Recommissioning Your Building: How It Can Pay Off
A freshly constructed building full of brand-new equipment, subsystems and components can be expected to operate at its peak level of efficiency and economy. Over time, however, all of these systems’ performance will degrade as a natural result of use and wear. When the internal systems of your existing structure or facility have lost efficiency and are costing you more to run or are simply not working as well as they should, retro-commissioning or recommissioning your building may be your wisest move.
Before most new buildings are put into service, they undergo commissioning. This is a quality assurance process that begins with the design phase and lasts until the building is occupied and working. During commissioning, systems and equipment will be installed and thoroughly tested. Problems or issues throughout the structure will be identified and corrected. Facilities managers or other relevant staff will be properly trained and educated on building maintenance and operation. Commissioning ensures critical construction milestones have been met, that important building systems work like they should and at their best level, and that the building will function according to the intent of its designers, builders and owners.
Retro-commissioning and recommissioning your building
- Retro-commissioning involves applying the commissioning process to existing buildings to improve overall building performance. The major goal of retro-commissioning is to improve how building systems and equipment function in connection with each other. The process can also be used to correct problems that were overlooked during design or construction or to fix issues that have developed through day-to-day use and wear.
- Recommissioning also applies to existing buildings, but is done to structures that have already been through a commissioning process. Recommissioning usually occurs when buildings change ownership, are redirected to another use or begin to develop operational problems that need to be corrected as quickly as possible.
Retro-commissioning and recommissioning process
The basic process of retro-commissioning or recommissioning your building includes four phases:
- Planning – Objectives are established, the buildings current operating requirements are identified and the site is inspected for trouble spots and areas where cost-saving improvements can be made. The plan is created and a team is assembled.
- Investigation – The team responsible for retro-commissioning or recommissioning your building learns about the building’s intended purpose and level of function. Testing and diagnostics will be performed during this phase, and simple repairs may be made. Larger repairs and improvements are identified and prioritized.
- Implementation – Repairs, improvements, replacements or other revisions are made to the building.
- Hand-off – The team prepares a systems manual, develops a future recommissioning plan and devises a final report. Operations and maintenance personnel are trained and the building returns to service.
Benefits of retro-commissioning or recommissioning your building
- Cost savings: Important internal equipment such as heating and cooling systems, refrigeration units, electrical systems, plumbing systems and ventilation systems are improved, which means they will operate at a higher level of efficiency and at lower cost.
- Decreased waste: Energy and resource waste is reduced as systems are repaired and made more efficient, energy leaks are sealed and other sources of waste are found and repaired.
Increased return on investment (ROI): As operational costs drop, the building owner’s return on investment increases.
- Improved reliability: Mechanical and electrical systems will operate more reliably and with less chance of malfunction or breakdown.
- Better energy efficiency: The building will use energy more effectively, which may qualify the structure for rebates or other incentives from local utilities, state agencies or other organizations.
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 importance of retro-commissioning and recommissioning your building and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
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