Commissioning and Operations Tools

Building Commissioning

LBNL maintains the world's largest database of actual commissioning costs and benefits, with projects encompassing approximately 100 million square feet of non-residential building floor area. The assessments begin with compilation of case-study data on project expenditures, energy savings, the patterns of deficiencies and corrective measures, and non-energy benefits. The resulting analyses include cost-effectiveness, savings persistence, and greenhouse-gas abatement.

Diagnostic Methods for Lighting Controls

The purpose of this project is to develop: A) a technical performance specification and adoption plan for controllable fluorescent ballasts and B) techniques to automatically diagnose the operations of scheduled sweep controls in commercial buildings. More about Lighting.

Universal Translator

LBNL is developing an interface and new features for PG&E's Universal Translator (UT). The UT is a publicly-available tool for managing, analyzing, and visualizing field performance data, such as building plug and lighting loads, equipment run times, economizer operation, and set-point control. The tool has the potential to be useful in other applications, such as Fault Detection Diagnostics (FDD) and Measurement and Verification (M&V).

Demonstrations and Partnerships

Getting Beyond Widgets: Enabling Utility Incentive Programs for Commercial Building Systems

Utility incentive programs remain one of the most significant means of deploying commercialized, but underutilized building technologies to scale. However, these programs remain focused on component level products, and therefore miss opportunities to realize deeper energy savings levels resulting from systems level approaches. This DOE funded project aims to unlock this potential via working with Utilities and Regulators to establish assessment and M&V methods for integrated building systems to be implemented under Utility incentive programs nationwide

Transactional Networks

The Transactional Network Project is a multi-lab activity funded by the US Department of Energy's Building Technologies Office. Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed, prototyped and tested a transactional network (TN) platform to support energy, operational and financial transactions between any networked entities (equipment, organizations, buildings, grid, etc.).

FLEXLAB - Flexible Low-Energy eXperiments in Buildings

FLEXLAB is the only DOE supported facility providing full-service integrated design research for commercial buildings on an entirely customizable, configurable platform. The facility is uniquely suited to conduct R&D on integrated systems and controls, while lowering the risk for deployment through high accuracy tests that when paired with LBNL's world-renowned building science expertise and private sector market actors and influencers – can move the marketplace.

FLEXLAB offers a wide range of technical capabilities applicable to emerging technologies development and validation:

  • Real, built environment, testing conditions with capability to conduct true comparison studies
  • Unparalleled data collection, interpretation and analysis capability
  • Risk reduction in early testing and demonstration
  • Insightful Testing Opportunities to speed the "time to market" and reduce risk.

FLEXLAB also includes interior testbeds such as the Occupied Plug Loads and Lighting testbed and a Visualization and Virtual Design testbed.

Industry Alliances - Better Building Alliance

The DOE Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) works with industry partners across the retail, commercial real estate, hospitals, and higher education sectors to identify barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency, and to deploy energy efficiency technologies and solutions as developed.

Demonstrations and Case Studies - CBP

The DOE Commercial Building Partnership Program (CBP) provides technical assistance to retrofit and new construction projects, ranging from a minimum of 30% energy savings for retrofit through to net zero retrofits, and a minimum of 50% energy savings over ASHRAE 90.1-2007 to net zero new construction. The projected energy savings are validated through measurement and verification, and energy-saving measures are leveraged to provide solutions for the commercial building market sector.

Energy Benchmarking, Rating, and Valuation

Buildings Performance Database

The Department of Energy’s Buildings Performance Database (BPD) is a decision-support platform, comprised of a database and data analysis tools, that enables engineering and financial practitioners to evaluate energy efficiency products and services in commercial and residential buildings. The database includes measured energy use and building characteristics for tens of thousands of buildings. LBNL leads the development of the taxonomy for the BPD.

Benchmarking - EnergyIQ

EnergyIQ is an action-oriented benchmarking tool for non-residential buildings that allows users to benchmark their buildings using energy, cost, and carbon metrics at the whole-building and system level. Buildings can be benchmarked against the California End Use Survey (CEUS) or the national Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), and the tool provides users a list of potential efficiency actions based on the benchmarking data.

Energy Factors in Commercial Mortgages

Commercial mortgages currently do not fully account for energy factors in underwriting, valuation and asset management, particularly as it relates to the impact of energy costs on net operating income.  As a consequence, energy efficiency is not properly valued and energy risks are not properly assessed and mitigated. This project seeks to lay the foundation for developing scalable interventions to address this issue.

Energy Information Management

EIS Handbook

The Energy Information System (EIS) Handbook was developed to help commercial building software developers, energy managers, and control companies to implement strategies for commercial building energy analysis and to monitor performance.

Linking Models and Measurements

The Building Controls Virtual Test Bed (BCVTB) is a software environment that allows expert users to couple different simulation programs for co-simulation, and to couple simulation programs with actual hardware.