Continuous Commissioning - How does it work?


At first glance, Continuous Commissioning makes sense: it provides the building owner or property manager with a tool that says "alarm" when energy saving strategies start to drift or stop working. We can call that warning system Phase 1 of two phases.

Phase 1: Continuous Monitoring

The "continuous" portion of the process is the fact that system performance data is monitored on an uninterrupted basis via a building automation system (BAS) and/or standalone dataloggers. The process has elements of "continual" if the data collected is analyzed manually only at certain intervals (typically monthly). However, the "continuous" aspect persists if the BAS is programmed to continuously evaluate the data collected and generate an output message if the measured parameters fall outside of their programmed ranges.

-From Engineered Systems article "Commissioning - Getting it Right"


Continuous Commissioning can, therefore, utilize existing systems (BAS) and low cost monitoring devices (dataloggers) to be the first line of defense in keeping energy initiatives in check. So what's not to like about the concept?

Phase 2: Expert Evaluation

The second phase, involves regular evaluations by retro-commissioning/O&M professionals. In many cases they are able to provide highly insightful recommendations after only a day or two on site. It really doesn't take that long for the right person to evaluate trend logs and dataloggers.

To keep their efforts affordable, don't turn it into an energy study. Keep the focus on "low hanging fruit" and tune-up recommendations.

Glossy reports look great, but keep the reporting "lean and mean" - focused on the point: saving money.