Building Performance Monitoring, Control, and Information Systems

January 6, 2011 - 12:00pm

Information and monitoring systems are of critical importance in achieving optimal low-energy building performance. Advanced monitoring and control technologies with high energy saving potential are widely available in the commercial market, yet are underutilized, resulting in enormous missed opportunities. Two fundamental barriers are 1) little understanding as to how the technologies actually perform once installed, and 2) uncertainty in the reliability and magnitude of savings attributable to process tools, and advanced controls. This presentation focuses on two such advanced technologies - energy information systems (EIS), and continuously dimming lighting control systems. In the first portion of the talk, research findings from an EIS state of the technology assessment and business case studies are presented; in the second portion, results from a field-measured evaluation of a digital daylighting system are reviewed. EIS are broadly defined as performance monitoring software, data acquisition hardware, and communication systems used to store, analyze, and display building energy data. Depending on a number of factors, EIS can save up to 30% in whole-building energy. Continuously dimming lighting control systems use a combination of occupancy and photosensors to automatically control on/off status and dimming levels based on the presence of users and the amount of available daylight. Similar to the case of EIS, dimming controls can save 20-50% in lighting energy, contingent upon design, use, and installation. Key EIS findings include advanced, common, and distinguishing capabilities, and real-world instances of energy savings achieved from use of the technology. Key lighting findings include a multi-parameter field-assessment method, performance results, and recommendations to the manufacturer to increase energy savings and user experience. This seminar's slides and audio can be viewed at

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