Next-Generation Cx: Leveraging Data for Higher Value Services

by Brenna Buckwalter, BuildPulse
Creating connections between humans, data, and their work environment can result in an integrated approach to well-being, cost and energy savings that benefit everyone involved. Those connections, fueled by information, have the power to reduce workloads, enhance quality of service, and keep occupants comfortable – all while improving efficiency and building client trust.

One of the biggest challenges facing commissioning providers (CxP) is client retention – taking the leap from performing one-off projects to building lasting relationships with clients. How does a CxP add real value for customers and stay relevant in a changing market?

The answer is simple – executing is not so easy. Building lasting relationships is all about creating mutual benefit, which is where data comes in handy. When used to their full potential, analytics benefit commissioning providers, clients, and building occupants in parallel, increasing quality of service and improving business models.

For commissioning providers, data is becoming a significant tool that opens the door to long term client relationships. When CxPs use data to integrate their client’s existing BAS, they empower the commissioning team to openly give suggestions, improve the client’s operations, and lower the building portfolio’s energy expenditure. By understanding trends, instead of basing insights on a single point in time through an in-depth audit, all stakeholders gain valuable knowledge. Although audits are valuable tools, the CxP and the client are left with a laundry list of issues without a measurable roadmap to solutions. With the application of analytics, instead of receiving a single snapshot of facility health, issues can be solved as they surface without overwhelming the client or cutting the commissioning provider’s value-add short.


Here’s a Real-World Example:

McKinstry, a full-service design, construction, commissioning and operations firm, has been able to use data to create a consistently higher quality and lower cost service for their clients. A recent project, focused on two existing commercial buildings totaling 270,000 sf, was experiencing challenging air quality issues that affected building operations and occupant comfort.

By using plug and play software technology supplied by BuildPulse, installation took about two hours and the first performance data report was available in just one week. From there issues were identified over a course of a month while the office building continued normal operations.

Facility issues included:

• Negative pressure and infiltration
• Supply air reset not functioning
• Units running while not occupied
• Controls communication problems

Using output from the software, the team identified issues similar to those found in commissioning reports, but at a lower cost. The acquired data supplemented existing investigative efforts and actually reduced costs in determining the best path forward for the client. They also lowered energy costs and were able to monitor the client’s buildings without having to get into the weeds of operations or data integration.

Total potential savings identified for this project was $21,000.

Data alleviates some of the commissioning provider’s workload. Having the ability to connect remotely reduces the number of trips to the site, and enables commissioning providers to identify problems quickly and troubleshoot from afar. In this way, both the client and the provider save time and resources while maintaining quality of service and achieving results.

Facility staff and occupants are the beneficiaries of the proper use of data analytics because, in the end, they directly deal with a building’s conditions on a day to day basis. By using data to identify and prioritize problems quickly, building performance issues can be solved right away, resulting in fewer occupant complaints.

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