University of Missouri – Miller Nichols Library – Retro-Commissioning
Apr 24, 2013

University of Missouri

Miller Nichols Library



The overall goal of this project was to test & adjust existing control and HVAC systems to increase performance & reliability to meet the operational needs of the facility. Through the retro-commissioning process, we identified needed repairs and consulted directly with the University facility staff to make repairs required for proper HVAC operation.

Point & Fix Engineering

The approach we used was “point and fix” engineering. We literally tested equipment & systems and provided immediate “quick fixes” onsite, such as repair of pneumatic control lines and re-established proper flow of HVAC coils. For more complex issues, we provided the facility staff with a detailed daily log of recommended corrective actions. We compared existing systems to the original facility design and identified needed upgrades, which provides the University with an overall programming plan for the facility.

The overall goals for the project were:

  • Provide a safe and healthy facility for occupants
  • Improve temperature and humidity controllability
  • Improve energy performance
  • Adjust, test, and modify control scripts to improve control and operation of HVAC systems.
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Improve orientation and training of facility staff
  • Improve facility documentation
  • Improve HVAC system performance to meet the end-users needs

With almost 170,000 square feet, The Miller Nichols Library is the largest academic research library in the metropolitan area. It houses more than one million books, serials, and electronic journals. They also have an array of specialized databases that provide quick access to scholarly information. It is estimated that more than 160,000 patrons use the library annually, 25 percent of which are members of the Kansas City community.

Maintaining Facility Operations During Testing

The challenge for this project was to perform testing & commissioning tasks while the library was in continuous operation, and not disrupt daily activities.

Proven Cost Savings

We provided the University with proven energy savings calculations, with performance validations for long-term savings and payback. We also established procedures for future retro-commissioning as a part of the University’s overall maintenance program. Successful completion of this project assists the University staff in their goal of having this facility serve a key role in the Campus Master Plan.