Featured Ops Insights

How Limbach Enhanced Energy and System Performance across Multiple Buildings with Facilio

Smart buildings webinar series: Dive into how Limbach turned innovative tech-led strategies into tangible results from enhanced building performance and increased energy efficiency to swift returns on investment (ROI).

In today's world, the emphasis on sustainability and carbon reduction is more significant than ever before. This shift isn't just driven by environmental concerns and the financial benefits and operational efficiencies that come with it.

Yet, navigating the options available when choosing the right energy management and decarbonization solution is increasingly challenging.

Faced with these many options, it is unsurprising that property leaders are grappling with making the right choice. How do you distinguish between the genuine players and the ones making tall claims?

And it’s not just about the initial decision; it’s also about ensuring that the solution you choose gives you the results you need quickly.

In this age of innovation and digital transformation, technology is the secret sauce that can turn your decarbonization goals into reality. Smart technologies, IoT solutions, and data analytics are the game-changers you need to adopt.

They give you real-time insights into your energy usage and emissions and help you build a roadmap for optimization. With these tech-savvy tools, you're not just shooting in the dark; you're making informed decisions, implementing changes, and easily tracking your progress.

Last week, we joined forces with Limbach, a prominent US-based building solutions company with over 30 years of expertise spearheading energy savings programs. Together, we hosted an insightful webinar that explored the transformational power of adopting a software-first approach to energy optimization.

During the session, Limbach delved into their remarkable journey, shedding light on how this innovative strategy has translated into tangible results – from enhanced building performance and increased energy efficiency to swift returns on investment (ROI).

Limbach: Pioneering change in a fast-evolving industry

With a rich history of championing energy management, Limbach perpetually sought solutions delivering the utmost client benefits. Their diverse portfolio, spanning schools, hospitals, museums, data centers, and more, necessitated a versatile solution adaptable to each building's unique needs.

Previously, they had already implemented energy management practices. They diligently collected building data from clients, funneling it into a centralized database for analysis—this meticulous process aimed to uncover potential inefficiencies, enabling them to engineer tailored solutions for optimal performance.

However, executing this well-structured approach came with its own set of challenges:

Limited visibility

They lacked access to historical data and were missing crucial insights into the performance of their assets and buildings. These insights were vital for making strategic decisions to improve efficiency or sustainability.

They needed a panoramic view that spanned their entire portfolio, enabling them to chase financial and sustainability goals confidently.

Lack of remote monitoring

An effective method to consistently monitor energy, natural gas, and water usage was absent across their diverse building portfolio. Relying on periodical data meant they were blindspots on critical faults that could lead to energy wastage.

They also needed an efficient work order scheduling system, leading to delayed maintenance and increased costs.

Process inefficiencies

The reliance on manual processes and the confinement of essential data within Excel spreadsheets proved to be a breeding ground for inefficiencies within Limbach's operations.

These manual methods were not only time-consuming but also prone to errors. They hindered the smooth flow of information and made it challenging to access and analyze critical data promptly.

Limbach x Facilio: A software-first approach to energy efficiency

In their quest to perfect the energy optimization journey for their extensive clientele, Limbach partnered with Facilio, a cloud-based energy management platform. They implemented the software across an impressive cumulative area of 1.3 million square feet, encompassing 813 assets.

These assets ranged from HVAC systems, meters, and extract fans to boilers, chillers, cooling towers, pumps, and heat exchangers.

Facilio's robust solution addressed their previous challenges effectively. It seamlessly integrated diverse functions into a single, comprehensive platform.

This "single pane of glass" solution offered detailed insights into building performance, provided correlated data for streamlined asset optimization, enabled precise set point control, and facilitated energy-saving operations.

Furthermore, the partnership allowed Limbach a 360-degree view of their operations and maintenance (O&M) insights. This encompassed rapid Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD), behavior and tracking, vendor and space management.

They were able to implement 300+ FDD rules, which helped them identify 4317 FDD faults. With the help of severity-based prioritization, they were able to resolve the faults, leading to significant savings quickly.

Facilio in action - A Healthcare Case Study

Let's dive into the intricacies of a specific use case involving one of Limbach's clients - a hospital. In this scenario, one of the hospital's Air Handling Units (AHUs) was inadvertently operating counterproductive.

It was heating and cooling the same space simultaneously, an inefficiency that had gone unnoticed until then.

With the help of Facilio’s advanced FDD module, they quickly pinpointed the root of the problem: both the heating and cooling valves were open during various periods of equipment operation.

This revelation was significant, as it shed light on the source of their high operational costs, elevated energy consumption, and the potential for a shortened lifespan for the asset.

Armed with this knowledge, Limbach's team sprang into action. They meticulously reviewed the programming that dictated the sequence of operations, aiming to comprehend how this error had crept into the system.

With a clear understanding of the issue, they took swift corrective action. This rectified the immediate problem and set the stage for more efficient and cost-effective operation of the hospital's HVAC systems.

It's a prime example of how data-driven insights and proactive management can translate into tangible improvements in energy efficiency and operational savings.

What lies ahead for Limbach

Building on the success of implementing a cloud-based building operations management platform like Facilio, Limbach has set ambitious expansion plans in motion.

They aim to extend the benefits of this solution to additional buildings and clients within their extensive portfolio. This strategic move is designed to elevate operational efficiency and drive down costs even further.

In addition to this expansion, Limbach has its sights set on a broader horizon. They intend to move beyond the realms of Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) and delve into the realm of advanced analytics.

This sophisticated approach will enable them to unearth additional energy savings and cost reduction avenues. By examining factors like occupancy patterns and equipment usage in finer detail, they are poised to unlock even greater potential for efficiency enhancements and financial savings across their operations.

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