existing systems. Free access to the 2015 edition of NFPA 4 (registration required).

Throughout the conference additional Cx advancement in building codes were mentioned.  Here is a highlight of changes forthcoming. The International Code Council (ICC) incorporated System Commissioning Requirements in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC 2012 section 408).  Buildings with total cooling capacity greater than 480,000 BTUs and heating capacity greater than 600,000 BTUs (exception: simple unitary systems serving dwelling units in hotels, motels, and similar) will need to have a commissioning plan, testing adjusting and balancing (TAB) of air and hydronic systems, functional performance testing of equipment, controls, and economizers. The ICC is developing a standard for commissioning (ICC 1000) and completed its first public draft review this spring. ICC 1000 first draft is available for download.

Tags: Belimo News, Technical Tips