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Energy Management & Commissioning for Reliability & Resiliency: Lessons Learned from Natural Disasters

Traditionally employed for verifying that facilities comply with the Owner’s and User’s requirements and functionally testing systems in accordance with designers’ intent, energy managers’ and commissioning providers’ roles have expanded to include their involvement in risk management. This is especially true with critical infrastructure, mission critical facilities and complex control systems.

When assessing risks, there is a need to address the synergy between reliability, resiliency, and security. Many projects and systems face a variety of vulnerabilities, including:
• Natural Disasters – Weather-related storms, floods and fires
• Intentional Attacks – Physical (terrorism), Cyberattacks
• Material / Component Failures – Manufacturing defects, deterioration due to age and wear
• Human Error – Programming complexity and/or lack of experience and training

In addition, interdependencies between systems often leads to the potential for cascading failures, creating catastrophic consequences.

The ability of critical system(s) to anticipate, resist, respond, adapt, and recover from a failure/disturbance can have huge economic (and even life affecting) consequences. More Owners are expanding their risk management to include formal resiliency plans; with some leveraging their resiliency planning as a strategic asset.

This presentation will explore commissioning’s role in risk management and resiliency planning; including discussing several case studies, where additional considerations (during design, testing in a controlled environment, training and/or operations) could have mitigated disruptive / catastrophic events.

Learning Objectives

Examples of the vulnerabilities facing Owners, their infrastructure, and facilities today and the potential consequences associated with failures / disruptions / outages.
The importance of reliability, resiliency and security in various facilities, their infrastructure and systems and how energy management and commissioning can contribute in developing and managing same.
Metrics for evaluating reliability and resiliency, and balancing the costs and benefits associated with implementation.
Case studies of various scenarios where attention to system reliability / resiliency may have mitigated catastrophic consequences.