What is Monitoring-Based Commissioning, and How Does It Improve Building Performance and Efficiency?

Monitoring-Based Commissioning
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Optimizing the performance of building systems is crucial in pursuing sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. One practical approach is through retro-commissioning services, specifically monitoring-based commissioning. This article discusses the concept of monitoring-based commissioning. It also plays a role in enhancing building performance and efficiency.

Understanding Monitoring-Based Commissioning 

Monitoring-based commissioning (MBC) is a systematic process that leverages data and advanced technologies to evaluate and optimize building systems. It continuously monitors key performance indicators to ensure efficient and reliable operation. Here are the core principles and benefits of MBC:

Definition and Core Principles:

  • MBC improves building systems by collecting, analyzing, and benchmarking real-time data.
  • It cycles through monitoring, analysis, improvement, and verification.

Utilizing Data and Advanced Technologies:

MBC collects real-time data using sensors, meters, and monitoring devices strategically located throughout the structure.

  • Data is analyzed using advanced analytics, algorithms, and machine learning to find patterns, anomalies, and trends.

For instance, by implementing MBC, a manufacturing facility continuously monitors energy consumption data. The MBC system detects an unusual energy spike during non-production hours. Through data analysis, it is identified that specific equipment is left running unnecessarily, leading to excessive energy consumption. The facility implements automated shutdown protocols during non-production hours to optimize energy usage.

Real-time Monitoring and Data-Driven Insights:

  • Real-time monitoring detects inefficiencies, malfunctions, and performance abnormalities.
  • Data-driven insights reveal system performance, energy utilization, and equipment health. With MBC, a large office building continuously monitors temperature, humidity, and airflow data throughout its HVAC systems. The MBC system identifies zones with inconsistent temperature control, indicating potential dampers and airflow distribution issues.

Based on this insight, the building management team takes corrective actions, optimizing damper settings and improving airflow balance to ensure consistent and comfortable temperatures throughout the building.

Identifying Operational Inefficiencies:

  • Through real-time monitoring and data analysis, MBC helps identify operational inefficiencies, suboptimal system settings, and equipment malfunctions.
  • This enables timely intervention, targeted optimizations, and proactive maintenance to improve performance and reduce energy waste. 

MBC implementation in a retail store involves monitoring lighting system data, including energy usage and illumination levels. The MBC system identifies areas with excessive lighting usage, such as zones with overlapping coverage. The store makes adjustments by installing occupancy sensors and optimizing lighting control strategies, reducing energy consumption without compromising visual comfort.

Improving Building Performance with Monitoring-Based Commissioning

Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBC) is a powerful approach that aids in identifying energy waste and equipment malfunctions, optimizing building systems, and enhancing overall performance.When retro-commissioning services are combined with monitoring-based commissioning, they create a powerful system for the consistent development of energy productivity and functional magnificence.

Identifying Energy Waste and Equipment Malfunctions 

  • MBC is vital in identifying energy waste and equipment malfunctions by continuously monitoring key performance indicators.
  • By collecting real-time data and analyzing it using advanced algorithms, MBC detects deviations from expected performance, energy inefficiencies, and potential issues. 

For instance, during MBC implementation, a commercial building identified excessive energy consumption during non-operational hours. Further analysis revealed faulty scheduling settings for lighting and HVAC systems. Adjusting these settings resulted in significant energy savings without compromising occupant comfort.

The Process of Data Collection, Analysis, and Performance Benchmarking:

  • MBC follows a systematic process that involves data collection, analysis, and performance benchmarking. 
  • Strategically placed sensors and meters gather real-time data on energy, systems, and the environment. Advanced algorithms recognize patterns, abnormalities, and trends in the collected data.
  •  Performance benchmarking compares the analyzed data against industry standards and best practices. A practical example of this process is that MBC monitored energy consumption across multiple buildings on a university campus. Data analysis detected a persistent energy spike during non-operational hours. An investigation revealed faulty scheduling settings adjusted to align with operational hours, resulting in substantial energy savings.

