Right from the time a building starts operating; it starts to experience wear and tear of the building management systems, which leads to downfall of the performance. This adversely impacts the energy management in the building.
Not very often adopted, but highly effective approach of re/retro-commissioning the building is one of the ways of returning the systems to the original design or adjusting as per the current operating conditions. Even then, since re/retro commissioning measures are at a point of time, after some time (may be a few years) the building again goes in the downward spiral of performance loss.
Ongoing commissioning is an approach which is designed to enhance this one-time impact, and pro-long the advantages by continually collecting data about the performance, and fine tuning the systems as per the insights obtained from the data, on a continuous basis.
The performance data of the systems is required to be collected on an ongoing basis, and analyzed, either through an automated analytics engine or through manual efforts, so that any deviation from the standard performance can be identified at the seed state itself. These identified opportunities can be of several types, ranging from a simple maintenance issue such as leaking valve to as complex as a faulty control sequence. And, even though it is an ongoing process, one will be surprised to know that an operating building will keep throwing such issues on a regular basis, even after the earlier issues are fixed.
Though this approach appears to be a cost intensive approach, however, the benefits leave the costs behind with a huge margin. According to an in-depth study conducted on 24 buildings located throughout the University of California and California State University systems, the cost incurred for carrying out ongoing commissioning ranges between $0.37 to 1.62/sf, whereas the savings were found to be paying back for the costs within 2.5 years.
With the advantages of ongoing commissioning becoming more prevalent, building owners or facility managers should start to consider ongoing commissioning as one of the approaches for saving energy expenditure and improving the performance of the buildings.