Commissioning/Retro-Commissioning

Commissioning/Retro-Commissioning

Few buildings perform as intended. Numerous pervasive and chronic performance deficiencies stem from design flaws, construction defects, malfunctioning equipment, and deferred maintenance. These deficiencies have a host of ramifications, ranging from equipment failures to compromised indoor air quality and comfort to unnecessarily elevated energy use. For similar reasons, energy-saving design concepts for new buildings or retrofits for existing buildings often fail to deliver predicated savings. GreenPath’s energy team has the experience needed to identify and fine-tune your facility to improve operational deficiencies.

Researchers at three of the foremost building-commissioning think tanks in the U.S., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Portland Energy Conservation, Inc., and the Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A&M University concluded that commissioning and retro-commissioning is one of the most cost-effective means of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings. The researchers indicated, that commissioning and retro-commissioning played a major and strategically important role in achieving national energy saving goals, with a cost-effective saving estimated at $18 billion per year or more in commercial buildings each year across the United States.

Building owners, managers, and tenants all stand to gain from the commissioning process. It can lower building operating costs by reducing demand, energy consumption, and time spent by management or staff responding to complaints. It can also increase equipment life and improve tenant satisfaction by increasing the comfort and safety of occupants.

Commissioning Services

GreenPath’s new and existing building commissioning services include:

  • Provide project specific construction checklist for functional performance test procedures.
  • Certify that HVAC&R systems, subsystems and equipment have been installed, calibrated, started, and are operating according to the Contract Documents.
  • Certify that testing, adjusting, and balancing procedures have been completed and any discrepancies corrected, and corrective work approved.
  • Identify energy saving opportunities and cost-benefit/payback analysis.

Retro-Commissioning is appropriate for most buildings, but there are indicators that can help determine the buildings for which it will be most cost-effective.  Factors to consider are age and condition of a building and its equipment, existing comfort problems, utility costs, opportunities to share costs with tenants, and the availability of utility and state incentive programs.

The top candidates for retro-commissioning are buildings with:

  • A low ENERGY STAR performance rating or a high energy use index that cannot be explained, or unexplained increases in energy consumption.
  • The persistent failure of building equipment, control system, or both.
  • Excessive occupant complaints about temperature, airflow, and comfort.