Is your building healthy? Three steps to an optimized system

by Erika Eskenazi

What is a “healthy” building? For a building, as it is for a body, this could mean being free of illness, maintaining wellness, and ultimately, achieving peak performance. Ecorithm’s True Analytics™ Platform, also known as TAP, helps your buildings move through these stages.

Step 1: Identify and Fix Issues
Body: When you are sick with a cold, your body’s primary objective is to get back to a healthy state. But cold symptoms such as sneezing and coughing aren’t the only implications that your body is not in a healthy state. Seemingly healthy people can have multiple latent imbalances that lead to disease — without even realizing it. In order to recognize these issues, they must first utilize the right tools to both identify the specific problems and prescribe solutions. Through acting on the prescription, the issues are resolved.
Building: The first step TAP takes to heal a building is to identify the issues plaguing the system and prescribe a resolution through using our unique Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics (AFDD). These issues are prioritized by impact, and delivered through an easy-to-use web interface and mobile application. Building staff use TAP to ensure prescriptions are implemented and resolved, bringing the building back to its designed functionality.

Step 2: Maintain Health
Body: Once someone has achieved a balanced state of wellness, it is desirable to maintain that state. Habitually exercising, eating well, and having an active, calm mind are key components to this maintenance. Going for a three-mile run once, eliminating sugar for only one week, or sitting in on one French class are not actions that are going to contribute to long-term health if not repeated on a consistent basis.
Building: One-time audits are only temporarily beneficial. Sure, you can improve the performance of your building by replacing equipment, changing some set points, or modifying a few control sequences; but over time, standard building operations and outside influences naturally push the system to deviate from its optimal state. It may seem obvious, but to maintain building health, continuous monitoring and maintenance is necessary. As issues arise, they must be addressed. As conditions change, optimization parameters (discussed next) must be adjusted.

Step 3: Optimize for Peak Performance
Body: A body that is free of illness or imbalances can be deemed healthy. However, the difference between a professional athlete and the average jogger in terms of strength, flexibility, focus, and life span is significant. When a professional athlete trains day in and day out, and sharpens every aspect of their lifestyle that affects performance, they are optimizing their body and mind.
Building: Once TAP has helped bring the building to a steady, balanced state, it can now push the boundaries of what was previously possible in terms of comfort, energy efficiency, predictive maintenance, and equipment lifetime. Using advanced, dynamic learning algorithms, Ecorithm’s software determines what factors and parameters influence building performance the most. TAP then informs the operator on how to best optimize these parameters. The platform also uses predictive analytics with pattern recognition to report on issues before they reveal themselves. In this way, buildings can reach — and maintain — peak performance.
Today, building staff are simply not equipped with the tools to detect and diagnose latent issues in building systems. Even if engineers do get building systems to a healthy state, maintaining “health” can seem impossible as manual overrides are forgotten, equipment ages or breaks, and occupancy and weather variables continually fluctuate. Without the ability to truly maintain health, optimization is not even an option. Luckily, through the three steps outlined above, Ecorithm’s software enables your building to transform from an average jogger to an elite marathon competitor. Think it can break 2:02:57?*

*Fastest marathon time on a record-eligible course