Facility Maintenance Decisions

A Closer Look at the Retrocommissioning Process





By Wayne Whitzell   HVAC

OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Retrocommissioning: Ongoing Challenges, New ApproachPt. 2: Average Energy Savings from Retrocommissioning is 16 PercentPt. 3: This Page

The process of supported retrocommissioning uses a three-phase approach:

Assessment and investigation. The primary retrocommissioning opportunity assessment determines the scale of potential energy savings and identifies people and cultural obstacles to sustaining those savings. A comprehensive retrocommissioning investigation includes identification of individual measures, cost-effective energy-retrofit opportunities, demand-response potential, renewable applications, and opportunities for building certification.

Implementation. Implementing cost-effective retrocommissioning measures includes design and specification development, preparation of bidding documents, contractor selection, project management, and final-measure commissioning.

Supported retrocommissioning. This phase includes:

  • continuous real-time monitoring, fault detection, and measurement and verification services for utility costs, and implemented energy measures.
  • energy manager services that provide engineering and technical support to client staff in determining the validity of energy and environmental solutions beyond those examined during the retrocommissioning investigation
  • energy-management training and ongoing commissioning to facilitate a management-level strategic energy and environmental plan and to engender sustainable maintenance practices at the building-operator level
  • review and revision to BAS control system and service contracts for mechanical equipment to achieve performance-based activities that support the sustainable operation of systems and equipment
  • quarterly site audits to perform reviews of maintenance activities, provide building-operator training and task review and mentoring, service-contractor quality assurance review and building systems condition assessments
  • quarterly project performance report covering activities completed, energy-cost-reduction performance to date, incident reports, and service-contractor performance assessments
  • an annual summary report of activities completed during the previous year, including total retrocommissioning energy savings, maintenance and operations savings, building operator training progress, deviations from projected savings, incident report summaries, avoided greenhouse gas accounting, and progress against strategic energy and environmental plans.

New challenges require a new approach. The existing paradigm must shift if managers are to operate increasingly more complex buildings with the consistency required to lower energy costs. By moving beyond a traditional retrocommissioning project approach and embracing supported retrocommissioning, organizations can choose to embark on a low-risk path to long-term energy efficient building operations and an alternative to the status quo.

Wayne Whitzell is executive vice president with RetroCom Energy Strategies. He is a LEED AP and a certified Green Business Operator (GBO) with 20 years of operations and maintenance experience.


Continue Reading: Retrocommissioning

Retrocommissioning: Ongoing Challenges, New Approach

Average Energy Savings from Retrocommissioning is 16 Percent

A Closer Look at the Retrocommissioning Process



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  posted on 4/29/2013   Article Use Policy

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