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Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Building Advisor Improves Campus Performance and Drives Energy Savings at the University of Iowa

-- Fault detection and diagnostic systems, advanced analytics, task management and advisory services help University of Iowa building managers proactively monitor for system faults and manage a large influx of data and complex building systems.

-- University of Iowa used EcoStruxure Building Advisor to monitor 6.7 million square feet across 49 buildings, resulting in $900,000 in energy savings in the first year.

-- University of Iowa has earned three FDD-related awards in recognition of its sustainability efforts and energy savings.

BOSTON, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, announced the successful deployment of EcoStruxure™ Building Advisor Managed Services to the University of Iowa. The solution includes the latest fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) technology, advanced analytics, task and project management functions, and performance trending and diagnostics, along with expert guidance and actionable information. In the first year of the project, the University realized numerous benefits, including energy savings of $900,000.  

Schneider Electric (PRNewsfoto/Schneider Electric)

The implementation of Building Advisor represents an overlay of the University of Iowa's building management systems, enabling the university to proactively discover building system problems more easily, as well as identify optimization opportunities before they lead to alarms, excessive waste of resources, occupant discomfort, or system failure. This has served to drive the overall reduction of occupant complaints, unscheduled maintenance, and energy costs.

Streamlining building management

The University of Iowa selected certified EcoXpert™ partner, Control Installations of Iowa, Inc. (CI3), to work with Schneider Electric to implement Building Advisor. CI3 was selected for its deep expertise in building automation systems installation and integration, as well as its long-standing partnership with Schneider Electric. EcoXpert partners are trained and certified on Schneider Electric's IoT-enabled EcoStruxure architecture and platform, and are the implementation arms of EcoStruxure all over the world.

Transforming university-wide systems

Schneider Electric and CI3 worked with University personnel to establish industry best practices with Building Advisor. The solution includes an automated fault detection and diagnostics (aFDD) solution across 49 buildings encompassing academic, lab, recreational, and office spaces. Schneider Electric provided essential technical training and support following the integration efforts, including all major HVAC equipment, air-handling units, heating/chilled water systems, pumps, terminal units, and four different building management systems (BMS). The new system uses the university's existing data infrastructure, comprised of building management, process automation, and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), while web APIs enable two-way communication between the CMMS and aFDD software."

From reactive to proactive maintenance

As a benefit of the integration of Building Advisor, the University formed a multidisciplinary Analytic Response Group (ARG) that now uses Building Advisor to enhance prioritization and troubleshooting of building system issues, including the use of automated fault detection and diagnostics to check and prioritize the tasks that need attention, assign those tasks to a team member and manage each work order in the University's CMMS. After the analytics system was fully deployed, Schneider Electric's remote experts were on hand to advise the University of Iowa on their use of Building Advisor and interpretation of the data generated whenever necessary.

In addition to using Building Advisor, the University of Iowa's Analytic Response Group now has the ability to:

  • Fix comfort issues before occupants complain
  • Uncover hidden issues and identify optimization opportunities using analytics, saving time, energy, and money
  • Justify maintenance and project expense with clear return on investment
  • Clearly demonstrate the value that the facilities team delivers
  • Significantly increase team efficiency, accomplishing more within existing operating budgets

Monitoring and maintenance drive sustainability success

In the first year, the University used Building Advisor as a system agnostic solution to monitor 6.7 million square feet across 49 buildings with four different building management systems, which resulted in over $900,000 in energy savings. An average of 17 percent or 705 HVAC related work orders completed were predictive maintenance orders, ensuring that the University can plan and schedule maintenance more effectively. As a result, in April 2018, the University of Iowa's new approach to maintenance was recognized in APPA Facilities Manager magazine, which named the University of Iowa as one of the 36 campuses across North America practicing campus sustainability. In addition, the University of Iowa was recognized by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Dept. of Energy for its exemplary work to save energy through the use of Fault Detection Diagnostics. 

Recently, Environmental Leader magazine also recognized Schneider Electric and the University of Iowa for the project's success in providing significant sustainability and energy management results. 

"We are proud to work with the University of Iowa to automate and streamline parts of its operations, enabling the maintenance team to more easily create the most comfortable environment possible for students, faculty, and staff while conserving vital resources," said Justin Lavoie, vice president of Systems and Services - US Digital Buildings, Schneider Electric.

The University of Iowa continues to work closely with Schneider Electric and CI3 to review and act on analyses resulting from phase two of the Building Advisor implementation. This second phase added 29 more buildings to the portfolio and brings the total number of equipment assets connected to EcoStruxure Building Advisor analytics cloud to over 12,000.

About Schneider Electric 

At Schneider, we believe access to energy and digital is a basic human right. We empower all to do more with less, ensuring Life Is On everywhere, for everyone, at every moment.

We provide energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. We combine world-leading energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services into integrated solutions for Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries.

We are committed to unleash the infinite possibilities of an open, global, innovative community that is passionate with our Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.

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