Technical Q&A: Retro-Commissioning
Technical Q&A: Retro-Commissioning
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Technical Q&A: Retro-Commissioning
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Optimum performance of all systems is always the goal when you retro-commission a facility.

Q: Where do potential savings come from when you retro-commission a building?

A: Optimum performance of all systems is always the goal when you retro-commission a facility. In the same way that commissioning a new facility verifies that systems are operating up to design specifications, retro-commissioning checks that those same systems are functioning at their peak and can meet the facility owner's requirements.

If your HVAC is operating at subpar levels, that's money out the window. Energy savings usually produce the bulk of the financial benefits of retro-commissioning. They typically yield between 11 cents and 72 cents per square foot, according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The payback period can be as brief as one to two years. Other mechanical systems, including chilled and hot water, plumbing and steam, are good candidates for retro-commissioning. Electrical systems, fire and life safety, specialty systems and building enclosures also can yield efficiency benefits through retro-commissioning.

Beyond the energy savings, facility owners can see rewards in terms of the extended life of equipment, improved occupant productivity, increased safety and reduced liability. These factors can yield savings from 10 cents to 45 cents per square foot. For an owner or operator of an income-producing property, retro-commissioning can augment the value of the asset by increasing the facility's comfort and appeal.

For more information, contact Brian Lindstrom, 312-608-9826. He is the national commissioning practice director for Burns & McDonnell.

Read more about commissioning, retro-commissioning and recommissioning, including our white paper, "Retro-Commissioning: Why, When and How?" >

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