Submetering is Key for Verified Performance: New Orleans BioInnovation Center

Submetering is Key for Verified Performance: New Orleans BioInnovation Center

The New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC) is the first lab project from the Gulf South to win the AIA's 2015 COTE Top Ten award. This project uses less energy per square foot than 89% of the buildings in the Labs21 benchmarking database of almost 600 lab/office buildings nationally, 65% below the median Site EUI (343kBtu/sf/yr). The actual utility bills for the initial 12 month period (120kBtu/sf/yr) closely track that projected by computer simulation (119 kBtu/sf/yr). This level of verified performance is reinforced at the operations level by fine-grained energy and comfort monitoring. Each ~1000sf lab + support area unit is individually metered, enabling the building owner to track and compare lighting and plug load consumption, identifying best-practice high performers. The logistics required for this level of submetering started at the beginning of the design process, and continues even after the building is completed and commissioned. EDR has worked closely with the owner to ensure all of the monitoring equipment works as designed, which means holding the controls contractor accountable for proper equipment installation.

The level of submetering and engagement positioned the building to be a viable candidate as a pilot project for a new energy management system called SkySpark. The software automates the analysis of collected data to make it actionable for building managers through "semantic tagging," or pattern recognition combined with functional rules processing. This level of innovation comes from the arc of post occupancy engagement that starts with early design and  continues with execution that takes place beyond substantial completion of the project.

Performance Metrics

  • 120 kBtu/sf-yr  Measured during occupancy 
  • 370 kBtu/sf-yr   Measured EUI typical of this building type & size
  • 68% savings  Measured vs typical of this building type & size
  • 119 kBtu/sf-yr (24%  better than code)  Model prediction: As designed 
  • 157 kBtu/sf-yr  Model prediction: If designed to just meet code

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