How does Commissioning help construct a better building?
Commissioning starts with a deep conversation with the Owner about their needs for the building. Why are there two pumps in this photo when one would do? The Owner asserted that reliability of this HVAC system was a very important concern. Short of spending a fortune, the Owner said he was willing to spend extra money in some cases for duplicate key components to add reliability. He told nightmare stories of hotels being closed for days for lack of a $250 spare pump. A weekend shutdown when there is a home football game can mean $9000 in lost sales to his college-town hotel. In addition, he was very concerned about low energy costs to keep his operating costs down. The Commissioning process attempts to identify these kinds of needs, analyze them in economic terms, and incorporate them into construction documents.
A review of the pumping and piping arrangement identified significant savings in installation and energy cost. This pump was reduced from 40 HP to 20 HP because of this review. Considering risk of lost sales and ten year energy savings, this measure saved the owner over $90,000.
Commissioning typically has a 3-5 year payback in new construction, according to a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. The payback results from a combination of reduced change orders, reduced operations costs, and reduced energy consumption.
Until next time,