Pacific Northwest National Labs Building Re-Tuning Project

Sample graphic from BRT training materials.

In early 2011, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) engaged BP Lab to serve as a technology transfer partner for its Building Re-Tuning (BRT) protocol. BRT is a methodology for using data drawn from Building Automation Systems (BAS) to identify and troubleshoot energy-related faults in building system operation.

With this technique, which emphasizes the graphical interpretation of large amounts of BAS trend log data, an operator can implement on-going commissioning.  In pilots in Washington state and other locations nationally, PNNL has achieved savings of up to 25% of building energy consumption.  (For more information on the protocol, please see the What is BRT? page.)

BP Lab was initially engaged to set up training sessions in NYC largely aimed at instructors of BP Lab’s BOC courses. These “train-the-trainer” sessions, held in 2011 at our partner sites (Barclays corporate headquarters building and the training center of IUOE Local 94), consisted of one full day of class instruction and a second day of field “walk-down” and evaluation using the BAS as a window onto facility and system operation.

Amy Leon, former CCNY student & BP Lab intern, participated in BRT training.

CCNY graduate engineering student Amy Leon and Urban Sustainability Masters students Chris Petrone and Carol Brito attended the training with an eye towards evaluating how student interns could best become involved in supporting this process in the field with building engineers.

Since this initial effort began, BP Lab has been engaged in further work to expand the availability of BRT training and technical support in the NYC market, through a grant funded by NIST (National Institute of Standards & Technology) Building Construction Technology Extension Partnership, and more recently an award from NYSERDA which will allow BP Lab to offer further trainings throughout 2014 and 2015.

The BRT process is very well aligned with our on-going training activities and with our research on BAS functions and utilization. We are pleased to make this nationally recognized process an effective part of BP Lab’s toolkit.