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Honeywell Introduces Multitiered Facility Advisory Services

April 3, 2012
Attune combines technology, expertise in energy awareness, improvement, and optimization, along with operations services

Honeywell has introduced Attune Advisory Services, a suite of professional services that combines cloud-based tools and analytics for building owners and facilities managers with a global network of operations centers and energy and facility experts.

Attune Advisory Services are designed to help building owners wherever they are on the energy- and operational-efficiency spectrum, providing technology and support to gain baseline awareness of building performance, make improvements to reduce energy and operations costs, and define an ongoing strategy to manage and optimize a facility.

“The performance of building systems and equipment can degrade by as much as 5 percent every year, which translates to energy and operating costs that continually escalate,” Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions, said. “Companies are starting to realize the significant impact this can have, as well as the opportunity it presents for bottom-line savings. With Attune, we’re providing the ease and convenience of cloud-based technology with expert advice and actionable guidance so companies can capture and maintain those savings.”

Facility managers are frequently under increased pressure to go beyond simply monitoring building systems and providing base-level comfort. They are being asked to translate facility information into actions that deliver energy, operational and environmental outcomes. However, many don’t have the resources to assess building performance, identify opportunities to upgrade infrastructure and operations, or prioritize retrofits.

Attune Advisory Services turn building performance data into an action plan that pinpoints potential upgrades and their expected return on investment. The service suite enables facility managers to optimize their budgets, personnel and systems by combining powerful cloud-based tools and analytics with insight and advice from a global team of Honeywell consultants, and customized support provided by skilled onsite technicians.

The services exceed typical facility management software, which often only provides a steady stream of data, but no insight or recommendations. Attune offers three levels of assistance — awareness, improvement, and optimization — with programs focusing on either energy or operational efficiency. The new energy-focused services include:

Attune Energy Awareness. Energy Awareness enables facility managers to access and monitor electricity and natural-gas consumption using a Web-based, software-as-a-service dashboard that collects information from utility meters to provide insight on building performance and create a baseline to help identify savings opportunities. Honeywell also provides lobby signage that allows organizations to showcase the results of their efficiency efforts in clear-cut, graphic-driven terms, helping educate occupants, and spurring them to alter their behavior and energy use.

• Attune Energy Improvement. Energy Improvement turns building data into actionable recommendations with the advice of Honeywell’s experienced analysts. Facility managers receive periodic reports that provide information on efficiency opportunities with related recommendations on upgrades and replacements. Building retrofits made as a result of these services can deliver energy savings of up to 10 percent, potentially paying for themselves within months.

Attune Energy Optimization. 
Energy Optimization delivers a powerful combination of improved building knowledge and actionable recommendations, backed by detailed monitoring, measurement, and verification to help ensure facilities operate at their peak. Optimization can deliver energy savings of 10 to 20 percent on average, with the potential for even greater savings in older facilities. Honeywell plugs into a building to gather systems data and assess performance using cloud-based fault detection and diagnostics. Local service technicians collaborate with a global team of optimization experts to review the findings and present a plan to help facility managers reduce utility consumption. Ongoing assessment and monitoring allow building owners to see that upgrades continue to deliver results to the bottom line.

• Attune Operations Services. The goal of Operations Services is more efficiently run buildings. Facility managers can select different combinations of 24/7 equipment monitoring, remote and onsite response to alarm conditions, and Honeywell consultation for uncovering other potential improvements and lowering equipment life-cycle costs. By providing secure, cloud-enabled support, Honeywell is able to help address the issues building operators routinely face — assistance the company is already providing to more than 3,000 sites that are connected to its global operations centers. Attune Operations Services provide guided solutions aimed at saving money and reducing downtime, and the improved insight allows Honeywell to dispatch technicians only when needed. It’s a cost-effective way to improve overall efficiency and another step toward optimization.

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A Networked Controls Plus exclusive interview with Greg Turner, vice president, global offerings, Honeywell Building Solutions

“There has never been a system approach to mining data to really understand how a building operates under the vastly differently load conditions and weather conditions that it experiences throughout a normal year. The idea with Attune was to start at that very complex step of taking a systemic or system-wide approach to understanding the data that’s coming back from buildings and how it can be used to optimize building systems. We took that goal and broke it down into three different tiered offerings.

“First is an information offering that’s really just designed to take basic energy data about the building and create awareness. It takes the very simple overlay of heating degree days and cooling degree days and tries to help the customer get a general understanding for the energy consumption of their building and how linear or non-linear that is based on the load of the building and how the building is operated.

“From there we move into a second phase that really mimics what we’ve done—and many others have done for a long time in the energy performance contracting space—which is helping customers identify key pieces of equipment that are their major energy hogs. In this step we also look at different steps customers can take to address their energy hogs.

“The third phase addresses how, once you’ve achieved optimal equipment configuration in a building, you keep the building optimized across the range of conditions. A building may be absolutely perfectly set up for the day or days on which it’s commissioned, but that doesn’t reflect how the building’s going to be operated; particularly a new building which is commissioned before it’s fully occupied. So the optimization portion of Attune is about taking all the data that a building management system is already collecting, making use of fault diagnostics, then giving that data to a team of experts and asking, ‘Based on what you see, what are key things that a customer could or should do, what’s going to be cost to do those things, and what’s going to be the payback to do those things?’ It turns a giant monthly analysis into a very simple executive summary for a customer that illustrates actions, costs, and paybacks.

“Then, on an ongoing basis every month, we measure the ‘stickiness’ of those savings. If not, maybe there’s something that needs a further investigation. But it’s really just taking that building performance or building management data and turning it into a pretty simple report card for the building, with recommendations from which a customer can make decisions, and then following the progress.

“We think Attune’s customers will primarily be end-users such as building owners, but we’re seeing facility management companies purchase it, because obviously every bit of additional life they can squeeze out of an asset, and every dollar they can squeeze out from a utility perspective, makes them more competitive. In addition, consulting engineers look at Attune as saving them massive amounts of time post-commissioning, in terms of making sure the building actually operated correctly in all the different cycles and helps them avoid a lot of additional trips back to the job in the first year of the building. It’s a valuable tool for them because building owners are increasingly holding them responsible for the energy budget.

“Finally, the operations services aspect of Attune is attractive to customers, because they are finding that managing off-hours calls, managing scheduling requests from tenants, and so on, aren’t good uses of their building staff’s time. Even when they’re doing the maintenance themselves, having someone to manage those thing and having someone who an take the call, reach into the system right then, look at the conditions on that floor, look at the equipment on that floor, and make the determination whether or not there’s something quick and easy that can be done to improve the comfort or resolve the problem, really lets them make more efficient use of their resources.”