EMA Board President and ACG Member Chris Smith,  CxA, EMP, Jacobs Engineering and AABC Board Member and Vice President Josh Green, TBE, Environmental Test & Balance Co. published “Improving Long-Term Energy Efficiency with Commissioning” with FacilitiesNet.

Facilities management and ownership problems only begin when the facility is built and put into operation. Over two thirds of the total cost of the facility is often associated with operating and maintenance costs throughout the life of the facility. Energy usually accounts for a significant part of these costs. In addition, many facilities are experiencing changes in operational profiles due to updated use, requirements for reconstruction, evolving technologies and a new focus on energy and sustainability. In order to understand and understand the state and operation of their facilities, owners often consult with consultants to assess the state of the facility (FCA). In order to maximize the potential for owners to benefit most from their facilities, facilities assessment services should be expanded to include energy, commissioning (Cx) and testing and balancing (TAB).

Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) usually focuses on a static review of the condition of the facility and individual components in terms of age, design, construction, method, and materials. The FCA obtains building data, including postponed maintenance and defects, and informs facility operations staff. Normally, all systems, including the outer skin of a building, are considered to identify the current state of the asset. FCA results provide asset classification and lifespan estimates that support deferred maintenance plans and replacement information based on “similarity” that supports ongoing facility operations. The FCA is based on static physical analysis, provides limited performance data, and does not address the operational or energy performance of facility systems.

This article is an extension of the November 2021 APPA webinar hosted by Green and Smith, who discussed methodologies and key components for developing facility condition assessments related to building mechanical/electrical systems; Assessments and associated budgets are aligned with the owner’s strategic energy, sustainability and resiliency goals to prioritize project implementation based on weighted factors of assessments and goals; measurement and verification strategies to assess project effectiveness to improve building stock and advance various energy and sustainability goals. 

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