Existing building commissioning reveals renovation problems
Oct 28, 2013

You probably think that when a building is built, it’s done, right? The punch lists are punched off, the keys are handed over, the contracts are all paid … it’s done! Congratulations! Now your company can sit back, relax, and enjoy many years of worry-free occupancy in the new building. Well, not exactly.

The fact of the matter is that company needs are constantly changing, and buildings are often renovated to handle the changes. While the renovations might not seem major — a room subdivided here for additional office space, sunny break room windows covered over there to accommodate the need for screening videos for the company’s ad campaigns — each change makes a difference because it changes the airflow patterns and amount of light in the area that is renovated. This can put additional stress on the building’s HVAC and electrical systems, and results in additional energy use — and additional dollars spent. This is why Existing Building Commissioning is a good idea.

Sometimes even taking the changes into account can still not be enough. For example, a high tech company in Portland remodeled its computer development labs. Since more powerful computers often generate more heat, they installed an additional cooling system for that particular area of the building. Unfortunately, they did not integrate the new system with the older one, and the two systems ended up fighting each other, one pumping in cold air to keep the computers cool, the other pumping in warm air because the temperature in that area was colder than the old use of the space had called for. Once building commissioners had determined the source of the problem, the units were reprogrammed for an expected annual savings of $23,000. That’s a lot of hot — and cold — air!

Whether you decide to commission your existing buildings on a regular basis (say, every ten years) or whenever you undertake a renovation project, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the “pulse” of your buildings, regardless of their age.

sys-tek has been providing commissioning services to the Kansas City region for over 18 years. Contact us today to learn more about how Existing Building Commissioning can improve building systems and save your company money.