6 Ways Facility Analytics Help Manage COVID-19 Concerns

No one can dispute a simple fact: Coronavirus quickly and dramatically altered our way of life. Whether that be through a different way of working, a newfound sense of caution while interacting with others, or a drastically altered consciousness of how often we touch our faces, this virus impacts everyone’s behavior. And now, as we begin to advance to a new stage of slowly getting back to “normal”, we unravel how to manage a safe working environment.

EEI launched BalanceCx, an analytics and FDD solution, to help our clients and the engineering community monitor the performance of their facilities on an ongoing basis. But facility analytics can also help monitor safety, mitigate infection risk, and validate newly deployed COVID-19 HVAC control strategies. Whether it’s a commercial facility with lower occupancy rates or hospital with new regulatory requirements, meeting your operational goals and public mandates presents new challenges.

The EEI team is well-versed in the emerging guidelines that are published by the CDC, ASHRAE, and OSHA to ensure the safety of each facility we support.

But what role does BalanceCx play in the safety of facilities? Let’s explore:

NIST Virtual Cybernetic Building Test Bed is used to test automated fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) technology. Photo courtesy of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

1. Verifies you’re meeting new performance guidelines

Simply put, if you can measure it, BalanceCx can verify it. Your facility HVAC may need to respond to new occupancy patterns. Or, you might need to increase ventilation to provide larger air changes for the safety of the occupants. Whenever you change how your systems work, you will need to adjust and monitor its performance. BalanceCx provides concise current and historical information on performance and operating costs. We can help in developing a custom strategy to validate the new measures you implement.

2. Historical data matters when changing ventilation

BalanceCx takes historical building trend data and develops a baseline for current equipment operational performance. New ventilation or filtration strategies create higher demand from existing HVAC systems. This becomes particularity crucial in healthcare or high-risk environments. Using the building’s historical data, we can verify if ventilation systems can maintain safe operating conditions while managing your risk through continuous monitoring.

3. Faster detection

Our analytics tool includes the capability to quickly and adaptively respond to critical conditions. We then prioritize the sequences for safe operational practices, allowing building operators to focus on the important matters first.

You can view the data collected by BalanceCx at any time. 

4. Remote access

As a cloud-based application, we may access BalanceCx from anywhere in the world. Remote access to equipment operational data allows commissioning and operations staff to remotely analyze operating conditions. It also gives the ability to perform technical assessments while conditions for building occupancy may be restricted or compromised.

5. Comparative analysis of energy use

Operational budgets will increase due to COVID-19 ventilation requirements. With BalanceCx, our clients can track and compare energy use pre-pandemic to current conditions of operation. This insight allows you to forecast how new operational practices impact your energy budgets.

6. Prove Compliance

In order to ensure professional safety, proof of compliance will likely see increased scrutiny in regulated industries, such as institutional, healthcare, and other similar facilities.

BalanceCx verifies you’re compliant with emerging COVID-19 health and safety standards

EEI collaborates with your facilities’ Environmental Health & Safety teams to determine the best practices for regulation reporting. BalanceCx automates the persistent systems checks and reports on the conditions.

As we watch our ‘new normal’ develop, operational playbooks for facilities face rapid changes. Contact our Analytics Lead, Don Kelly, to get started on assessing your facility’s analytics needs.