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Finishing Strong Optimizing buildings for full efficiency

 

When you put so much time, effort, and money into your facility, it makes sense to want to ensure that it continues to operate to optimum efficiency. Commissioning gives you peace of mind that from day one occupancy, your building is off to the right start. Adding a service agreement into the mix means you don’t have to worry about your building’s mechanicals degrading. And even if you’re coming into the game late, the good news is that there’s always a reset button and Retro-commissioning can get you back on track. 

COMMISSIONING 

When the construction on a facility is complete, and the building is ready to be turned over to the owners, commissioning is an important process in making sure that all of the systems are tested to verify that they are functioning in accordance with the intended design and specifications. Most of the time, building commissioning is performed by a third-party licensed commissioning authority (CxA). The CxA works together with the design engineer and installing contractors of the HVAC and plumbing systems, such as our MMC Contractors teams. After spending a great deal of time and effort on construction, making sure that the building is running as efficiently as possible will set the owners and on-site facility managers up for success in the future. 

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE 

Commissioning is also a great time for MMC Contractors to develop a preventative maintenance plan focused on energy efficiency, longevity of systems, and measures that will prevent major issues down the road. This keeps the building functioning as it was designed and benefits the owner through less equipment failures as well as reducing energy costs caused by building inefficiencies. 

For many of our clients, especially healthcare clients, major system failures are a matter of life and death for their patients. In fact, recently, we worked with Methodist Health System in Omaha, Nebraska to de-velop a three-year preventative maintenance program for their new building prior to Commissioning even taking place because they saw such value in that long-term planning. 

Most of the time these conversations don’t happen during the design phase — that’s why working alongside the CxA firm during Commissioning is key to making sure we are putting the right plan in place so the systems have a long life ahead of them. 

RETRO-COMMISSIONING 

In some cases, Retro-commissioning has to take place as a way to improve the efficiency of an existing building’s equipment and systems. This is especially important if the equipment has not been maintained for a long time but rather just mended along the way to keep it running in the short term. The goal with Retro-commissioning is to identify and resolve problems that have developed throughout the building’s life as equipment has aged or perhaps as the usage of the building has changed. 

Types of issues that Retro-commissioning can address are:

  •  Systems simultaneously running heating and cooling 
  •  Thermostats not working properly 
  •  Dampers, belts, and valves not functioning 
  •  Air balancing out of calibration 
  •  Automated controls in manual mode 
  •  Over ventilation 

Once the experts are able to identify areas of improvements, some of the adjustments can be low to no-cost changes. However, this is also an ideal time to work with a mechanical Service team that you can trust to put together a customized plan for your building, in turn achieving a better-running facility, less emergency failures, and less stress for all parties involved.

Top 5 reasons for a service agreement:

  1. Your building will run more efficiently. Improve the lifespan of your mechanical equipment by establishing a maintenance schedule from the beginning. 
  2. Keep your warranties valid. Some manufacturers require regular maintenance to keep longer term warranties valid. Make sure you read the fine print. 
  3. You’ll pay less in the long run. Rather than paying for maintenance à la carte at a higher rate, work performed under a service agreement is typically discounted at a negotiated rate. 
  4. Service customers get faster service. If you’re on a service plan, you’ll move to a higher position in the queue because you’re a regular customer. 
  5. Be a partner, rather than a customer. With regular visits to your building, your service team knows the ins and outs of your facility and what’s important