Retro-Commissioning is a systematic process applied to existing buildings to identify and implement operational and maintenance improvements and ensure their continued performance over time.

Depending on the age of the building, retro-commissioning can often resolve problems that occurred during design / construction, or address problems that have developed during the building’s life. As a whole, retro-commissioning is intended to improve a building’s operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures and enhance overall building performance with low / no cost facility improvement measures.

Retro-commissioning assures system functionality by “stepping back” to move forward. It is an inclusive and systematic process that can not only optimize how equipment and systems operate, but can also improve how systems function together. Although retro-commissioning may, at times, include recommendations for capital improvements, the primary focus is on using O&M tune-up activities and diagnostic testing to optimize the building systems.

Retro-commissioning is not a substitute for major repair work.  However, it can often identify solutions that would not be discovered without the use of a systematic process that encompasses the whole building's systems.  As such, it requires a well-rounded firm with commissioning engineers that possess real world experience across all disciplines.

The following reasons have been identified by Owners as the primary objectives for retro-commissioning a project:

  • Bring equipment to its proper operational state
  • Reduce complaints
  • Reduce energy and demand costs
  • Increase equipment life
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Increase tenant satisfaction
  • Improve facility operation and maintenance
  • Reduce staff time spent on emergency calls. 

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