Custom Building Optimization Analysis (C-BOA) Tool

What is C-BOA?

The Custom Building Optimization Analysis (C-BOA) tool is a Microsoft Excel©-based tool that standardizes the approach to energy savings estimates for nine common existing building commissioning (EBCx) measures. The tool is intended to aid EBCx providers and programs in meeting their energy goals. It supports all California climate zones and allows users to define a variety of building HVAC systems.

The nine common EBCx measure included in C-BOA are:

  1. Optimize Economizer Performance
  2. Optimize Air handler Scheduling
  3. Optimize or Reset Supply Air Temperature
  4. Reduce Discharge Static Pressure Setpoint
  5. Reset Discharge Static Pressure Setpoint
  6. Add or Optimize VFD on Supply Fan
  7. Add or Optimize VFD on Return Fan
  8. Add or Optimize VFD on Chilled Water Pump
  9. Optimize or Reset Chilled Water Supply Temperature
  10. Optimize or Reset Condenser Water Supply Temperature
  11. Add or Optimize VFD on Cooling Tower Fans

Who will benefit from using C-BOA?

C-BOA offers EBCx providers a standardized tool for estimating energy and demand savings before implementation of operational improvements. Use of C-BOA promises to reduce the variability and complexity of providers' energy savings calculations, thus reducing the effort and time required for reviews of project deliverables. This will help projects move through the investigation phase more quickly, help new EBCx providers enter the market, and increase existing providers' capacity to deliver cost-effective projects.

What's the difference between C-BOA and BOA?

As the name implies, C-BOA is a companion to the BOA tool. The Building Optimization Analysis (BOA) tool is another Excel©-based tool that was developed with support from California utilities. It provides a quick and easy way to estimate savings for EBCx measures that are frequently implemented but have low energy savings. BOA uses the results of thousands of previously executed building simulations to produce savings estimates with only a few user inputs. BOA's reliance on the fixed set of simulation models limits its applicability to specific building types and to measures with modest energy savings. In contrast, C-BOA allows considerable flexibility for users to customize the calculations to a specific project and the savings estimates are based on engineering calculations rather than predefined models. This greater flexibility means C-BOA can be applied to a wider range of building types and for higher saving measures.

Usage Notes

A set of tutorials have been developed to aid users as they get up to speed on C-BOA. Users will also find documentation of C-BOA's calculation methods in the help manual that is embedded in the tool.

As the number of C-BOA users grows, so too will the collective experience and knowledge of best practices. A C-BOA Users group on LinkedIn serves as the repository of this user knowhow. This resource will help new users avoid common pitfalls, and will also help guide future development of C-BOA.


C-BOA was primarily funded through the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, with additional funding from Southern California Edison and CCC. The project was managed by the CCC. Tool development was led by Architectural Energy Corporation, with support from PECI and Eaton. Additional support was provided by a Technical Advisory Group, representing utilities, EBCx providers, and engineering consultants.