How Two Kansas City Facilities Saved Thousands Through Retro-Commissioning
Jul 09, 2013

Each day, millions of commercial buildings in America are wasting large amounts of energy because of outdated operating systems, leading to higher operating costs and safety problems. Energy costs are rising and the resources of all businesses are limited; managers and operators need to look for ways to increase energy efficiency and cut costs without sacrificing system performance.

In the past, retro-commissioning and its results (energy efficiency and waste reduction) weren’t concepts that businesses and organizations invested a lot of attention in. That is beginning to change, however, especially when the people managing these businesses realize how much money and headaches they can save by doing so. This is truer now than it has ever been in the past. Energy costs are shooting up every year with no end in sight, as can be attested to by the increasing push for wider government regulation of energy producers in the United States. In response, businesses in larger numbers are approaching retro-commissioning firms for building and system verification in order to operate and maintain productivity, sustainability and financial goals as part of strategic business plans.

The retro-commissioning program is intended for as a full building assessment conducted by expert engineers, inspectors and technicians. The retro-commissioning service team begins with an energy audit that identifies outdated logic controls and malfunctioning equipments. In the meantime, the work gives an opportunity to the staff of the facility to work hand-in-hand with the engineers, helping to implement low-cost energy saving improvements and maximize savings in long run. The resulting benefits and impacts of retro-commissioning services have been proven to be able to reduce energy levels and costs, something that can be attested to by many, many businesses across America.

Kansas City in particular has been the location of several highly successful examples of retro-commissioning.

Retro-Commissioning Example One: The Ameristar Casino Hotel

  • An inspection was done on water flow, airflow and mechanical system of Ameristar Casino Hotel.
  • Inspectors found that some unit of ducts were not working properly, and so they recommended they be retrofitted in order to improve air flow within the facility.
  • Total estimated savings within the first year of service: $2,000.

Retro-Commissioning Example Two: North Kansas City Hospital

  • A retro-commissioning team performed tests on the HVAC system in the operating rooms, which were experiencing low humidity levels.
  • All the components of the HVAC system, corresponding humidifiers and duct terminals in each room were checked and tested. Each terminal unit was examined for temperature and humidification controls.
  • It was found that some of the equipment was not functioning properly, and it was replaced.
  • As a result the hospital’s operating room is now getting proper amounts of humidity and spending less energy to keep the air under control in the room.
  • Total estimated savings within the first year of service: $5,000.

In both cases, the decision to pursue retro-commissioning was a good financial and technical decision for both organizations, enabling them to run their facilities properly without using more energy than necessary. Through retro-commissioning, any business can see the same result, saving money, energy and the health of their staff.