What are the Role of Data Visualization in Monitoring-Based Commissioning for Building Management

May 28, 2023

As our buildings become more connected and intelligent, the need for advanced building management techniques has never been greater. Among these techniques, monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) stands out, especially when paired with data visualization.

This powerful combination transforms how we approach energy efficiency and system optimization, offering solutions to persistent challenges in building management.

Understanding Monitoring Based Commissioning

Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx) and its purpose in improving a building's energy performance involve continuous monitoring of system data, identifying inefficiencies, and implementing corrective measures to ensure optimal efficiency over the long term. Additionally, we will explore the role of data visualization in transforming raw data into actionable insights.

Continuous Performance Improvement:

MBCx focuses on the ongoing process of enhancing a building's energy performance rather than a one-time commissioning effort. By continuously monitoring system data, MBCx proactively identifies inefficiencies and facilitates regular optimization to maintain peak efficiency.

For example, instead of commissioning a building once and leaving it, monitoring-based commissioning continuously monitors systems like HVAC, lighting, and energy consumption. This allows for the timely identification of issues such as malfunctioning equipment, suboptimal energy usage patterns, or deviations from expected performance.

Identifying Inefficiencies:

MBCx involves analyzing the collected data to identify areas of inefficiency within the building's systems. This can include detecting equipment malfunctions, suboptimal performance, or deviations from expected energy consumption patterns.

Through MBCx, if a building's HVAC system shows unusually high energy consumption during off-peak hours, it may indicate a malfunctioning component or an operational issue that needs attention. Corrective measures can be implemented to optimize energy usage and reduce costs by detecting these inefficiencies.

Data Visualization for Actionable Insights:

MBCx uses data visualization techniques to transform raw data into accessible insights that inform decision-making and drive improvements. Data visualization presents information in a visual format that is easy to understand, enabling stakeholders to identify trends, patterns, and anomalies.

Through visualizing energy consumption data through graphs or charts, stakeholders can quickly identify patterns such as peak usage times, compare energy consumption across different systems or periods, and track the effectiveness of implemented efficiency measures. These visual representations enable informed decision-making for optimizing energy performance.

The Importance of Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is about saving costs, optimizing resource utilization, and reducing our environmental impact. Regarding building management, energy efficiency involves maximizing the performance of building systems while minimizing energy consumption.

Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx) plays a vital role in achieving energy efficiency by providing a structured approach to identifying and resolving energy inefficiencies. Effective energy management can result in significant cost savings, improved occupant comfort, and a notable reduction in a building's carbon footprint.

  • Resource optimization: Energy efficiency ensures the efficient use of resources, minimizing waste and maximizing output.
  • Environmental impact reduction: By reducing energy consumption and emissions, energy efficiency contributes to mitigating climate change and promoting environmental sustainability.
  • Cost savings: Implementing energy efficiency measures has significant financial benefits through reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills.
  • Enhanced occupant comfort: Energy-efficient systems maintain optimal conditions within buildings, providing a comfortable environment for occupants.
  • Increased productivity: Comfortable and well-maintained buildings support occupant well-being and productivity, improving performance.
  • Regulation compliance: Energy efficiency is frequently necessary to meet construction rules and adhere to environmental regulations.
  • Long-term sustainability: Setting energy efficiency as a top priority assures that resources will be used sustainably for future generations.
  • Competitive advantage: Energy-efficient structures attract tenants, financiers, and clients who respect environmental sustainability.
  • Energy independence: Energy efficiency reduces reliance on external sources, enhancing energy security and resilience.
  • Positive public image: A commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability enhances an organization's reputation and public perception.

Role of Data Visualization in Monitoring-Based Commissioning

Data visualization is essential to Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx), as it simplifies complex building data into a visually accessible format. By transforming raw data into visual representations, data visualization facilitates understanding patterns, identifies hidden insights, and provides a clearer understanding of system performance. In the context of MBCx, data visualization serves the following key roles:

1. Highlighting patterns: Visualizing energy consumption data over time can reveal usage patterns, such as peak demand periods or recurring inefficiencies. These patterns provide valuable insights into the building's energy usage behavior and can guide optimization efforts.

2. Revealing hidden insights: Data visualization techniques allow for discovering relationships, trends, or correlations within the data that may not be immediately apparent. By presenting information in a graphical format, data visualization can uncover valuable insights that may otherwise go unnoticed.

