This systematic process optimizes building performance. The overall goal is to verify and document that systems have been installed properly and that they are performing according to the owner’s operational needs.
Retro-commissioning is typically initiated in response to operational problems in a facility. A manager should consider these questions about his/her facility…
- System performance: Is the system performing as expected? Has there been an unexplained increase in building energy use in the recent past?
- Occupant comfort: Have building occupant complaints risen lately? What is the nature of these complaints?
- Changes to the facility: Have changes been made to the building systems that have not been verified or documented? Have the changes been beneficial?
- How critical is the performance of the building systems to the particular facility or area? How often must it be verified?
The EPA states that, “Researchers at three of the foremost building-commissioning think tanks in the U.S. concluded that retro-commissioning is one of the most cost-effective means of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Analysis of commissioning projects for existing buildings showed a median energy savings of 15 percent and a simple payback period of 0.7 years.”