Retrocommissioning Project at Knight Management Center uses Advanced Analytics

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Knight Management Center opened in April 2011 as a new home for Stanford’s innovative MBA curriculum and other programs, and as a physical space intended to both bring students together from across Stanford University's seven schools for interdisciplinary learning and to demonstrate the Graduate School of Business' (GSB) commitment to environmental leadership. The 360,000-square-foot facility achieved a LEED Platinum rating for environmental sustainability.  An innovative HVAC system was a key element of achieving that rating, including chilled beams, natural ventilation, indirect evaporative cooling, and a solar thermal system.

In even the greenest of buildings, however, persistence of energy savings requires preventive maintenance and periodic check-ups. To that end, the GSB facilities team invested in updating the Knight Management Center's automation system to ensure it met the current campus Direct Digital Control (DDC) standards as part of the iCAP program. The new system gives greater visibility to the workings of the HVAC systems and it enabled Stanford to implement a retrocommissioning project in FY19. The engineering team used Skyspark, a fault detection and diagnostics software tool, to monitor the performance of the building and to identify deviations in operation from the original design of the building.

The retrocommissioning investigation identified multiple issues that were causing energy consumption to drift higher over the last few years. This included improper control of air handler heating and cooling valves and chilled beams, and equipment running during unoccupied periods.  The correction of these issues is expected to save over $150,000 per year.