Leveraging AFDD and MBCx During Laboratory Start-up to Maximize Energy Savings and Ensure Equipment Reliability

Hadas Webb, Cimetrics Inc.
Julianne Rhoads, Cimetrics Inc.

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Monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) has been used successfully in high-performance laboratory buildings to identify problems before they become critical to maximize equipment efficiency and reliability, thus preventing downtime and capturing energy savings. Automatic fault detection and diagnostics (AFDD) provide a strategic approach to energy reduction and ongoing maintenance, while root cause analysis helps streamline issue remediation. The design and start-up periods present a unique opportunity to set the stage for long-term performance and mitigate future risk of product loss and process disruption.

This presentation will discuss best practices for data sufficiency and conditioning to ensure robust fault detection and establish a baseline. Real customer examples from representative healthcare, pharmaceutical, and university laboratory facilities will be used to show a sampling of typical new building faults. A targeted process that factors the economic impact associated with these faults can be used to prioritize resource deployment during the startup and warranty period. Financial considerations such as ROI and utility incentives will also be discussed. Additional long-term benefits include increased equipment life, as well as decreased labor and operational cost.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how AFDD & MBCx are used to identify and evaluate faults in laboratory building;
  • Understand how to translate equipment faults into energy savings & reliability improvements for prioritization of resource deployment;
  • Identify requirements during the construction phase for data sufficiency to ensure robust fault detection and establish a baseline; and
  • Identify the financial considerations of using AFDD & MBCx during laboratory start-up.


Hadas Webb has 20 years of experience in engineering, energy analysis, and management. She has been with Cimetrics since 2007 and currently leads the Analytics team. Formerly, as a Senior Analyst at Cimetrics, Hadas was directly responsible for energy analysis of over 8 million square feet of facilities. Prior to joining Cimetrics, she worked as a Building Automation Construction Manager at Partners Healthcare. She received a B.S. from RPI and an M.S. from CMU.

Julianne Rhoads is responsible for energy analysis and reporting on over 35 buildings, including 5 million square feet of facilities. She has identified and helped implement over $4.5 million in annual energy savings. Prior to joining Cimetrics, Julianne was responsible for designing energy performance contracting projects at Siemens Industry, Inc., as an Energy Engineer. She has presented at the I2SL Annual Conference in 2018 and 2019, and the AEE World Energy Conference in 2019.


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