When an existing building is commissioned, it undergoes an intensive quality assurance process that begins during with a plan developed from a thorough understanding of the current facility requirements and continues through investigation, implementation, and hand-off. Commissioning ensures that the existing building operates as the owner desires and that the building staff are prepared to operate and maintain its systems and equipment in order to sustain high performance for the long term. The goals of existing building commissioning are:
- to produce a building that meets the unique needs of its owner and occupants
- to produce a building that operates as efficiently as possible
- to produce a building that provides a safe, comfortable work environment
- to produce a building that is operated and maintained by a well-trained staff or service contractor.
Since each building project is unique, ABCx, who will manage the retrocommissioning Process, will adapt the process to meet the project’s specific goals. ABCx will typically perform the following activities:
Ensure that the building is performing efficiently and as expected.
As part of the retrocommissioning process, ABCx reviews the current building documents and operations and maintenance practices, analyzes energy use, and observes and tests building equipment and systems.
Recommend and implement measures that improve equipment performance.
The commissioning team documents any deficiencies and potential improvements in the operation or condition of the facility’s mechanical equipment, lighting, and related controls, then recommends corrective action. Some of these opportunities are pursued during the retrocommissioning process, with remedies that range from low-cost operational changes to extensive capital retrofits, while others may be deferred.
Verify that the building owner and staff receive adequate documentation and assistance to implement improvements, as well as training on monitoring and maintaining improvements.
Key deliverables from the process, such as the Master List of Findings and Final Report, become new documents for the building record and important references for implementing and maintaining the measures. Ideally, training for building staff is ongoing throughout the retrocommissioning process and the commissioning team ensures that the operators understand the O&M requirements needed to keep the improvements working.