Optimizing Specific Building Systems through MBC:

MBC can optimize various building systems, improving performance and energy efficiency. Some notable plans include:

  • HVAC Systems: MBC continuously monitors HVAC system performance, enabling the detection of inefficiencies, malfunctions, and suboptimal settings. Adjustments can be made to improve energy efficiency and occupant comfort.
  • Lighting Systems: By monitoring lighting energy consumption and illuminance levels, MBC identifies opportunities for energy savings, such as implementing lighting controls, daylight harvesting, and efficient lighting technologies.
  • Electrical Systems: MBC can detect inefficiencies in electrical systems, including equipment operation and power consumption. By identifying and addressing these issues, energy waste can be minimized.

Relationship to Retro-Commissioning Services:

MBC is a critical component of retro-commissioning services, which involve evaluating and optimizing existing building systems. Retro-commissioning aims to improve performance, energy efficiency, and occupant comfort. 

MBC provides continuous monitoring and data-driven insights, allowing for ongoing performance optimization. By utilizing MBC within retro-commissioning services, building owners and operators can identify operational inefficiencies, implement targeted solutions, and achieve long-term improvements.

Key Benefits of Monitoring-Based Commissioning

Monitoring-based commissioning (MBC) saves energy and money and improves occupant comfort. We will discuss MBC, maintenance management software, continuous monitoring, and performance improvement.

Energy Savings, Cost Reduction, and Improved Occupant Comfort

MBC delivers significant energy savings, cost reductions, and improved occupant comfort. MBC monitors key performance metrics to identify operational inefficiencies and provide targeted remedies. These results:

  • Energy Savings: MBC identifies energy waste, such as excessive usage during non-operational hours or suboptimal system settings. Taking corrective actions can reduce energy consumption, resulting in substantial cost savings.
  • Cost Reduction: MBC helps optimize equipment performance and identify potential malfunctions, enabling proactive maintenance. This reduces the likelihood of costly breakdowns and extends the equipment’s lifespan.
  • Improved Occupant Comfort: By monitoring environmental conditions, MBC ensures that systems such as HVAC and lighting operate optimally, enhancing occupant comfort and productivity.

Role of Maintenance Management Software:

Maintenance software is essential for streamlining the monitoring process within MBC. This software automates data collection, provides real-time analytics, and facilitates efficient maintenance workflows. Its benefits include:

  • Automated Data Collection: Maintenance management software integrates with sensors and meters to collect and centralize real-time data, eliminating manual data collection.
  • Real-Time Analytics: The software analyzes the collected data, detecting anomalies and providing actionable insights promptly. This enables proactive decision-making and timely interventions.
  • Efficient Maintenance Workflows: By automating maintenance tasks, the software streamlines the process, ensuring timely inspections, repairs, and preventive maintenance actions.

Long-Term Benefits of Continuous Monitoring and Performance Optimization:

Continuous monitoring and performance optimization, made possible by MBC, offer long-term benefits for building owners and operators:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: MBC ensures that building systems operate at their peak efficiency, reducing energy waste and lowering operational costs.
  • Extended Equipment Lifespan: By identifying and addressing potential equipment malfunctions early on, MBC helps extend the lifespan of critical assets, reducing the need for premature replacements.
  • Sustainable Operations: MBC supports sustainable practices by optimizing energy consumption, reducing carbon footprints, and aligning with environmental goals.
  • Improved Building Resilience: By continuously monitoring and optimizing systems, MBC enhances the overall resilience of the building, minimizing downtime and ensuring smooth operations.


Monitoring-based commissioning (MBC) is a powerful tool for improving building performance and energy efficiency. MBC enables proactive issue identification and targeted solutions by leveraging real-time data and advanced analytics. As part of retro-commissioning services, MBC empowers building owners and operators to achieve sustainable and efficient buildings, benefiting their bottom line and the environment.

MBC utilizes real-time data and advanced analytics to proactively identify operational inefficiencies, energy waste, and equipment malfunctions. This allows timely interventions and targeted solutions, improving building performance and energy efficiency. 

By implementing retro-commissioning services, which include MBC, building owners and operators can comprehensively optimize existing building systems, leading to long-term benefits such as reduced environmental impact and enhanced occupant comfort. Ultimately, MBC is crucial in helping building owners and operators achieve sustainable and efficient buildings while reaping economic and ecological rewards.

The content published on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, health or other professional advice.

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