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

EMA/ACG Members: Please email [email protected] for free registration!


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.

For additional information, please visit the Energy & Sustainability COI Page on the SAME website.

Sponsored By:

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The Society of American Military Engineers leads collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security infrastructure-related challenges. Founded in 1920, SAME unites public and private sector individuals and organizations from across the architecture, engineering, construction, environmental and facility management, cyber security, project planning, contracting and acquisition, and related disciplines in support of national security.

SAME provides its more than 30,000 members extensive opportunities for training, education and professional development through a robust offering of conferences, workshops, networking events and publications. With a multi-disciplined membership, SAME bridges the gaps between critical stakeholders to help secure our nation.



Sep 16 2021


12:00 pm


  • Robert J. Knoedler
    Robert J. Knoedler
    P.E. CxA EMP

    Robert Knoedler is a vice president at Hanson and serves as the principal-in-charge for building commissioning services both nationally and internationally, as well as the firm’s chief commissioning engineer. He holds degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering.

    Robert’s expertise is in the analysis, design and commissioning of mechanical (HVAC, plumbing, fire protection) and electrical (power, lighting and distribution) building systems. He has served as a project manager and has worked extensively with various government and public agencies, in addition to private corporations, with regards to the study and design of engineering systems for a wide variety of facilities. Robert has specialized experience in energy studies, life-cycle analyses, research and teaching laboratories, as well as telecommunications facilities.