The University of Iowa

Fault Detection and Diagnostics


In 2014, University of Iowa (UI) Facilities Management began an exhaustive study of a growing evolution in building systems management - Fault Detection and Diagnostics technology (FDD). After visiting Microsoft’s Redmond Campus and seeing the substantial impact FDD had on their facilities operation, the UI embarked on a groundbreaking and large-scale effort to implement FDD in a campus environment. Thoughtful study and a methodical approach generated unique insight and innovative best practices, resulting in the successful implementation of FDD in 52 buildings across campus to date and over 100,000 data points collected across those buildings.


What is FDD?

Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) is a software tool used to PROACTIVELY discover building system problems and identify optimization opportunities BEFORE they lead to alarms, excessive waste of resources, occupant discomfort or system failure.

"FDD helps our team come up with solutions to larger systemic problems rather than putting out fires
at the component level. This inherently moves us towards efficiency and optimization in how we do our
work and how we operate our buildings."
  Katie Rossmann, Manager of Data Analytics & Commissioning

Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building
FDD Program at a Glance
  • Fifty-two buildings on-boarded including academic, lab, recreational, and office spaces.

  • All major HVAC equipment monitored with FDD.

  • Three different Building Automation Systems (BAS) integrated.

  • Work order integration with FDD software for performance tracking and transparent adoption.



Achievements and Recognition


Achievements in the first six months:

  • Realized $600,000 in energy savings
  • Shifted to 24 percent predictive quarterly work orders versus reactive
  • Addressed issues related to energy, comfort and maintenance
  • Leveraged FDD on two newly constructed buildings




APPA's Effective & Innovative Practices Award

"UI's Fault Detection & Diagnostics program," APPA's Effective & Innovative Practices Award, Iowa Now, 2018.
PDF iconRead the APPA award submission

Department of Energy Award for Best Practices in the Use of Fault Detection and Diagnostics
PDF iconBuilding Analytics Success Story "University of Iowa," Department of Energy, 2018.





Contact Us

Tom Moore 


Building Operations & Maintenance