How to Know If Your Building Is Performing at Its Potential
3
Mar 3, 2020

Let’s get the bad news over with first. Your building is definitely not performing at its potential.

Unless you have recently done all three of these steps it is not performing at its potential.

To reach its potential performance for no-cost or low-cost levels of investment you need to:

  1. Recommission the Building;
  2. ASHRAE Level II Audit; and
  3. Building Operator Training

 

Our buildings are not performing at their potential.
Photograph via Storyblocks

Unless you do all of these steps you are missing out on energy and water efficiency performance gains.

Commissioning

Your building is LEED®-certified? Your building has been getting progressively worse since it was first commissioned. Even if the Enhanced Commissioning Credit was pursued on the project (and most projects don’t) your building has lost that edge pretty quickly. And the energy efficiency points that it achieved did not cover all of the building systems… but that is a topic of another blog post.

What is Commissioning? Basically, someone separate from the Design and Engineering Team, and separate from the Construction Team checks to see if the building is operating the way that it was designed to operate. They will be checking airflows, pump operations, sequencing of equipment, particularly in the shoulder season, and making sure that the building isn’t heating and cooling the incoming air at the same time (this happens more often than you would think!).

ASHRAE Level II Audit

An ASHRAE Level II Audit requires a Professional Engineer to go through and evaluate all of the mechanical and electrical systems that are in place for the building.

They are looking for areas where maintenance needs to be done, where systems are running inefficiently in parallel… where filters need to be changed to stop impeding the airflow, where server racks should be grounded to prevent static discharge buildup.

Typically our clients find savings of 8–10% with paybacks of less than three years by doing an ASHRAE Level II Audit that identifies no-cost and low-cost upgrades. 

“Your building is LEED®-certified? Your building has been getting progressively worse since it was first commissioned.”

Building Operator Training

This is the blind spot of the commercial building market. Typically building operators were recruited from night service staff for security, or from building management. They typically aren’t engineers, and the demographic is aging.

It is difficult to attract people into this job field because it is not typically high paying, requires long hours, you can be on-call 24-7 and it is not a prestigious position.

Once staff have been doing their work for years they are notoriously difficult to retrain. However, we have experience engaging and training building operators through our affiliated training company.

If you take on this training the typical gains are 20% energy savings through each shoulder season.

Next Steps

We are your one-stop shop for Commissioning, ASHRAE Level II Audits and Building Operator Training. We use a network of professionals to conduct this work.

Contact us to book these services today!

 

 

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