Integration of BAS Data Analytics in the Lab Design Process

Vytenis Milunas, University of Illinois at Chicago
Aaron Mason, Hawkeye Energy Solutions
Paul Beukema, Honeywell

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a mix of research laboratories, teaching laboratories, health care facilities and classroom buildings. The campus encompasses over a hundred buildings with 16,000,000 sq. ft. under roof.

One active construction project involves renewing the infrastructure of all 10 floors and phasing a complete buildout of the 5th floor of the College of Medicines Medical Sciences Building. At a large urban campus like UIC, a project like this can be a daunting endeavor. The scope of this multi-year project includes remodeling the infrastructure of an 186,000sf 1960 vintage research building it into the 21st century. The project will cover façade and window renovations, the interior laboratory improvements, along with new low flow fume hoods, VAV supply and exhaust systems, new air handling units and an energy recovery system for the exhaust air.

Building performance analysis, commissioning, and retro-commissioning are often afterthoughts in the laboratory design process. UIC has been beta-testing next generation Building Data Analytics software that will provide a set of analytics algorithms designed to automatically monitor laboratory performance. This system, which will be part of the campus Building Automation System (BAS), will proactively alert staff to changing conditions and allow for appropriate and timely corrective actions to be implemented. UIC will be utilizing the analytics system for the first time on this major project. During this presentation, we will review successes and lessons learned from including data analytics in the conversation from the inception of the project through the end of design and into construction.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop a high level understanding of data analytics and how it can be used to improve comfort, improve safety, and reduce energy/maintenance costs.
  • Learn how data analytics can be applied to lab/building automation data.
  • Learn how data is modeled "Tagged" in software for the purpose of analytics.
  • Learn how to integrate analytics into the design process of new lab construction.


Mr. Milunas is the Director of Facilities Project Management at the University of Illinois – Chicago, member of the Chancellor's Subcommittee on Energy and Utilities, and Site Energy Grant coordinator. Work encompasses remodeling and upgrades to laboratories, health care facilities, and various other occupancies at the 16 million square foot campus. As energy grant coordinator, he brings in $1-2M annually from state and federal programs for energy retrofits and improvements.

He graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Thermo-Mechanics and Energy Engineering from UIC. This was followed with an MBA from Benedictine University. For the past 30 years, Mr. Milunas’ career has focused on MEP infrastructure system improvements at institutional facilities, such as hospitals and laboratories, as a MEP consultant and facilities manager. Prior to UIC, Mr. Milunas was the Senior Project Manager and Engineering Group Leader during his 14 years at Argonne National Laboratory, and held positions at Environmental Systems Design as a Health Care Group Senior Project Manager and a design engineer at Grumman/Butkus Associates. He is currently President for the Chicago Chapter of the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories.

For the past 12 years, Aaron Mason has been involved in system's integration, data analytics, energy reduction and process optimization projects across the United States. Aaron started his career working in the manufacturing sector as a process engineer where he oversaw projects ranging from simple lighting controls to complex industrial heating applications. In 2009 Aaron joined Hawkeye Energy Solutions, as Director of Operations. Aaron’s focus is on utility metering, building controls, and data analytics for the industrial and commercial building sector. In this role, Aaron has overseen hundreds of projects aimed at improving process through system’s integration, energy metering and data analytics.

Aaron holds a Bachelors of Science in General Engineering from The University of Illinois. He also holds a Six Sigma Green Belt, is Niagara AX & N4 Certified, and previously held a position as Chair of the Sustainable Manufacturers Network Advisory Board.

Paul Beukema has over 35 years of experience in the controls industry in application engineering, operations management, systems integration, sales, and technical support with Honeywell. Paul is currently the Consulting Engineer Specialist for Honeywell Environmental & Energy Solutions. He works with consulting engineers, key end users, system integrators, and building solutions architects on a daily basis, focusing on smart sensors, open systems and analytics awareness utilizing multiple protocols and vendors. Paul is a LEED AP BD&C, Registered Energy Professional-State of Illinois, Six Sigma Green Belt, a member of: I2SL, ASHRAE, IEEE, ISA, NFPA,USGB and has a degree in Electronics Engineering; Purdue University and Valparaiso Technical Institute.


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