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The 12 Things You Need to Know about Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx)

From the moment a building is constructed and starts consuming resources, it starts deteriorating. Mechanical, electrical, automation, and all building systems naturally decline over time in terms of both performance and efficiency. The results can be the same; operations and maintenance costs rise, energy consumption rises, and occupant comfort may decline.

Building owners and managers know they have options to prevent this natural progression, but are often overwhelmed by a glut of contradicting information, misinformation, and misconceptions in the marketplace. Different vendors use different terms like commissioning, existing building commissioning, fault detection and diagnostics, smart buildings . . . the list is nearly endless.

Although the terms are different, the message is the same: “Let us analyze and optimize your building and we’ll save you money.” It’s certainly an attractive proposition—spend a little money now, save a lot of money later. But because of the terminology confusion, abundance of market options, and lack of standardization in approaches to dealing with this issue, building owners and managers have become understandably leery of sales pitches. In the midst of the confusion, though, lies a truth; what the industry calls continuous or monitoring-based commissioning does, in fact, deliver improved building performance and energy efficiency.

Defining Monitoring Based Commissioning

According to a report by the Lawrence-Berkeley National Laboratory, “Monitoring based commissioning (MBCx) combines ongoing building energy system monitoring with standard retro-commissioning (RCx) practices with the aim of providing substantial, persistent, energy savings*.” What we are really talking about is a sophisticated package of software applications that combines building data from a wide variety of sources to better manage building performance and efficiency. MBCx involves the implementation of improvement measures along with ongoing service and insights necessary for full transparency, measurement, and reporting. That is, what facility engineers have done manually for decades can now be completed more efficiently, more comprehensively, and more accurately by combining building and energy system data with an engineering team’s expertise through the MBCx process.

When MBCx is built into a continuous building improvement process, it allows combined technologies involved in data mining to identify faults or issues in building systems with the necessary human analysis to determine how to address those faults or issues. Truly advanced MBCx solutions will also help identify and prioritize resolution paths; for example, if there is simultaneous heating and cooling in air handler 5, facility engineers should investigate a leaking chilled water valve to avoid a potential costly expenditure.

Defining MBCx is the first step toward understanding it.

Successful MBCx Delivers Value

As the Lawrence-Berkeley National Laboratory report confirmed, MBCx does deliver energy savings and a return on investment, but the real long-term value of commissioning is in the building performance improvements and compliance efforts. That value, however, is only possible through a comprehensive combination of the right people, processes, and technologies to continuously optimize a building’s performance and efficiency.

For the full article and other information, please refer to

Jim Butler, Cimetrics
Craig Engelbrecht, Siemens
Jim Lee, Cimetrics
Jim Sinopoli, Smart Buildings, LLC

This Week’s Sponsor

The Siemens Building Technologies Division (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) is a North American leader in the market for safe and secure, energy-efficient and environment-friendly buildings and infrastructures. As technology partner, service provider, system integrator and product vendor, Building Technologies has offerings for safety and security as well as building automation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and energy management. For more information, visit

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CoRE Tech 2014
November 10-11, 2014
Sprint Corporate HQ Campus
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Future-proofing BUILDING COMMUNICATIONS – 5G, WIFI, CBRS, Bluetooth, In-building Wireless and More - 5/23/2019

In an ever-increasing wireless world, building owners and operators can no longer ignore the needs of a mobile society. Every day, more applications are added to our phones which include video, immersive media, wayfinding, hailing a ride, ordering food, accessing a building and more. So much of what we do relies on good wireless connectivity, and buildings must deliver the same service as the outdoor world. Over the next few years, 5G and other technologies are going to radically improve wireless connectivity and ultimately impact the communications strategy for buildings. In order to provide tenants with a 21st century experience, buildings must keep pace with this trend. This webinar will cover a wireless strategy that includes both experiential and operational issues.

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Art King Corning
Art King Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies As part of the IBN Technologies team, Mr. King leads the development of enterprise services definitions and business case propositions for customers a
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Art King
Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies

As part of the IBN Technologies team, Mr. King leads the development of enterprise services definitions and business case propositions for customers and partners. Mr. King is Vice Chair of the Services Working Group in the Small Cell Forum. He came to Corning via the SpiderCloud Wireless acquisition and was formerly a lead in IT architecture and operations for Nike Inc. where he held various global roles over 10 years.

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Stuart Strickland Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Stuart Strickland Distinguished Technologist Stuart Walker Strickland is a Distinguished Technologist in the Office of the CTO at Aruba Networks with a focus on strategic planning for Wi-Fi in th
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Stuart Strickland
Distinguished Technologist
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Stuart Walker Strickland is a Distinguished Technologist in the Office of the CTO at Aruba Networks with a focus on strategic planning for Wi-Fi in the context of 5th Generation cellular networks. He has been with Aruba for three years and represents its interests in 3GPP, WFA, IEEE, and WBA on issues relating to spectrum allocation, Wi-Fi/cellular coexistence and integrated network architectures.