When done correctly, commissioning sets up your new equipment to operate at optimal efficiency, and in concert with the other aspects of the building’s energy infrastructure. It’s vital to ensure that new equipment, existing equipment, and the building’s operation are seamlessly brought together with occupants as one asset all working together.
The reality of commissioning can be very different.
- Systems and equipment are occasionally commissioned in a vacuum and hopelessly out of sync with the building or other equipment, so that systems quite literally compete with each other.
- It is not uncommon for a project to run late enough that commissioning is completed in a hurry because the building needs to return to service. This results in ‘just about working’ status, rather than perfect tuning of equipment to the building’s requirements.
Building Energy Performance is very aware of these challenges, and we ensure sufficient time and collaboration — combined with an understanding of the building’s requirements — to ensure that commissioning is taken seriously and fully completed.
Continuous Commissioning recognizes that nothing about a building’s use, or the energy that supplies a building, remains static. The engineering design includes degrees of flexibility, within parameters, that allow for changes in building use or utility tariffs. The typical approach is to include a prepaid, 5-year continuous commissioning budget in the C-PACE financing package to ensure that the retrofit remains efficient and adapts to any changes in building use and utility tariffs.
Continuous Commissioning is greatly enhanced by cloud-based, real-time monitoring of energy usage, which has been proven to save money for building owners. Typically, we will know that something is not working correctly long before a building owner, and we can schedule remedial work to ensure that the savings built into the energy model are actually realized.