Monitoring-Based Commissioning

Commissioning is the process of ensuring that building energy systems are designed, installed, functionally tested, and capable of being operated and maintained according to the owner’s operational needs. By using building inspections and systems testing, commissioning can provide quality assurance and systematically improve energy systems’ efficiency and operation (particularly in HVAC and air distribution). In addition to providing energy savings, commissioning can often increase comfort for building occupants. When the commissioning process is applied to an existing building that hasn’t been commissioned before, it’s called retrocommissioning (RCx).

Monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx), also known as continuous optimization, persistent commissioning, or ongoing commissioning, is similar to RCx in that it’s a process applied to existing buildings to keep them performing at optimal levels. But where RCx requires personnel to periodically tour the facility to identify potential measures, MBCx uses sensors and software in addition to standard RCx practices to provide a real-time account of systems within the building. This method results in more persistent energy savings than conventional commissioning (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Monitoring-based commissioning can save more energy than retrocommissioning
Savings from monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) are more resilient in a number of ways. By constantly monitoring energy use, MBCx allows for increased persistent savings along with further gains as new measures are identified to further increase savings over time.
Graph showing that energy savings increase when monitoring-based commissioning is applied to a building
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