The main objective of the PERFORMER project is to develop, install and finally assess energy and environmental benefits of an innovative integrated concept for the monitoring and evaluation of building energy performance, towards the energy performance guarantee.
The PERFORMER solution can be utilised in a range of buildings to help manage and optimise energy usage. However, buildings are rarely, if ever, exactly the same and hence deployment of PERFORMER will inevitably need to be tailored to meet individual building needs. The purpose of the PERFORMER Monitoring Protocol is therefore to provide supporting information to standardise the deployment.
The aim is to allow the PERFORMER solution to be applied to a variety of buildings in a consistent way, to obtain relevant, quality data while being adaptable to specific building traits and needs. It will serve as an overview and ‘user guide’ for clients implementing PERFORMER, allowing them to understand the purpose of the equipment being utilised and enabling them to procure the necessary professionals to install and commission the system(s).
The Protocol document covers a range of procedures including methods to test and verify the intrinsic as-built performance of the building fabric via air pressure testing, heat flux measurements of thermal elements and energy signature recognition from existing energy data. It also includes information about the sensors and meters that may need to be installed to monitor mechanical systems, services and occupant comfort parameters, such as temperature and CO2 concentrations.
In addition to providing background to each type of test, meter or sensor and their purpose, their relevance to the overall PERFORMER solution is explained, the skills that will be required for the installation are detailed and specific practical considerations are set out, such as do’s and don’ts of sensor placement, measurement units that should be used, related equipment and whether building systems will need to be shut down temporarily for example.
The document offers a best practice approach to the whole deployment process, particularly relating to pre-planning and overall management of technicians or installers. It is recommended that where multiple parties will be involved in the installation process, e.g. client, installers, BMS technicians, initial planning meetings should be held to identify whether there are issues or considerations the others may not be aware of. This can avoid the need for repeat, corrective visits if all parties understand the whole intended setup. Installation teams are encouraged to take the time to become familiar with any new and existing systems and to understand the specifics of the building so as to minimise potential disruption to building users during the actual installation. Where wireless communications are proposed, signal strengths and transmission distances between receivers should be tested in advance to identify whether signal repeater units need to be sourced as part of the installation and suitable locations for these. The Protocol also offers pointers on commissioning and validation to ensure that the data collected is accurate before it is used within the PERFORMER process for data visualisation and to provide efficiency recommendations.
The Monitoring Protocol should therefore serve as an invaluable companion to clients looking to implement PERFORMER.