3. Providing actionable information: Visual data visualization enables building managers to interpret and act upon the information quickly. This allows them to make decisions based on data-driven insights and implement targeted measures to improve energy efficiency.

4. Supporting fine-tuning systems: Data visualization can aid in identifying specific areas where energy inefficiencies occur, such as malfunctioning equipment or suboptimal settings. This information enables building managers to fine-tune their systems, rectify issues promptly, and optimize energy performance.

Introduction to Retro-Commissioning

Retro-commissioning is a process aimed at optimizing the performance of existing building systems. It involves evaluating and fine-tuning these systems to improve energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and overall building performance. Retro-commissioning is particularly beneficial for buildings that have experienced performance decline or were not commissioned initially to meet desired efficiency goals.

  • Evaluation of existing systems: Retro-commissioning involves thoroughly assessing building systems to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement.
  • Corrective measures: Once inefficiencies are identified, retro-commissioning teams implement disciplinary actions to optimize system performance and energy efficiency.
  • Enhancing occupant comfort: Retro-commissioning improves energy efficiency and focuses on enhancing occupant comfort through fine-tuning systems.
  • Cost savings: Retro-commissioning can lead to significant energy consumption and maintenance savings by identifying and rectifying inefficiencies.
  • Environmental sustainability: Retro-commissioning contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing energy waste and carbon emissions.
  • Compliance with regulations: Retro-commissioning ensures buildings meet current codes and standards, promoting regulatory compliance.
  • Prolonging system lifespan: By optimizing system performance, retro-commissioning helps extend the lifespan of building systems and equipment.
  • Building performance improvement: Retro-commissioning aims to restore and enhance overall building performance, resulting in improved functionality and satisfaction for occupants.
  • Data-driven approach: Retro-commissioning relies on data analysis, including performance metrics and energy usage, to guide decision-making and measure improvements.

The Intersection of Data Visualization and Retro-Commissioning

Data visualization is critical in retro-commissioning by providing precise and concise visual representations of system data.

  • Simplifies complex system data for more accessible analysis
  • Identifies problem areas that require retro-commissioning.
  • Reveals patterns, anomalies, and inefficiencies in system performance.
  • Guides informed decision-making for corrective measures.
  • Enhances communication among stakeholders involved in retro-commissioning.
  • Supports comprehensive understanding of system inefficiencies and optimization opportunities.
  • Assists in evaluating retro-commissioning outcomes and tracking performance improvements.

Utilizing Maintenance Management Software

Utilizing maintenance management software is a strategic approach to efficient building management. These software solutions streamline maintenance operations, asset management, and data tracking, providing a centralized platform for organizing and optimizing maintenance tasks. These features improve operational efficiency and help ensure timely and effective maintenance activities.

  • Work order management: Maintenance management software enables the creation, assignment, and tracking of work orders, streamlining the maintenance process and ensuring timely resolution of issues.
  • Preventive maintenance scheduling: The software allows for the scheduling and automation of preventive maintenance tasks, helping to proactively address potential problems and optimize the lifespan of building systems.
  • Equipment tracking and management: Maintenance management software provides a comprehensive database for tracking equipment information, maintenance history, and warranties, facilitating efficient management and optimization of assets.
  • Inventory management: The software can help manage spare parts and inventory, ensuring necessary supplies are available for maintenance activities and reducing downtime.
  • Reporting and analytics: Maintenance management software often includes reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing for data-driven decision-making, performance tracking, and identifying trends or recurring issues.
  • Mobile accessibility: Many maintenance management software solutions offer mobile applications, enabling technicians to access work orders, update statuses, and input data on the go, improving efficiency and communication.
  • Integration with other systems: Maintenance management software can integrate with other building management systems, such as energy management or building automation systems, to provide a holistic view of building operations and optimize maintenance activities.
  • Documentation and compliance: The software helps maintain documentation and records of maintenance activities, ensuring compliance with regulations and facilitating auditing processes.
  • Streamlined communication: Maintenance management software facilitates communication and collaboration among maintenance teams, building managers, and stakeholders, ensuring efficient coordination and transparency.


In conclusion, data visualization is pivotal in monitoring-based commissioning and retro-commissioning. It provides the clarity needed to understand complex building systems, identify inefficiencies, and guide improvement measures.

Combining data visualization, MBCx, and retro-commissioning will play a central role as we seek solutions for more sustainable and efficient buildings. The future of building management lies in leveraging these powerful tools to create smarter, more efficient buildings.

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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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