-- The engineer who did the operational design, did in fact specify in his paperwork that the CO2 sensors be checked periodically. With no more than 5 years between checks. As suggested by the manufacturers of the sensors.
Now, the original install and programming job was not mine. But in my run through of sensor checks I did talk to one of the maintenance staff members who remembered that when they'd attended the training session one of our guys provided at end of project, periodic checks of CO2 sensors was mentioned and discussed. AND ... I looked at our archive files. And found that we'd bought the school district a test and calibration kit as part of the project.
I eventually located it. In one of their store rooms. A district level maintenance staff member remembered they had it. It was still sparkly, shiny brand new ... having never been used.
--As far as "responsible" people having and knowing baseline correct running conditions. Depending on the specific school in question, when I queried folks some had a clue what background ambient CO2 might be. Most did not. Some had learned the numbers, back when, but couldn't recall them. Some were new replacements for guys now gone, who'd never been told or read up on it.
Most, just never gave the subject much thought. Or none at all.
Keep in mind that at many sites, the in-house maintenance people are at minimum numbers and have many other duties besides HVAC system maintenance and monitoring. As one guy, head of maintenance for a significant building, told me ... he spent the majority of his time with "bricks and mortar and misc hardware" stuff.
Fixing chairs and desks, the stuck drawer in a filing cabinet, leaky plumbing fixture, lock that doesn't work, trim work that was loose, carpet or floor tile needing attention, burnt out light bulbs or starters, etc. Neither he nor his staff had time to be looking at BAS screens, unless someone was complaining or some alarm was going off.
Just for info, system was keeping historical data and trends. It was all available. Covering the entire period that DDC system had been installed. Several of the maintenance folks said that in fact, at first, they'd looked at that data from time to time.
But it was a LOT of numbers. And things seemed to be working just fine. And no one had time to just sit around and analyze what all those 10's or 100's of thousands of numbers were telling them. Few had the technical background, in depth, to really USE the info.
So they'd finally just stopped paying attention to that stuff or looking at it. Except when someone complained. Then only looked at the specific data related directly to the complaint.
One site maintenance sup mentioned to me that at first after the install of their DDC systems, at the district level their top guy in charge of HVAC and Electrical services HAD routinely collected the historical/trend data and actually looked at it and analyzed it. Took some actions as a result. But he'd retired. His replacement? Well the DDC conversion project hadn't been his toy. As far as he was concerned, it was a done deal. So, as I find to be normal for such things and people in the higher up positions, he spent his time and energies concentrating on something else. HIS pet concerns and projects. Something different, that he could tack his name on as HIS idea. So that if he succeeded, he could make name for himself, claim credit, and be in a position for promotion or pay increase.
And, as such things go, if the new boss wasn't pressing them about it, individual maintenance staffs in the various buildings sort of let all that data collection just continue without a look or much thought.
I'm not singling out this specific customer school district.
I see this same sort of thing ALL the time. Other school districts (we do about a dozen); city, county, state, and federal governmental agencies; and businesses.
There are, of course, exceptions. i.e. One county for whom we do all their controls. Their head of mechanical and electrical systems is an ex-HVAC service guy, turned HVAC business owner, turned into county employee. Who is sharp, knows his stuff, and has the ability to convince the upper county officials to listen to him, to provide adequate staff, etc. He has a counterpart over in one of the school districts we serve, with similar background and attitude.
And, of course, we have several more serious private businesses we serve, mostly process control related (i.e. a pharmaceuticals manufacturer) who have excellent in-house staff in adequate numbers. Add a couple casinos who ensure they've got very good staff, both to ensure the comfort of the customers, and to maximize net profit margins.
But for most customers we deal with ... if somebody isn't griping or alarms going off, etc ... they hardly pay attention. And staff hasn't time to just sit around and look at screens, data records, etc.
Keep in mind that those of us who hang around these forums, live and breath this stuff. Think about it all the time. Its what we do for a living. Most of us would almost instantly spot the sort of issues mentioned. Its second nature to most of us.
i.e. Its rare that I get a complaint call and go to a site in response, where I won't incidentally while troubleshooting the specific complaint, spot another half dozen or a dozen issues. Happens all the friggin time.
Yesterday I was on a site where we're doing a front end conversion. Changing over from what Automatrix calls a Sage, to a Matrix and Facility Server system. (Somewhat similar to the Tridium AX type of system)
A large commercial building, 36 floors not counting 3 level basement. Had originally had a Barber-Colman Network system, years ago was gradually converted over to Automatrix. That stuff is working fine, some of it 10 years old or older. But the front end stuff is dated, no longer made, etc. The building controls have been done by various contractors over the years, before we became their sole controls contractor. So we have a problem that we were just not to sure how accurate our info was about what controllers were where, what was really connected to what I/O (various folks in the past made changes but left no documentation), what were all the running programs doing and why, etc.
So my part of the task was to audit and verify the installed controls, points, programs resident in controllers and programs running on the front end, etc. Make changes as necessary. i.e. IAW our standard procedure, move as much programming and control into the unitary controllers as possible. We like things to be as "stand alone" as possible. Especially in large, complex installations.
Anyway, net result was that I was looking at everything. And spotting an almost endless list of possible issues with equipment. Have been keeping a list. Will present to customer to see if they'd like us to fix it or will fix it themselves.
Haven't found a problem with any controllers themselves. Altho customer's guys have told me that they thought this or that problem was with the controllers/programming. They've been wrong. Everything they've pointed out has been something they should've/could've fixed. i.e. Faulty/failed sensor, out of cal sensor, pneu actuators not properly linked or with leaking diaphragm, VFD they replaced themselves but didn't set up right, dirty coils, dampers needing some work or replacement, valves leaking by, etc etc.
And I've spotted a bunch of stuff they didn't recognize as an issue.
But ... I don't really fault them. I do this for a living, full time. Those systems are something they deal with pretty much only upon complete failure or a comfort complaint.
When I talk to them explaining this or that issue, light bulb lights up in their eyes, they follow my logic. Just hadn't thought about whatever on their own. Most of their focus is upon stamping out fires, fixing this or that other thing ... an endless and never ending list, etc. I think that if they'd more time, and experience, to look and think about what they were seeing on the screens, they'd have figured at least most of it out. But they don't.
FWIW, that school district with the CO2 sensor issues? Listened to us. Now have hired an energy audit service to do routine audits and checks to spot things they've not seen or overlooked or didn't recognize as an issue. Folks, who like myself, think about this sort of stuff all the time.
--As concerns the installers and controls company not doing an adequate HMI. That's PERHAPS true.
However, in my experience HMI's are like anything else. They're spec'd and a price agreed upon. We have a "standard package", with one price. Anything more than that, is an extra. Price goes up. I've sat in meetings with customers where we presented various extra options (somebody has to spend the time to create those), where we proposed and suggested this or that extra feature, and our reasoning behind it. Just to have customer take a pass on it.
We're not in the habit of spending an extra 50% of manhours to add stuff ... for free. And it might seem silly that in a controls contract with a total price tag of $1 to $2 million that a customer would haggle over an extra 20 - 40 hours of front end programming ... but they'll sure as heck do it.
As far as end of project baseline data collection and such, its done. But what customer does with it, or even if they look at it at all is in their ball park.
We make suggestions. We don't come back and insist they follow our suggestions.