Posted: December 16, 2015
Recommissioning (RCx) is the process of re-optimizing an existing building to ensure building equipment and systems are operating optimally to meet the current occupant needs. The focus is on identifying low-cost operational improvements to obtain energy savings.
On average a building may expect to see a reduction in utility costs between five per cent to 15 per cent, and often with a return on investment of less than two years. But the benefits go beyond energy savings and simple payback. There are a number of indirect benefits associated with re-commissioning, which include:
Through the recommissioning process each piece of equipment is tested to ensure it is functioning properly, any problem found is investigated and solutions are recommended. Properly maintained equipment will last longer, operate more reliably, require fewer repairs and maintenance, and will also use less energy. Equipment that operates properly also demands less “crisis maintenance” from onsite staff and outside contractors, allowing staff to concentrate on their primary duties.
The benefits can translate into increased profitability for building owners by reducing operating expenses that lead to an increased net operating income and quicker returns on investment. Some properties can also be made more competitive by reducing the operating cost per square meter and lowering tenancy cost.
Recommissioning can lead to improved quality of the building’s indoor environment as systems are adjusted to meet the needs of the current space. A good indoor environment can have positive effects on the health, comfort and productivity of its occupants.
A key aspect to the recommissioning process is providing training to building staff. When building staff increase their understanding of building equipment and troubleshooting skills, they are better able to operate and maintain equipment, and respond to occupant requests without circumventing energy-saving strategies.
Up-to-date building documentation, including operation and maintenance manuals, sequences of operation, and system diagrams are produced through the recommissioning process and are essential to maintaining and troubleshooting equipment.
When making a case for recommissioning, consider the impact all of the added benefits will have on your existing building.