BuildingAdvice

BuildingAdvice is a user-friendly, Web-based platform designed to assess building energy performance and identify and quantify energy savings opportunities. Target buildings are in the 5k-200k sq. ft. range, with scalability up to 1mm sq. ft. The platform combines 1) portable wireless sensor packages for capture of real-time building data, 2) automated entry of weather data, 3) manual entry of basic building information, and 4) proprietary EnGen™ energy modeling software.

Output is a suite of comprehensive reports that benchmark against CBECS; provide key performance parameters including Energy Star rating, energy usage index, energy cost per square foot, and carbon emissions; provide ASHRAE Level II audits that quantify energy usage in four areas of consumption including HVAC operations, lighting, plug load and hot water; and provide identification of comfort issues. The software allows input of proposed energy conservation measures, and calculates the savings, ROI, payback and greenhouse gas and carbon impact of those measures.

Total labor requirement to create a report is approximately 1-4 man-hours, depending on the report type. Screen Shots

Keywords

Whole building analysis, energy simulation, renewable energy, retrofit analysis, sustainability/green buildings

Validation/Testing

N/A

Expertise Required

BuildingAdvice is designed for ease of use. Knowledge of various types of commercial HVAC equipment and building energy analysis is helpful, but not necessary. The program includes one-on-one training.

Users

50+ companies in the United States

Audience

Commercial HVAC contractors, Energy engineers/consultants, Commercial real estate managers

Input

User-friendly interface guides the user through input into boxes, point and click choices, and drop down menu listings.

User inputs for all reports are minimized. The Benchmark Report requires basic building parameters (square footage, construction type and usage profile) and utility bills. The Assessment Report requires additional input of HVAC system information (system type and efficiency, control system type, schedules and set points) and occupancy schedules. The Audit Report requires additional input of proposed energy conservation measures, including capital costs and any applicable rebates.

BuildingAdvice automatically combines user inputs with real-time measurements from portable, wireless monitors, as well as weather data, to produce an energy analysis of the subject building.

Default values are derived from the above inputs, and include building factors (R-values, U-values, infiltration, % glass, orientation and shape factors), internal loads (lighting watt density, plug loads, processes, and external lighting), static pressure, ventilation/infiltration rates, staging and refrigeration. Default values can be overridden.

Output

BuildingAdvice provides three pre-packaged reports in Word format - Benchmarking Report, Energy Savings Assessment, and Energy Savings Audit. Reports can be previewed on screen, downloaded, or printed. All reports include non-technical, financially-oriented executive summaries to better communicate energy conservation opportunities.

The BuildingAdvice Energy Benchmarking Report is an initial screening tool to quantify the relative opportunity for saving energy in a building. It uses utility bills and specific space type information to compare to peer buildings and report four key benchmarking metrics: Energy Star Rating, Energy Usage Index, Carbon Emissions and Energy Cost per Square Foot. The report also estimates annual savings should the building be upgraded to Energy Star ratings of 50, 75, and 90.

The BuildingAdvice Energy Savings Assessment incorporates the Benchmarking Report and adds analysis of current operational performance. The Assessment utilizes information gathered inside the building by portable sensors to identify low and no/low cost energy savings opportunities indicated by BOMA and DOE, such as adjusting setbacks and ventilation levels and upgrading thermostats. It also provides detailed graphs of temperature, humidity, CO2 and lumens for all spaces monitored.

The BuildingAdvice Energy Savings Audit is an ASHRAE Level 2 report, providing a detailed analysis of current operational performance and energy savings opportunities. In addition to inputs and outputs for the Assessment Report, the Audit uses the EnGen analysis software to quantify energy usage for lights, HVAC, plug load, and hot water. User-provided retrofit and installation recommendations are presented with ROI and payback.

Computer Platform

BuildingAdvice is a hosted Web application accessible by any Internet browser.

Programming Language

PHP, AJAX

Strengths

BuildingAdvice provides fast, easy, low-cost energy efficiency analyses of commercial buildings, up to an ASHRAE Level II audit standard.

  • Minimal expertise is required. Knowledge of various types of commercial HVAC equipment and building energy analysis is helpful, but not required.
  • Ease of Use. A user-friendly interface guides the user through input into boxes, point-and-click choices, and drop down menu listings. BuildingAdvice uses a combination of user inputs and programmed default values to assure consistent and reliable results. The program includes one-on-one training.
  • An extensive library of energy conservation measures is included, allowing the user to view a variety of energy conservation options.
  • Pre-formatted reports simplify and standardize output generation.

Reports include non-technical, financially-oriented executive summaries to better communicate energy conservation opportunities to line management. The reports provide energy analysis and information on the economic return of energy conservation recommendations.

Weaknesses

BuildingAdvice currently is not designed to perform ASHRAE Level 3 audits of specific HVAC equipment. These products are under development.

Contact

Company:

AirAdvice, Inc.

Address:

707 SW Washington Street, Suite 800
Portland, OR 97205
United States

Telephone:

866-247-4800

Facsimile:

503-416-7870

E-mail:

sales@airadvice.com

Website:

http://www.airadvice.com

Availability

BuildingAdvice can be ordered directly from AirAdvice. See contact info.