Few buildings perform as intended. Numerous pervasive and chronic performance deficiencies stem from design flaws, construction defects, malfunctioning equipment, and deferred maintenance. Researchers have concluded that commissioning and retro-commissioning is one of the most cost-effective means of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings.
GreenPath provides independent, third-party commissioning services to ensure that a building’s operation is optimized. That is, it operates at least as well, if not better, than the designer intended (and the owner expects), and that building staff are prepared to operate and maintain its systems and equipment. GreenPath’s energy team has the experience needed to identify and fine-tune your facility to improve operational deficiencies. 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.
Buildings are commissioned to ensure that they perform as designed. If, during testing, it becomes clear that the system(s) do not perform as intended, you have the opportunity to remedy these performance issues and bring the system(s) (back) into alignment. Note that commissioning generally does not involve capital improvements to buildings, or retrofits; rather, it involves tuning or otherwise adjusting the building systems to make them perform better.
While commissioning can uncover many flaws or issues, including faulty design or construction, GreenPath services focus specifically on energy savings. The commissioning process —comprised of commissioning, monitoring performance, and maintaining performance—reveals waste in energy consumption and identifies its causes. By identifying and quantifying it, you can eliminate this waste, either by changing how the building systems operate (such as reducing the number of air changes) or in extreme cases, changing the building systems themselves. Commissioning existing buildings can provide an energy savings of 15% to 30% and GreenPath will help you realize the greatest energy efficiency gains from your commissioning.
Our commissioning services include:
- development of owner’s project requirements
- review of engineer’s basis of design
- commissioning plan and report writing
- project-specific commissioning specification development
- design reviews
- component verification checklist development
- equipment installation verification/witnessing
- test and balance report review and verification
- functional and per-functional performance testing
- operational systems manual development
- employee training verification
- warranty walk-through
- measurement and verification
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.