A Framework for Monitoring-Based Commissioning: Identifying Variables That Act as Barriers and Enablers to the Process
The practice of monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) using energy management and information systems (EMIS) has been shown to enable and help sustain up to 20% energy savings in buildings. Despite research that has quantified the costs, benefits, and energy savings of MBCx, the process remains under-utilized. To understand why MBCx is not more frequently adopted and how to encourage its use, this research synthesizes qualitative data from over 40 organizations, currently engaging in MBCx. The outcome of this research is a framework containing variables that emerged from the qualitative data, marked as barriers or enablers, organized by phases of the MBCx process. The framework is comprised of 51 emergent variables that fall within 13 different categories. The variables that most frequently act as barriers are data configuration, measurement & verification (M&V), developing specifications for EMIS, and data architecture. Although some variables that act as barriers for one organization were identified as enablers for another. For example, payback/ROI was considered a barrier 7 times and an enabler 3 times. One organization had difficulty making the business case for the initial investment for MBCx due to lack of cost information, while another was able to justify large investments with documented savings of previously implemented measures identified through MBCx. The framework formally validates barriers found in previous research, and can be used by practitioners to better understand common experiences with MBCx. This research highlights the need for a similar collective data set to validate common enablers to MBCx and also the need for empirical research to determine relationships between variables.