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Building Commissioning

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  Serving the Greater Houston Area since 1977  

Commercial HVAC Systems

Building commissioning provides documented confirmation that building systems function according to criteria set forth in the project documents to satisfy the owner’s operational needs. 

Advanced technologies for construction management, engineering design, and fabrication and installation are being applied to design and build buildings and manage the construction process. It is becoming standard for high-tech equipment, controls, and communications systems to be put into the building to provide power, lighting, comfort, communications, security, and life-safety protection.

In June 2008, the Building Commissioning Association approved a comprehensive document detailing the industry’s best practices in commissioning existing buildings.

Commissioning for Existing Buildings

Commissioning for existing buildings (sometimes referred to as retrofit or  retro-commissioning) is a systematic process for investigating, analyzing, and optimizing the performance of building systems by improving their operation and maintenance to ensure their continued performance over time. This process helps make the building systems perform interactively to meet the owner’s current facility requirements.

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Commissioning existing systems may require developing new functional criteria to address the owner’s current requirements for system performance.

And some owners decide to go even further, expending the effort to make the building perform up to a green standard by the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s LEED rating system. Commissioning helps ensure that new buildings are properly designed, constructed, and prepared for occupancy, operations, and maintenance.

 Commissioning is one of the most cost-effective means of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

Green Technology and HVAC

First of all we need to define Green Technology before we compare it to HVAC and how the HVAC industry is working to make equipment and designs green technology friendly. Green Technology uses evolving technology to use methods and materials to develop techniques that are friendly or friendlier to the environment that past methods and material. It is constantly evolving as new ideas about environmental friendly concepts are put into place and used to make things more efficient and friendly to the environment. It has become necessary for many people and industries to stop ignoring environmental concerns because using older methods cost more than the new methods to implement. The definition of Green Technology goes a little further in implementing a solid strategy of environmental friendly ideas, methods, and materials including machines. These strategies include:

Sustainability – conserving our natural resources. HVAC is a constantly evolving industry and many manufacturers work to make their equipment more and more efficient. The research and development budget of many of the large HVAC manufacturers lead the way. This research is supplemented by the Department of Energy and other large industrial manufacturers related to HVAC. For example, ALCOA is a large producer of aluminum from raw materials and through recycling. ALCOA has sponsored research into better heat exchangers using aluminum materials. All these factors improve HVAC and contribute to sustainability in Green Technology.

“Cradle to Cradle” Design – this means designing products that can be fully reclaimed or recycled into new products at the end of the life cycle of the product. Almost everything in HVAC equipment can be recycled or reclaimed at the end of its life including refrigerant used in HVAC equipment. In fact, some of the components used in air conditioning and heating equipment have a high recycling value at the end of its life especially the coils used in condensers and evaporators.

The HVAC industry has evolved out of necessity into Green Technology simply because of the cost of energy has risen in the last few decades to make the HVAC industry produce more equipment that is more efficient and uses less energy to maintain comfortable temperatures. This benefits the environment in a big way and help protect or environment from using our resources in a wise manner.

Source Reduction – this means reducing waste and pollution by changing methods of production and energy consumption in order to help conserve energy and help the environment. In HVAC the development of smart HVAC systems is helping Source Reduction by controlling the equipment to a more precise degree than ever before. The HVAC industry has designed equipment and controls for the equipment so that the equipment only uses the amount of energy needed to meet the current demand. Using methods like staging and equipment that can modulate its output in accordance with what is exactly needed is saving in energy use.

Innovation – this means developing innovations in alternate technologies that do not harm the environment or decrease the use of fossil fuels and chemicals that have been known to harm the environment and harm people. The HVAC industry is constantly working on new innovations that reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful chemicals. The recent change in the use of CFC refrigerants and the planned phase out of HCFC’s replacing those refrigerants with HFC’s is a good example of this process. Additionally the design of new gas and oil boilers and furnaces that have maximum efficiencies contributes to this part of Green Technology.

Viability – making Green Technology economically feasible and creating jobs and careers around Green Technology that truly help protect the environment and our planet. There are many people who are involved in the HVAC industry who contribute to Green Technology. From the people who work in the research and development labs to the people who work in inspecting and commissioning new buildings the HVAC industry has many people employed and contributing to Green Technology.

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