Retro-commissioning — A best practice in challenging timesJul 17, 2013
In today’s economy, organizations are looking to all avenues for cost savings. Those in the know have realized that starting at the foundation, the buildings and structures, is proving to provide the largest cost savings over the long-term.
Retro-commissioning (RCx) is a systematic, documented process with the goal of identifying, via an audit, low-cost operational and building systems maintenance improvements in existing buildings, enabling optimal performance. The main focus of RCx is on enhancing energy-using equipment and optimizing existing system performance, allowing organizations to negate major equipment replacement, while gaining the benefits of improved indoor air quality, comfort, controls, energy and resource efficiency.
In the past, budgets were comprised around replacement of large and expensive equipment, but with budget cuts, tax initiatives for energy savings, and the focus on doing more with less, RCx is becoming mainstream. Facility management is being tasked with trimming operational costs while becoming more efficient. Although the main initiatives are directed internally, external entities are throwing out efficiency challenges as well.
In 2011, President Obama launched the Better Buildings Challenge and as of 2013, more than 110 organizations representing over 2 billion square feet of commercial and industrial space have joined the initiative. In their commitment to reduce their portfolio-wide energy use by 20 percent by 2020, RCx initiatives top the list to help achieve the goal.
Why the challenge? Currently, the energy consumption of commercial buildings comprises nearly half of total building energy use and roughly 20% of total energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
A prime example of an organization utilizing RCx is AT&T, which completed an electrical upgrade at its national technology center. The RCx project created a documented energy savings of over $30,000/month. Learn more.
Other Posts you May be Interested in:
10 Signs Your Building May Need Existing Building Commissioning
If your building is exhibiting any of these key signs, you may be able to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs through EBCx.