You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure (with Dashboards): J. Bennett Johnston Hall Renovation

You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure (with Dashboards): J. Bennett Johnston Hall Renovation

Labs use about four times more energy than office buildings and are among the highest energy users of any building type commonly built, surpassed only by data centers and fast food restaurants. Lab energy use is driven by ventilation requirements and lab equipment, so for the J. Bennett Johnston Hall Renovation at Tulane University, providing an energy dashboard for the building staff and students was a high priority. The goal of the tool was to understand if any of the building's individual systems (plug loads, lighting, chilled water, steam, and hot water) were performing sub-optimally so operations staff could take corrective action, especially for the lab equipment. The project receives some of its utilities from a nearby hospital's district system, so detailed submetereing and BAS system data was installed to understand the building's performance beyond the granular data of a single utility meter for multiple buildings.

EDR worked closely with Johnson Controls and the mechanical engineer to ensure that the dashboard could display the data floor-by-floor and by system end-uses to gain insight into overall energy use breakdown. Additionally, the dashboard has the ability conduct comparisons for different filterable time periods, so past and current performance can be analyzed to make sure the building is staying on track. The dashboards was also made public so students could access the interface and learn about how the project uses energy from an energy and equivalent carbon standpoint. Clear data, a usable interface, disaggregated system consumption, and rich comparison capability were all needed to make a successful dashboard that could be used by building operations staff and students alike. 

Performance Metrics

  • 274 kBtu/sf-yr  Measured during occupancy 
  • 370 kBtu/sf-yr  Measured EUI typical of this building type & size 
  • 26%  Measured vs typical of this building type & size 
  • 121 kBtu/sf-yr  Model prediction: As designed

Click here to view other project performance metrics and post occupancy case studies.