A Sustainable Approach to Building Commissioning
Managing energy in your building or home is no different than keeping your automobile tuned up. Buildings perform similar to cars, efficiency declines over time wasting money which could be used for other investments.
After five years of research confirmed through completion of several case studies, the e-book
titled "A Sustainable Approach to Building Commissioning" is intended to give building owners, operators, or anyone in charge of energy consumption low or no cost tools to reduce energy, consumption, and cost. With climate change on the rise, managing the amount of energy buildings consume is more important than ever.
The Sustainable Commissioning Process was trademarked by researcher Dr. Steven Driver as part of his continuing educational curriculum at Northcentral University in 2010. Sustainable Commissioning combines both human and artificial intelligence to gain optimal energy efficiency in buildings and homes. At the conclusion Steve's research, it was clear there were four fundamental steps to energy sustainability which are explained in detail in the e-book and briefly outlined here:
1. Perform Energy Audit (Human Intelligence)
Outlined in the e-book is how to conduct a two stage energy audit which includes
a functional audit (interview of facility personnel to understand how operations
are being performed) outlined with templates along with facilitation of the
operational audit (where non-invasive testing is performed) and how to evaluate
the condition and performance of equipment for energy efficiency.
Observed opportunities are then quantified in financial terms of
simple pay back (SPB), internal rate of return (IRR), and net present
value (NPV) so competent financial decisions can be made.
2. Perform Retroactive Commissioning (Human Intelligence)
The e-book reviews the retroactive commissioning process. A discussion
is provided around building controls and how to evaluate systems for connection
to ongong commissioning (fault diagnostics). As part of the retro-commissioning
process, a 32 fault detection system discovered during research is explained as
to how to eliminate energy waste.
3. Connect to Ongoing Commissioning (Artificial Intelligence)
Once the building instrumentation is confirmed to be calibrated correctly,
ongoing monitoring begins by connecting to the building managment system
(BMS). Invisible operational abnormalities are addressed at this time. In the
event the BMS is not capable of being connected to ongoing commissioning,
an energy model is then constructed. The model assists in simulating energy
performance which is validated against monthly energy bills. As energy
improvements are made to the building, parametric runs (computer
simulations considering improvements) are run to understand where the
quickest returns on investments are.
4. Achieve Sustainability (Human and Artificial Intelligence)
To insure efficiency does not decline over time, the e-book goes into the
details of how to offset increasing energy cost (procurement) and
carbon emissions (energy management practices). The Sustainable
Commissioning process teaches you how to maintain asset peak efficiency,
condition, and increase the reliability of your infrastructure support equipment. The
re-occurring process of sustainable commissioning insures building performance
remains intact over the life of the asset reducing carbon emissions and energy