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Uncovering Building Systems Problems and Root Cause Analysis

Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) is the process of uncovering errors in physical systems while attempting to identify the source of the problem. For most building owners, fault detection requires making judgment calls based on incomplete data. In a good scenario, this data is derived from sensors connected to a robust Building Management System (BMS). In the 90% of buildings that do not have a BMS installed, the only datasets available are pieced together from spreadsheets, maintenance logs, and utility bills.

The term Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics (AFDD) has become more prominent lately, particularly in the building industry. In general, the differentiation made is that while FDD commonly refers to the process, AFDD refers to the technologies used to implement FDD processes. An AFDD tool is therefore equipped to implement automated FDD with as little human intervention as possible. AFDD analytics can be used to detect anomalies in complex and repetitive systems such as to anticipate failures in HVAC and other mechanical systems. 

Fault detection does not only cover equipment that has failed or is performing poorly. Equipment that is operating perfectly, but during the wrong times is a major source of energy waste in buildings. This includes buildings with a BMS installed, where the Department of Energy estimates that improperly configured BMS results in 20% higher than necessary energy usage.

At Building Assure, we believe that uncovering building systems problems is a combination of using automated data-driven technologies and human input. Learn more from our insight on how Measuring Building Conditions Enables Better Decisions and Collaboration is the Key for Small Building Owners.

Building Assure has designed and developed my Building Alerts with the small building owner in mind. Our low-cost solution provides all the necessary data to monitor energy consumption and waste, air quality, thermal comfort (temperature and humidity), water leak detection, equipment maintenance, service quality check (was the service conducted, and did it achieve the desired results), and much more. All while providing full transparency to your tenants and service contractors.

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