Continuous Building Commissioning
What is it?
Continuous commissioning, also referred to as "retro-commissioning follow-up," is continual retro-commissioning focusing on the persistence of completed improvements. Ongoing commissioning involves regularly scheduled sessions with the building occupants along with operation and maintenance personnel. This process incorporates monitoring and analysis of building performance data provided by permanently installed metering equipment to verify building performance, the satisfaction of the facilities management and staff, and the extent of actual savings.
At first glance, Continuous Commissioning makes sense: it provides the building owner or property manager with a tool that says “alarm” when energy saving strategies start to drift or stop working. We can call that warning system Phase 1 of two phases.
The application of commissioning related process activities on an ongoing or continuous basis to ensure that the Current Facility Requirements are being met and to support the continuous improvement of system performance. The Continous Commissioning Plan details how these activities and goals will be achieved.
Phase 1: Continuous Monitoring
The “continuous” portion of the process is the fact that system performance data is monitored on an uninterrupted basis via a building automation system (BAS) and/or standalone dataloggers. The process has elements of “continual” if the data collected is analyzed manually only at certain intervals (typically monthly). However, the “continuous” aspect persists if the BAS is programmed to continuously evaluate the data collected and generate an output message if the measured parameters fall outside of their programmed ranges. Continuous Commissioning can, therefore, utilize existing systems (BAS) and low cost monitoring devices (dataloggers) to be the first line of defense in keeping energy initiatives in check. So what’s not to like about the concept?
Phase 2: Expert Evaluation
The second phase, involves regular evaluations by retro-commissioning/O&M professionals. In many cases they are able to provide highly insightful recommendations after only a day or two on site. It really doesn’t take that long for the right person to evaluate trend logs and dataloggers.
To keep their efforts affordable, don’t turn it into an energy study. Keep the focus on “low hanging fruit” and tune-up recommendations.
• Please see "Getting Started" within Existing Building Commissioning for details.