SJSU Implements Monitoring Based Commissioning To Conserve Energy

photo: campus welcome signeage with SJSU logo tile artwork on lamposts along El Paseo de Ceasar Chavez

A building's mechanical system is designed to work in a certain way. When a building or a system first come into service, a process called commissioning is often performed to ensure it is performing as designed. Even if it is working well when first installed, efficiency can decline over time for a number of reasons, including: changes in use, equipment wear, not enough maintenance or unintentional changes in programming (for instance, a system may be set to a less efficient mode while repairs are being made and then not set back to the proper mode when the repairs are completed.)

It is important to test systems both when they are first installed and to go back periodically to make sure they are still working optimally. Since the process involves monitoring of the systems, it is called Monitoring Based Commissioning and abbreviated MBCx.

Monitoring Based Commissioning (MBCx) is the process of making changes to optimize the efficiency of an existing building or system based on:

  • installing programming and configuring energy monitoring equipment
  • collecting data from the energy monitoring equipment
  • analyzing the data to identify potential energy conserving opportunities
  • implementing the energy conserving opportunities
  • reviewing a new set of monitored data to confirm that the changes have produced the predicted outcome
  • implementing strategies to ensure that changes persist and new efficiencies continue

SJSU is already benefiting from reduced energy use after these successful MBCx projects:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
  • Chilled Water System that delivers cooling to many of our buildings
  • Central Plant Chillers

SJSU intends to perform MBCx on all of our buildings over the coming years; under consideration next are:

  • Campus Village Housing
  • Ocean Water Building Cooling System at Moss Landing Marine Labs
  • Campuswide Energy Management System