Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Hadas Webb and Ken Sinclair
Cimetrics Guidelines for COVID-19 Response
What is the Cimetrics Analytika service?
Webb: Analytika is a cloud-based
analytics platform that provides building and facility owners and
managers a tool for monitoring the performance of the intricately
engineered systems that control today’s buildings. Analytika ensures
efficient energy usage, addresses corporate compliance, and manages the
lifecycle of equipment and other assets, all to ensure the best indoor
environment for occupants and value for the organizations who rely on
them. Developed by Cimetrics from decades of building system
experience, Analytika is a unique model-based IIoT service built to
analyze critical components continuously. Supplemented by Cimetrics’
army of professional consultants, Analytika securely delivers results
directly to our users.
How is Analytika helping its customers during this COVID-19 pandemic?
Webb: These are unprecedented
circumstances, and the Analytika service continues to monitor our
customer sites and support any changes to facility operations. During
building shutdowns, many facilities reduced their on-site staff and
eliminated non-essential maintenance, but Analytika continued to be
their watchdog for critical equipment faults. Analytika has also
continued to monitor building spaces for unusual conditions that would
normally be reported by the occupants. Our customers have been relying
on us to verify changes to their equipment operation due to COVID-19.
We have been providing energy calculations - both equipment setbacks
savings due to reduced occupancy, and excess energy costs associated
with increase in airflow, operating hours, and filter replacements.
Can Analytika help customers after reopening too?
Webb: Yes! As buildings reopen, the
Analytika service will confirm that equipment operation is consistent
with best practices; monitor space conditions such as temperature,
humidity, and CO2 levels; and quantify the impact of adherence to
ASHRAE and CDC guidelines. We have calculated energy cost projections
for specific measures our customers are considering as they plan for
reopening. Our automatic fault detection and diagnostics (AFDD)
platform continuously monitors equipment and flags operation that
violates best practices. Analytika can also be used to monitor
equipment such as UVGI controllers and airborne pathogen sensors.
As a part of our initiative to support
our customers and the industry in general, we created a document that
summarizes the ASHRAE and CDC recommendations with respect to
installation and lifecycle cost, effectiveness, and other
considerations, as well as provides examples of how building analytics
can be used to support shutdown and reopening.
What motivated you to create the Cimetrics Guidelines for COVID-19
Webb: With thousands of articles and
papers related to COVID-19 risk mitigation being published, our
customers were struggling to find a clear direction. We sorted through
the recommendations to help our customers make the most practical and
effective decisions for their buildings and occupants. This document
provides actionable information - how much will this cost me? What else
do I need to consider? How can I monitor the effects of these actions?
Can you give us some examples of the recommendations and other
actionable information you provide in this document?
Webb: Certainly! The document provides a
summary of current recommendations in the United States from ASHRAE and
CDC related to air distribution systems, quantifies the financial and
operational impact of those recommendations, and demonstrates how
building analytics can be used to facilitate decision-making and
operational management. The ASHRAE and CDC recommendations are grouped
into four categories of HVAC transmission mitigation methods:
Ultraviolet Radiation (UVGI/UV-C/GUV), Ventilation, Air Filtration, and
Temperature & Humidity Control.
The information that has been most useful for our customers, and for
which we have received the most feedback, is the Energy Impact section.
These two charts show the annual operating cost of increasing the
minimum outside airflow, increasing the hours of operation, upgrading
the filters, and running UVC filters. The charts show the energy impact
for different regions in the US in cost per square foot per year and
BTU per square foot per year. In addition to helping with
prioritization, these charts help our customers secure additional
funding, as well as project long-term changes to their energy use
Are your recommendations only related to HVAC systems?
Webb: Our customers turn to us for our expertise in energy and building analytics. The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is not yet fully understood, but air distribution through HVAC systems is currently believed to be a transmission vector.
So yes, our recommendations relate only to HVAC systems, but Cimetrics
recognizes that the most effective means of mitigating risk of
infection is to limit person-to-person interaction, and that
consideration needs to be given to methods of minimizing contact such
as workflow modifications to minimize occupancy, replacing high-touch
surfaces (e.g. touchless door locks & elevators, single-serving
items), revised spatial configuration, and adherence to surface
cleaning and hygiene protocols.
Are you planning to update this document going forward?
Webb: Yes. We will revise the document on an ongoing basis as new evidence emerges and the current recommendations and technologies change. For example, there is growing evidence supporting an indoor space humidity “safe zone” of 40-60%. Please check back regularly - we will post the updated document on our website www.analytika.com
How do I learn more about Analytika service and find out how it can
Webb: Our web site is https://www.analytika.com/. If you would like to learn how Analytika can help you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hadas Webb has 20 years of experience in
engineering, energy analysis,
and leadership. She has been with Cimetrics since 2007 and
currently leads the Analytics team. Her primary responsibilities
include ensuring on-time and high-quality deliverables; process and
procedure development and optimization; project oversight including
budgets, timelines, prioritization, and communication; and customer
success. Formerly, as a Senior Analyst at Cimetrics, Ms. Webb was
directly responsible for energy analysis of over 8 million square feet
of facilities in the education, government, and health care sectors
throughout the United States. Ms. Webb received a B.S. from Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute and an M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, both
in Mechanical Engineering. She is a member of ASHRAE and AEE and is a
Certified Energy Manager.
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