The USGBC is hard at work on its latest Building Design and Construction LEED Rating System, simply referred to as LEED 2012. Among the sea of changes that have been proposed, I will briefly discuss the vastly expanded scope of commissioning services under both Fundamental and Enhanced commissioning.
Under the previous LEED guidelines, commissioning services typically focused on heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment, as well as the building automation systems that drive the sequence of operations for HVAC systems and lighting controls. LEED 2012 proposes that the process go beyond HVAC to include the following under the Fundamental Commissioning guidelines:
Building envelope, which includes roofing assemblies and systems; and thermal, air, and vapor transmission properties of walls, roofs, windows and doors
Any monitoring and measuring devices for potable or reclaimed water entering the buildingAutomatic sensing devices in plumbing
Cooling tower chemica ...Read the rest of entry »
My colleague Chris Philbrick recently posted a blog entry regarding the MEEA Midwest Energy Solutions conference. Chris highlighted ComEd receiving the Impact award for its retro-commissioning program. Sieben Energy Associates has been a service provider for this program since its inception, and I have had the opportunity to work with multiple buildings participating in the program and would like to share some of my experiences.
The ComEd program subsidizes the consulting fees associated with retro-commissioning, leaving the building responsible only for implementation costs. With an aggregate simple payback target of 1.5 years and no obligation to pay consulting fees, participation seems to be a no brainer. There is, of course, a time commitment required from building personnel to assist during site visits, collect information such as drawings and utility bills, and manage implementation.
I have found that this commitment results in more than just facilitating the retro-commissioning program. B ...Read the rest of entry »
Most organizations continue to develop energy initiatives based upon tactical decisions and focusing on immediate concerns, rather than recognizing energy management as a strategic opportunity. Decisions concerning energy focus primarily on operating cost management. The utility bill represents a recurring monthly cost, a budget line item that fluctuates up and down over the course of the year, or compared to prior years (with all the focus associated when the cost goes up). The very fact that energy is predominately viewed as a cost and not an “input” to the operation of an enterprise pushes it to the margins of management planning. Dissecting energy into its many parts offers an extraordinary opportunity to impact the enterprise at almost all stakeholder levels.
Energy costs are a function of its metered usage—most commonly, kilowatt-hours of electricity and therms of natural gas. Fifty years ago, metered energy was a cheap and plentiful domestic resource and its impact on the environment, nati ...Read the rest of entry »