Building Retro Commissioning in UAE for LEED BREEAM

Retro Commissioning for LEED BREEAM Buildings

Retro-commissioning is a systematic process to improve the efficiency and performance of an existing building or facility that has not undergone a commissioning process during the construction and handing over phases. It can, in many cases, resolve problems that occurred during the period of the design or construction, or rectify problems that have developed throughout the building’s life as equipment used has aged, or as building purpose has changed.

At present, complex buildings features include highly interactive systems paired with elaborate controls that can impact a building performance. EMergy’s retro-commissioning will help property owners identify the operational improvements needed to conserve energy and increase the building occupant’s comfort.

EMergy’s retro-commissioning will identify and resolve problems, including but not limited to:

  • Equipment or lighting, which are on when not necessary
  • Systems simultaneously functioning
  • Incorrect functioning belts and valves
  • Out of calibration thermostats and sensors
  • Less than optimal air balancing systems
  • Not working as designed economizers
  • Controls sequences functioning incorrectly
  • Variable-frequency drives, which operate at unnecessarily high speeds or that operate at a constant speed even though the load being served is variable

Retro Commissioning

When most existing buildings were built, energy efficiency was not a major concern. Nor have many commercial and institutional buildings undergone a comprehensive quality assurance program for their building systems. Old building documentation often is incomplete, with components and equipment missing or incorrectly installed.
The result is a building using more energy to accomplish less. Even if it was fully commissioned when built, the building may not be operating at peak efficiency today.

Retro Commissioning Defined :

Retro-commissioning is a process that involves an assessment of building systems to ensure they operate correctly, taking into account the original design and specifications, but also addressing any changes in occupancy since construction.
Retro commissioning is a systematic process to improve an existing building’s performance. The process can be performed alone or with a retrofit project. Retro-commissioning is characterized by being a knowledge- and labor-intensive process, where material costs are minimal or zero. However, a retro-commissioning project can also help identify opportunities for building improvements that require more capital, such as retrofits and equipment upgrades.
Retro-commissioning involves a systemic evaluation of opportunities to improve energy-using systems. If the same process were applied to a car, mechanics would make adjustments to the settings, controls, components and design of the engine based on how the owner actually drives.

Candidates for Retro Commissioning

Retro-Commissioning will identify and fix below problems:

Many of these small operations and control improvements cost little or nothing to implement, yet some can have big effects.

Benefits of Retro-Commissioning

Commercial buildings frequently undergo operational and occupancy changes that challenge the mechanical, electrical and control systems, hindering optimal performance. In today’s complex buildings, systems are highly interactive, with sophisticated controls that can create a trickle-down effect on building operations – small problems have big effects on performance.All buildings can experience performance degradation over time.

Costs and benefits

Retro-commissioning benefits everyone in a building. Building owners see reduced operating costs from the energy savings and better equipment performance, leading to an increase in net operating income.

How is Retro-Commissioning Carried Out?

Each building is unique, and the same applies for retro-commissioning projects. However, the most significant energy-saving opportunities are normally found in lighting and HVAC systems.
1) Operating protocols, sensor calibration and sequences
2) Cleaning / reparations
3) Documentation and training requirements
– Adequate HVAC temperature and humidity set points. – HVAC operating schedules according to occupancy. – HVAC sensor calibration. – HVAC controls in working conditions and adjusted according to requirements. – Adequate load distribution among equipment running in parallel, such as pumps and fans. – Appropriate ventilation rates. – Adjustments for oversized and undersized equipment. – No simultaneous heating and cooling unless intended. – Balanced HVAC distribution systems, both water and air. – Appropriate lighting levels for each application, with properly-configured sensors and controls. – Adequate temperature settings for how water systems. – All water distribution systems are without leaks.
– Cleaning HVAC system components, especially those more susceptible to dust accumulation, such as air dampers, ducts and coils. – Cleaning or replacing filters as required. – Cleaning lighting fixtures. – Fans, pumps and their motors are in good working condition, especially components subject to constant wear, such as bearings and belts. – Steam traps have been replaced as required. – Eliminating alterations and manual overrides that diminish equipment performance. – Optimal boiler tuning. – Hot water, chilled water and steam piping are properly insulated according to the NYC Energy Conservation Code. – Sealant and weatherstripping installed where necessary.
Correct and up-to-date permits for all HVAC, plumbing and electrical equipment. – Key staff has been trained on all major systems and procedures, as well as energy conservation. – Operation and maintenance records are implemented. – Operators have access to O&M manuals, maintenance contracts and commissioning reports