Building Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning Come With a Slew of Benefits
Over time, a building’s plumbing, HVAC systems, electrical wiring and other components will experience wear and begin to lose efficiency and effectiveness. Even newly constructed buildings may not have the best balance of form and function to take advantage of all elements of the structure. The process of commissioning or retro-commissioning is intended to address the performance of the building in all areas, from equipment to energy efficiency to ongoing costs of operation.
Building Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning Defined
Commissioning a building is the process of evaluating, inspecting and testing all building systems and equipment to make sure they work at their best possible level, both individually and as a part of the building as a whole. Commissioning focuses on quality assurance and should be applied from the design phase to the point where the building is occupied and functioning as intended. When a building is properly commissioned, problems have been identified and resolved, managers have been thoroughly instructed on building maintenance and operation, and the entire structure works the way its designers, builders and owners intend. Retro-commissioning is a similar process, except that it’s applied to existing buildings rather than new construction. Retro-commissioning seeks to improve the performance of building systems and equipment, or to correct issues that are left over from design or construction. A retro-commissioning can be used to resolve problems that have developed over the lifespan of the building.
The Benefits of Commissioning a Building
There are many benefits of commissioning a building. In the construction area, a successful commissioning process will result in:
- Reduced numbers of change orders.
- Decreased problems with warranties and fulfilling warranties.
- Fewer numbers of contractor callbacks to fix, revise or correct problems.
Many of the most desirable benefits of commissioning can be found in areas of efficiency and monetary savings. You can see many positive results in areas such as:
- Energy efficiency: A properly commissioned building has been inspected to ensure that HVAC equipment works correctly and that the structure is well sealed to prevent against air leaks and energy loss.
- Building quality: Overall building quality and desirability will be improved through improvements in equipment, building systems and overall performance.
- Operating costs: The ongoing costs of operation and maintenance will be reduced. Monthly utility costs will be less because of improved equipment and building energy efficiency. Maintenance expenses will be less because the commissioning process takes particular care to ensure equipment, structures and systems start out in good operating condition and stay that way for as long as possible.
- Equipment life span: HVAC equipment and other systems will last longer because they’re well maintained and are designed to work together effectively with the least amount of ongoing wear and tear.
The Benefits of Retro-Commissioning a Building
A building that has been retro-commissioned will offer multiple benefits to the building’s owner and occupants.
- Increased value: A retro-commissioned structure will be worth more because of the testing, inspection and maintenance performed on the structure and its systems and equipment.
- Reduced ongoing costs: Regular costs of operation will be reduced because of efficiency improvements and overall boosts to building and equipment performance. Energy savings of a retro-commissioned building can be 15 percent a year or more.
- Improved indoor air quality: The retro-commissioning process means HVAC systems and equipment work better, which will improve indoor air quality and indoor environmental quality. There will be less chance of particulates and contaminants entering the indoor spaces through holes in the structure or in the HVAC system ductwork.
- Improved operations and control: During retro-commissioning, professional inspectors can locate and repair problems with maintenance, building operations and control systems.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information about the many benefits of commissioning or retro-commissioning your building and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!