What a Difference FDD Makes (at Stanford)

Alison Farmer, kW Engineering
Leslie Kramer, Stanford University

In the past decade, Stanford University has upgraded (or is currently upgrading) the HVAC control systems in 18 lab facilities, and has constructed several major new lab buildings. With each successive project, the Facilities Energy Management team's approach evolves to incorporate new methods to optimize building performance and maximize energy savings. After a context-setting overview of Stanford's energy management programs, this presentation will focus on the use of automatic fault detection and diagnostic (FDD) tools in a growing range of project types on campus from 2017 to today. The presentation will describe Stanford's overall deployment model for data analytics and highlight the successes (and challenges) of using FDD in a variety of use cases in lab buildings on campus:

  • Enhanced commissioning for retrofit projects (Varian Physics, McCullough Materials Science, Lokey Chem-Bio)
  • Recommissioning for existing labs (Spilker Nanoscience, Sapp Chemistry Teaching)
  • Post-occupancy verification for new construction (Bass Biology)
  • Incorporation in Cx process for new construction (Chem-H).

For each use case, the presentation will emphasize the benefits and issues specific to the use of FDD in lab buildings, along with illustrative examples of the impact of using these tools to save energy and optimize operations at Stanford. The conclusion will tie together the lessons common to all applications of FDD in labs.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe at least one deployment model for automatic fault detection for a campus of buildings;
  • List four different project types which can benefit from the use of controls analytics;
  • Summarize at least three lab-specific applications of FDD; and
  • Discuss the ways in which lessons learned from Stanford's energy programs and FDD projects could be applied to other campuses.


Alison is a former research astrophysicist who is dedicated to saving our home planet by bringing energy efficiency to lab buildings. Her work focuses on energy analysis and on design and commissioning of HVAC control systems. She serves as Secretary of the Board for I2SL and led the development of I2SL's new Laboratory Benchmarking Tool. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from the University of Cambridge in England and a PhD in astrophysics from Caltech.

Leslie Kramer's biography is unavailable


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