Even though the definition of existing-building commissioning (EBCx) is given as “a systematic process for investigating, analyzing, and optimizing the performance of building systems through the identification … of … facility-improvement measures and ensuring their continued performance,” the article “Existing-Building Commissioning” (December 2009) does not address the assessment of whether a healthy and productive indoor environment is being achieved.
Shouldn't the definition of EBCx be expanded to include monitoring, review, and analysis of carbon-dioxide concentrations and dew-point temperatures for the assessment of ventilation and moisture-management performance, a crucial component of how a building is operated? After all, buildings are not created to use energy, but to provide a healthy and productive indoor environment. Shouldn't success or failure in that respect be included in any assessment of performance?
David W. Bearg, PE, CIH
Life Energy Associates
Yes, indeed, Continuous Commissioning and its component monitoring, verification, and ongoing trend logging should be implemented as part of EBCx. This is a big part of the advantage EBCx has over old-fashioned energy audits and building tune-ups. It is included in Table 1 of the article as “Transition to continuous Cx made and monitoring, verification, and ongoing trend logging implemented.”
For indoor-air-quality (IAQ) measurement and verification to happen, two of the activities preceding it in Table 1 — revising operation-and-maintenance (O&M) procedures and re-training the O&M staff — are crucial. New sensors and monitoring points should be added as required, and/or temporary portable equipment should be brought in for the short term to establish a baseline. Operators then can run weekly graphs that show IAQ parameters. Energy graphs provide the fast feedback needed to get energy-wasting failures corrected quickly.
Ron Wilkinson, PE, LEED AP
AKF Group LLC
New York, N.Y.
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