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November 2019
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One Incorrect Sensor Could Cost You Big

 
Just one incorrectly calibrated or non-functioning sensor can cause serious problems, including false alarms.
Hector Hernandez
Hector Hernandez
Founder & CEO,
Cube-USA

Originally published on LinkedIn

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Whether it’s new construction commissioning, re-commissioning, retro-commissioning, or monitoring-based commissioning, getting it done properly the first time is vital to ensuring complex building systems function as intended. There are dozens of types of systems that can be commissioned, including individual elements such as HVAC, plumbing, lighting control, fire and life safety, security, as well as entire building automation.

The Purpose of Commissioning

Commissioning is an integrated, systematic process to ensure, through documented verification, that all building systems perform together according to the design intent. Historically, it has referred to the process by which the HVAC system of a building was tested and balanced according to established standards. Because all modern building systems are integrated, today, it refers to the total building.

While the benefits of building automation and integration are clear, it also comes with a downside: a deficiency in one component can result in a domino effect of sub-optimal operation throughout the building.

Tangible Benefits

Quality commissioning provides real benefits:

Done right, commissioning ensures all systems are designed optimally, installed correctly, and operate efficiently. It helps you identify and fix problems long before occupancy, reduces risk exposure, and enhances property value and marketability.

The Role of Commissioning Software

Adopting a comprehensive commissioning process that incorporates best practices is critical in delivering a building that meets user requirements. Commissioning software facilitates the planning, executing, and tracking of complex engineering, procurement, and construction activities while identifying equipment issues and providing documentation throughout a project’s life. It also helps you better understand:

When data is unorganized and incomplete, the margin for error increases and faults such as duct leakage, improperly balance HVAC systems, lighting systems not performing as expected, improper controls setup, and valve leakage, just to name a few, are more likely to occur.

The best way to combat these inefficiencies is to move away from traditional spreadsheets and patchwork systems and use a software application that lets you easily track what needs to be commissioned while delivering the information you need to confidently assure the building owner and facility manager that the systems installed will function according to the original design intent.

Conclusion

The commissioning process for building automation is complex and involves numerous sensors that are important to the proper operation of the control system. Just one incorrectly calibrated or non-functioning sensor can cause serious problems, including false alarms. Commissioning software makes for a more uniform process that ensures these intricate systems operate as designed and facilitates effective communication, coordination, and cooperation between all parties involved with the project.


About the Author

Hector Hernandez started South Florida Controls almost 20 years ago and quickly found the systems in use lacked efficiency. To combat this constant need to figure out what was going on in a project and create a seamless process, he developed Cube. Through the company, Cube, he has further refined that original software base and it is currently in use at BAC companies throughout North America. While still acting as co-owner of South Florida Controls and CEO of Cube, he also finds time to sit on the Board of Directors of many organizations in the HVAC, Controls and Technology Industries, keeping him in the know and his software up to date on trends throughout the industry. 


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